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Queensr˙che - Rage For Order CD (album) cover



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Marc Baum
5 stars Queensryche went from the brilliant, more guitars-oriented debut The Warning further to a more synth/key dominanted sound on their second full length album "Rage For Order". They proove again that they truly are “the thinking man’s metal band”, it’s not just another nickname.

The lyrics in this album, though at times a bit outdated, are thought-provoking, intelligent and at times, bold. Chris DeGarmo (the principle songwriter for the band) does a great job with the lyrics and song arrangements, and after looking back and listening to this album again just makes me even more excited over the fact that Chris DeGarmo has just re-joined Queensryche for their new, not-yet-titled album, after leaving in 1997, months after the release of Queensryche’s only average effort, Hear In The Now Frontier. This is the album where Queensryche finally flexes their artsy, progressive muscle after showing hints of it on the album before this one, The Warning. They break out the keyboards, synthesizers, acoustic guitars, complex arrangements along with more time changes more than they ever have before. The production is very well done, as are most of Queensryche’s albums, and succeed in being crisp, clear and clean without being overly sleek and polished. Of course, it goes without saying, that Geoff Tate’s high-pitched, operatic vocal delivery is top-notch and among the best in metal. DeGarmo and Wilton both shine on the guitar and as usual, kick ass with the dual guitar harmonies. Scott Rockenfield’s drumming is simple, but above average and shows that you don’t always have to be complex in order to be a great drummer. According to the band, the album is represented by three tiers that represent the idea of Rage For Order: love, politics and technology, which makes sense, since those subjects make up the subject matter for the entire album.

Track-by-track guide:

01 - Walk In The Shadows - We begin the album with the straight-up metal number, “Walk In The Shadows”, showing that although Queensryche has taken a more artistic approach, they haven’t forgotten their pure metal roots. Geoff’s vocals are the highlight in this song, howling and wailing away, but with style. The main riff melody as well as the chorus are both very infectious and will stay with you for some time.

02 - I Dream In Infrared - This includes a nice mid-tempo groove, which is nicely complimented with a cool keyboard and simple, but effective drumming. This could be classified as a ballad, I guess, but I consider it more a mid-tempo song, but nevertheless, it’s a very good tune.

03 - The Whisper - Iron Maiden-esque piece of music. This is a great traditional style metal song that stays with mid-pace throughout. The keyboards that pop up occasionally in this song adds a little flair to the song, as does Chris DeGarmo and Michael Wilton’s dual harmonies.

04 - Gonna Get Close To You - This is a very dark song about a man stalking a woman he loves. Not only are the lyrics disturbing and quite eerie, but the mountain of keyboards in this song as well as Geoff’s vocal delivery add to the dark atmosphere. This song is also quite catchy!

05 - The Killing Words - That is a very sorrow-filled ballad with some nice-sounding keyboards that chime in at times, and a good chorus. This song win the “most commercial sounding” award, as this has mid-80's rock radio written all over it and wouldn’t sound out of place in a Dokken or Fifth Angel album, but it’s still a good sound, if a bit cheesy-sounding.

06 - Surgical Strike - This is another Iron Maiden- influenced tune, but this time, no keyboards except in the middle for a very brief period, but other than that, just balls-out metal.

07 - Neue Regal - This is probably the most complex song on the album. This song has all the tricks in their: keyboards, synthesizers, acoustic guitars, electric giutars, catchy chorus, top-notch operatic vocals that is digitized in the beginning, a few time changes...the works, and all in 4 minutes and 55 seconds!

08 - Chemical Youth (We Are Rebellion) - A song which, once again, reminds the listeners that the band have not forgotten their straight-up metal roots. This is a nasty rocker that will make you black and blue all over after listening to it. There are no keyboards, no synthesizers, no acoustic guitars, just blistering metal, and that is very refreshing after all the artsy material. One of my favorites.

09 - London - This awesome rocker is followed by the ballad, “London”, which carries a very melancholy atmosphere throughout, and it’s really a very good song. You can feel the sadness in Geoff’s Voice on this one, as well as the music itself. It sends chills down my spine. This is also not as commercial sounding as The Killing Words, either.

10 - Screaming In Digital - Very weird, but very interesting song that oddly conveys the subject of the song through the music, I mean the music really compliments the song’s lyrics about technology taking over. I sort of see this song as a weirded out version of Queensryche’s other song about technology nightmares, NM 156 (which can be found on the album The Warning). This song also has an awesome intro that I go back to time and time again.

11 - I Will Remember - This song sounds like the precursor to Queensryche’s mega-hit ballad from 1990's Empire album, of course I’m talking about Silent Lucidity. As much as I love Silent Lucidity, I sort of favor this song just a little. Why, I don’t know. The guitar work here is incredible, I just love the Spanish-flavored solo, played acoustically, like the rest of the rest of the song, it just gets me every time. This is a very sad, but haunting song that always makes me come back for more.

This album marked a turning point in Queensryche’s sound, but somehow, as dramatic as the change may have been, it seemed like a very natural change. They still had elements of the traditional, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden style that they started out with, so it’s wasn’t like abandoned it, they just dressed it with artsy, progressive rock like Rush and Pink Floyd influences thrown in. This album also set the stage very well for the band’s next release after this one and one of my all-time favorite albums ever...”Operation: Mindcrime”. RFO still remains as a state of art record in the bands repertoire and is highly recommended to any progressive rock/metal fan.

album rating: 9.5/10 points = 93 % on MPV scale = 5/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

Report this review (#23525)
Posted Wednesday, December 24, 2003 | Review Permalink
5 stars here comes masterpiece #1 ! first, there has been a real revolution in the sound of the band which comes closer to 80's era Rush... then the songwriting improves again as the musical skills of every musician... but I do remember how the matal audience took this album back then, it was a disgrace for a metal band they said... they were selling their souls to new wave/funkymusic have i heard too.. so, even if Rage for Order was a great album, it was a commercial failure and so the band had to change again...
Report this review (#23529)
Posted Tuesday, March 23, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars A magnificent album,perhars of similar value with "Operation:Mindcrime". Queensryche here experiment with more keyboards and atmospheres than "The Warning".Songs are now more prog rock than metal,and Tate is giving some of his finest perfomances here,just listen to "I Dream In Infrared","The Killing Words" and "I Will Remember".Underestimated album,because of the band's massive sound change and style, but an excellent album to start exploring the magic music that Queensryche make for 20 and more years...
Report this review (#23530)
Posted Monday, June 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Well, I should have rated it 5 stars instead, but I am not that happy with the production quality. I am still thinking that it could have been much better in the production. Overall, when the first I heard RFO, this was my least favorite Queensryche's record. The mood and my feeling toward this record grew on me as more often I listened to it. "Walk In The Shadows" is one of my all-time Queensryche tracks. This record is --I think-- the most Queensryche's record that using the so-called "techno"thingy. too many keyboards and sound effects here and there. I myself not much into the keys thingy so it kind of disturbing for me ;-) But the song quality are overall great. Even much better then the Warning and Queensryche EP. My favorite part is the 4 last songs as it built up a mini-story concept about a man separated from his loved ones and turned into a cyborg. Silly concept, huh? Give it a try and be judge yerself :-) [Davidewata; Indonesia]
Report this review (#23531)
Posted Friday, June 25, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars To my opinion the best prog album of the band.If their 2nd was 1 step forward from their EP this one is 1 mile away from all the metal-hard rock scene of the 80's!It's dark futuristic sound was never repeated by anyone.Genius work and a bigger musical risc than the next 2 albums,though I love them also,that has no equal in the prog metal history...Can the Queensryche of today still Scream in Digital? Kotsos
Report this review (#23533)
Posted Sunday, September 5, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Kissing the Iron Maiden

As the predecessor to "Operation : Mindcrime", "Rage for order" gave little indication of the quality to be expected on its illustrious successor. The tracks are short, generally in the 4-5 minute range, with little development beyond fairly standard pop rock structures. There is a broad concept to the album reflected in the title. In the words of the band's website: "It's very much like the world right now -- a kind of chaos searching for direction". Prior to recording this album, the band had been touring with Kiss and Iron Maiden, and the influence of both bands can be heard clearly here. The music has a metallic basis, but is pretty much devoid of any prog influences, which would come later. The collaboration with Pink Floyd producer James Guthrie on the previous album "The warning" was not considered to be entirely successful. This album was therefore produced by Neil Kernon whose previous experience producing such bands as Dokken, Autograph, and Hall and Oats complements the music of Queensryche well.

The album opens powerfully with "Walk in the shadows", an upbeat, toe tapping number with some fine guitar work. There are many influences and similarities throughout the album. "I dream in infrared" and "The whisper" (among others) have strong echoes of Iron Maiden. "The killing words" moves from an Asia like intro to A Journey style melodic rock power ballad. "Gonna get close to you" has a very similar riff to the one which appeared previously on Stevie Nicks' 1981 song "Edge of seventeen". This incidentally, is the only cover version the band have ever recorded. "Neue Regel" has a Led Zeppelin feel, with spacey keyboards and twanging guitars, although the chorus is more orthodox power rock.

The closing track, "I will remember" is the high point of the album, with some superb vocals. An excellent MTV unplugged version of this song can be heard as a bonus track on the remastered version of "Hear in the now frontier".

The remastered version of "Rage for order" includes four bonus tracks. The 12" remix of "Gonna get close to you" is not too different from the original. The live version of "Killing words" is reasonable, but inferior to both the MTV Unplugged bonus track on "Hear in the now frontier", and the studio version included here. The other two bonus tracks are an acoustic remix of "I dream in infrared", and a bootleg quality live version of "Walk in the shadows", both of which appear in their original form on this album.

A decent if unremarkable early album from this erratic band.

Report this review (#23535)
Posted Monday, March 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This album represents well what is ordinary lite heavy metal. It reminds me a bit Triumph, although Triumph is more hard rock than metal oriented. I like the clean guitar sound on "I dream in infrared". Geoff Tate's voice is good, although his screaming is sometimes annoying. The good point is that the songs are varied and the airs often change. It is not fast metal: the beat is rather slow. Plus, the bass is REALLY not present enough. This record would be better if all the instruments were more involved: this metal record is not enough loaded; that's why it is not a memorable album.
Report this review (#23538)
Posted Friday, May 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars asking someone if rage for order is good is like asking a man if he likes to have sex with leticia casta. having recorded one ep and one full album ( official recordings) that created a whole scene ( us power metal) queensryche gave us in 1986 one of the greatest albums of our music (rock/metal) and the best album of the 80s. songs like walk in the shadows/london/killing words/neue regel/chemical youth/screaming in digital (and every track on the album) created a new scene 'ryche metal' which nobody entered, simply because nobody could sound like them! sometimes 5 stars seem too low for albums like that.
Report this review (#36183)
Posted Saturday, June 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars as a huge fan of the band it is not easy to suggest that this album is even more brilliant than mindcrime..but it is. It is darker, more vague..sinister even. Not a bad song on here and most..such as screaming in digital are pure GENIUS. This is one of the best albums of that era, one that is still relevant today primarilly because it was so ahead of its time. After letting this album grow on you..all you can say
Report this review (#38854)
Posted Friday, July 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Rage for order... This album is maybe the most futuristic the last 25 years..It's atmosphere is so sick and just coming from the future.The album starts with a masterpiece called "Walk In The Shadows" in which you hear how well was the band at those times."Killing Me With Words" is a good one,"Neue Rege"l is my favorite and "Screaming In Digital" is the preaching of this album. Progressive metal you will find in this one.Excellent guitar work by DeGarmo and Wilton,but the voice of Geoff Tate is unremarkable.My opinion is that there are no similar albums with this.I think it was an experiment before Queensryche made Operation:Mindcrime.If you are a progressive fan,you will love it.
Report this review (#44308)
Posted Friday, August 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Amazing album. I would call this "cold metal" as it contains some guitar elements inspired of Iron Maiden and some the synth style of 80s cold wave. Lots of excellent songs like 'I dream in infrared', 'The killing words', 'Surgical strike', 'Neue regel' and 'I will remember'. A very dark and tortured atmosphere, pessimism reigns. Not really amazing technically, the band know however how to find the right note or words at the best time. No prog in fact, but a must have for metal ears and a must listen to for prog fans.
Report this review (#48984)
Posted Wednesday, September 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I will be very brief about this album-an album so very ahead of its time-it is so fresh like it was released today!-an excellent paradigm of expanding the limits of music and especially the limits of heavy metal genre-one of the best and underrated by die hard metal fans,at least in my country then, of the last 20 years!
Report this review (#49154)
Posted Thursday, September 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Rage For Order, well where do I start? The title is cool. The opening song Walk in the Shadows slams you into the beginning of the album. The whisper has an amazing intro and that great time 6/8. The whispering during the chorus adds so much atmosphere. Which is probably the best word to describe this album. Gonna get close to you, while a cover, is creepy and just spectacularly pulled off by tate.Surgical strike has some nice time changes in the intro/outro. Neue Regel, AMAZING, The multiple part rounds in the chorus. Queensryche seemingly pulls of multi part choruses so well on this album. 3 sets of lyrics going together so well. Which leads me to what I feel is the most underrated song of all time. Screaming in Digital. The rythms and time signatures are difficult to emulate , superbly done. The synths and dissonent guitar chords near the beginning. The whole computers with thoughts and having multiple characters represented by different passages is , I think awesome. Then I will Remember a very western sounding acoustic intro kinda quick, real neat. The whistling is great. If any band could make a whisper the coolest part of a song, Queensrychewould be it.oops almost forgot. The angst ridden lovesick chorus of killing words is very moving and a neat concept as a title.
Report this review (#50214)
Posted Thursday, October 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars While better than Iron Maiden's "Somewhere in Time" or Judas Priest's "Turbo", Queensryche improve their playing techniques and experiment with sounds and textures rather than bother to improve upon their songwriting abilities on this follow up to "The Warning".

On the whole, it's pretty much more of the same but a bit better and more experimental - the same Priest/Maiden riffs, vocals and guitar lines are re-used, with snippets of Marillion, (Dio) Sabbath and Diamond Head. The songs themselves are utterly unmemorable - although razor sharp in execution and imaginative in detail.

This sharpness in execution and production, it must be remembered, was de-rigeur for most metal bands of this time - even the thrash metal bands were polishing up their acts, as evidenced by "Reign in Blood" and "Master of Puppets" - both infinitely more progressive in terms of songwriting and technique development, the latter being a fully-fledged Prog Metal album in all but acceptance by the Prog Metal crowd.

It's easy to hear all manner of details that still underpin Prog Metal in this album, however - from the drumming style, and "complex" rhythms deployed in tracks like "The Killing Words" - for while the album has a kind of samey quality to it all the way through, it does develop in terms of rhythmic and textural experimentation over the course of what is side 1 on the vinyl album - although someone should have told them that the keyboard "orchestra hit" sound has never been cool. Can anyone remember "Reflex" by Duran Duran?

Lyrically, this owes much to "Script for a Jester's Tear" in terms of the content - the subject matter mainly appears to be about failed relationships - but also to Priest and Maiden; "Gonna Get Close To You" reminds me of "Prowler" somewhat. However, there's a nice bit of computer paranoia in the last two songs - a touch of irony, perhaps, given the addition of a "computer" to the list of instruments...

One of the main problems with this album is the lack of any real harmonic development - everything hangs off a couple of chords and excessive use of what are known in musical circles as pedals - by which I don't mean the boxes made by Taurus, but a single held bass note over which music flows more or less freely. This technique lends a spacey feel to the music, and helps it feel "big", but ultimately prevents it from feeling dramatic or satisfying.

All these criticisms are merely to illustrate why this is not really progressive, despite the patina and the skill in execution; not to say that this is a bad album in any way.

On the contrary, it's well worth a listen for any metal fan - follow it up with "Stained Class", "Heaven and Hell" or "Script for a Jester's Tear", and compare real raw, unadulterated, progressive songwriting with what is essentially poor songwriting compensated for by technical exploration and experimentation, that makes for an intriguing listen a few times and a worthy place in the Prog Metal history books.

Stand out tracks "Neue Regel", "Screaming in Digital" (if you can ignore the lyrics...).

Report this review (#63115)
Posted Wednesday, January 4, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars The two ESSENTIAL CDs for Queensryche ARE: Rage For Order AND Operation Mindcrime.

I spent the day doing military training records listening to Rage For Order......... by the end of the day I was hooked. The only thing that unhooked me at THAT time was Operation Mindcrime.

Although I don't believe it was the intent..... Rage For Order flows almost in the same style as Operation Mindcrime, except there is NO Theme or story being told.

The music is great and the vocals are also good...... at that time based on the tunes I was into, THIS was THE good music out at that time.

As we all go through our own personal musical taste metamorpasis...... we find certain tastes wax and wane whislt other tastes become MORE desireable.........

TECHNICALLY this band is NO Dream Theater, BUT they do what they do VERY well........ You would NOT regret picking up this CD or Operation Mindcrime & Empire.

IMPO those would be the "core" CDs for this band...........

NOT dissing the rest of the bands music, BUT as for my musical preference, IF I had to go to a destert Island and could only pick so many CDs to take with me.......

ALL music becomes DATED with time............. some WORSE than others.

JUST REMEMBER to utilize that TIME machine you have upstairs in your mind and this will last the test of time.

Report this review (#65075)
Posted Tuesday, January 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars This album contains much more variety than its two predecessors, but still half of the songs are plain heavy metal, somewhere between Iron Maiden and Judas Priest.

The highlights are without doubt the "slower" songs: "I Dream In Infra Red", "The Whisper", "The Killing Words", "Neue Regel", "London" and the beautiful ballad "I Will Remember".

Rating: 78/100

Report this review (#66284)
Posted Monday, January 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Queensryche's second full-length studio album Rage For Order takes the Metallic sound of 1984's The Warning, tones it down a shade and injects some Progressive structure and melodic keyboard and strings to evolve the sound. Rage For Order is an unsung Masterpiece by the guys from Seattle and once again cements Queensryche's reputation as the "thinking mans metal band"

1. Walk In The Shadows: Dual Guitars, Stellar vocals, melodic undertones and progressive elements... classic Queensryche. (9/10)

2. Dream In Infra Red: A softer track with a wonderful structure and a great mix of metal and melody. Geoff Tate is fantastic as usual. (9.5/10)

3. The Whisper: Memorable keyboard and dual guitar section fuel this excellent track. (9/10)

4. Gonna Get Close To You: Staccato guitars, backing strings and a haunting mood. A great song. (9/10)

5. The Killing Words: A stellar Tate performance mixed once again with exemplarary composition and lyrics. (9/10)

6. Surgical Strike: structurally basic but enjoyable nonetheless, pure metal. (8/10)

7. Neue Regal: A wonderful melodic track with progressive elements. (9/10)

8. Chemical Youth (We Are Rebellion): Staccato sections and a fast pace make this a great track. (8.5/10)

9. London: A soft melodic song which is both a ballad and an anthem. Probably the standout track on the disc. (9.5/10)

10. Screaming in Digital: Another piece with staccato elements, similar to N M 156 in many ways. A real grower. (8.5/10)

11. I Will Remember: An emotive ballad with wonderful melodic sections. A strong finish to a great album. (9/10)

Overall 90/100

Whilst not as good as Mindcrime this album will go down as one of the finest Progressive Metal albums of the 20th century. A must for any Queensryche fan or fan of Progressive Metal.

Report this review (#82651)
Posted Tuesday, July 4, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Summer, 1986. Geez, Queensryche sure takes a LONG time to make their albums. It's been almost two long years since they shocked the music world, uh, okay, since they shocked ME with The Warning. The 1984 release was a musical masterpiece that, in my opinion, was going to be hard to top. But man, I sure couldn't wait to hear just what they had in store. Thus it was that at 10:00 AM on a Tuesday in July I was first in the store to pick up Rage For Order.

I found the record in the QR slot (no storefront promotions - no respect!) and had another deja vu. Just like my reaction to The Warning I thought the front cover was way cool but the picture on the back damn near made me puke. Five guys all done up with big poofy hair, ridiculous Hollywood leather outfits and pouty attitudes all around. Left me a creepy feeling that maybe the music-biz bigwigs had gotten ahold of my boys and turned them into something "marketable". They sure LOOKED like MTV foofs.

Never mind, though, these guys are musical geniuses, surely they didn't sell out. I raced home and set up my stereo to record the album but had to run off to school. I returned, recorded side two (without actually listening to it). This was so I could find some nice private time to indulge myself and listen to the entire album from beginning to end, without interruptions from anyone or anything.

Thus I was lying on my bed, headphones on and about halfway through Rage For Order found myself going huh? What HAPPENED to Queensryche....what was this stuff? I found myself waiting for the album to end....deeply disappointed. This was the exact opposite of my initial listening experiences of QR's previous releases. There were some interesting moments but nothing that jumped out at me. This album was all over the place as far the general sound of the disc. Moody songs, machine-like songs, s-l-o-w songs,,,,there was some high energy stuff but this was definitely not standard heavy metal of 1986.

Still, this was Queensryche so I put the disc to tape and kept popping that tape into my car and home stereo. After a while some songs started to stand out. The first was Chemical Youth...this was basically a power rocker with a cool-as-[&*!#] mid-song chorus bridge that faded into a psycho guitar solo with effects-driven drum background. The next song that really entranced me was I Dream in Infrared, which has one of the most innovative intros I've ever heard. The song's structure is standard power ballad (you know, mellow opening, goes into harder verse, then sing-along chorus). But this opening was so stopped and started and had a very machine-quality to it, almost industrial. Thus the album started to grow on me.

First one song, then another....I found myself putting it on the player over and over....soon the songs that I didn't like at first were becoming better and the songs I initially liked were getting STILL better. Finally it dawned on me that Queensryche had created a completely unique musical effort that was a complete departure from their previous stuff. They had expanded far beyond what they'd created before and in doing so ventured into unknown musical territory.

Rage For Order is not QR's best album (Operation Mindcrime is still the best) but it is the most ambitious, original, and daring. They easily could have produced Warning II with a handful of radio-ready Take Hold of the Flames, sold millions of records and basically sold their musical soul. Instead they challenged themselves, their fans and the listening public to a musical offering that was ahead of its time. You doubt me? Listen to songs like Infrared, Surgical Strike, Neue Regel and Screaming in Digital...all are far beyond anything called "metal". And Trent Reznor (NIN) and Al Jorgensen could be forgiven if they ripped off the industrial noises emanating from all over this disc. Check out Neue Regel (with one of the greatest intros ever); the guitars sound like machines, the drums sound computerized and Geoff Tate's voice sounds digitally inhuman. This, folks, was industrial music before it had been invented.

To sum it up...I didn't get it at first, was eventually converted and today find Rage For Order has held up very well over time. It sounds very much like a 90's disc but without the false anger and detachment of most 90's hard rock. Totally original, completely honest, innovative, even revolutionary....Rage For Order is an absolute must-have for any Industrial, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock or Progressive Music fan.

Report this review (#85149)
Posted Sunday, July 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars

who would have thought that a typical Seattle US power metal band would transform into an intellectually, politicaly oriented, progressive band...

it took many years for Rage For Order to be appreciated... let's not forget that it was released in 1986, when glam/ hair rock was dominant, especially in the US, so there wasn't much room for an album like this...

songs like Walk In The Shadows, Whisper, Killing Words (my favourite..), Gonna Get Close To You ( a Lisa Dal Bello cover) and the beatiful ballads I Dream In Infra Red and I Will Remember, Queensryche begin a series of classic LPs for the next decade that will give them a place in the Holy Trinity of US prog metal along with Fates Warning and Dream Theater...

Report this review (#86339)
Posted Wednesday, August 9, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Rage For Order marked QR's movement towards prog metal. The E.P. and The Warning were great, but they were mteal of a more classic variety. This album is where the experimentation began in earnest. Geoff's voice is insanely good; Scott's drums, though simple, are quite technical; Chris and Michael create superb guitar passages; and Eddie's bass is subtley takes the spotlight.

"Walk in the Shadows" is a great opener with Geoff kinda barking his vocals and a great riff. It's a straight-foward number but it's still a QR classic. "I Dream in Infrared" blends the classic metal with melody and variety. "The Whisper" is propelled by Chris and Mike as well as Geoff on keyboards. "Gonna Get Close to You" contains the haunting atmosphere that would pervade Operation Mindcrime. This fantastic song will give you shivers.

"The Killing Words" has some proggy composition and Geoff's beautiful vox are in the forefront. "Surgical Strike" is another straight-foward song that's very catchy. "Neuge Regel" brings back the progressive tendencies that wer lacking on the previous song. "London" veers into ballad country, but the lyrics are decidedly not poppy. The opening staccato riff in "Screaming in Digital" immediately grabs your attention. "I Will Remember" brings the album to a gentle close.

Rage For Order is a gem of an album, but it's yet to be full prog metal. That would come with the next release, which would become IMO the greatest prog metal album of all time. Fans of QR should certainly own this album, as should any fans of metal, prog or no.

Report this review (#102677)
Posted Monday, December 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars This was a big let down after the amazing "The Warning".The band here gets away from the straight forward Metal of their previous release to a more experimental, keyboard driven sound. I know for most people this is a good thing and it does pave the way for "Operation Mindcrime", but i miss the crunch of "The Warning". And besides this record has a lot of tracks I would call weak, although the opening three tracks are what makes this a good album.

"Walk In The Shadows" is a straight forward,commercial sounding tune but it works some how. Good opener. "I Dream In Infrared" is almost ballad-like and Tate is in fine form. Nice guitar solo 3 minutes in. "The Whisper" opens with a memorable guitar melody and Tate again sounds great ! "Gonna Get Close To You" is a song I detest, especially the bonus track version where it sounds like they are using electronic drums. It really sounds like eighties crap to me.

"The Killing Words" has a keyboard intro and a good soaring guitar melody that turns into screaming solo.The bass work is great as well. "Surgical Strike" and "Neue Regal" are both ok. "Chemical Youth (We are Rebellion)" is a good uptempo rocker. "London" features slowly pounding drums with vocals while the synths come in during the chorus. Good tune. "Sceaming In Digital" is a hard one for me to get into with the theatrical vocals. The drumming is prominant and a good guitar solo stands out. "I Will Remember" is a good ballad-like song with reserved vocals and acoustic guitar.

Good record but definitely not essential by any means.

Report this review (#116218)
Posted Friday, March 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Queensryche went from the brilliant, more heavy debut The Warning further to a more synth/key dominanted sound on their second full length album "Rage For Order". They proove again that they truly are "the thinking man's metal band", it's not just another nickname. So another well done album and one of their best so far. One of the best albums of the '80 no doubt. Every piece sounds futuristic because of the more keys added to music, this album has nothing in common with The warning witch is heavy metal a la Iron Maiden, and sounds very different from the next one Operation who also is more heavy then this one. The band said in a magazin from the early '90 that is the most comercial album they ever made 'till then. Maybe is a little lighter then even Empire but some piece is mindblowing: the opening track Walk In The Shadows, Chemical Youth (we are rebellion) the fastest and hardest from here and the last one I will remember (just listen to the voice of Geoff Tate ) absolute stunning. So my rate is a big 4, and recommended to every one.
Report this review (#137956)
Posted Thursday, September 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars To call Queensryche´s second album essential to any prog collection is a bit much in my world. Sure this is where their progressive tendencies were born and sure Rage for Order is a much better album than The Warning but essential ? No I don´t think so.

The eighties sound is still very much present on Rage for Order and synth have been added since The Warning. This helped to create an album that was more diverse but not as powerful as The Warning. Geoff Tate is developing his vocal skills and sound very theatrical on some of the tracks.

It´s an album I listen to very rarely these days, as it is a bit dated. Sometimes it comes of the shelf though and I always enjoy it but as soon as the album is over it goes on the shelf again, and it can be years before I listen to it again.

A good prog metal album, but wait for the next one ( Operation Mindcrime) as it is much better.

Report this review (#147999)
Posted Monday, October 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Queensryche - 'Rage for Order' 4 stars

Due to my age, I didn't know of any progressive metal bands before Dream Theater. When I eventually checked it out, I was led to Queensryche's album 'Operation Mindcrime'. Being exactly what it was made out to be, I checked out more of the recent albums and found nothing. Going backwards however, led me to much promise.

This is Chris DeGarmo's (guitarist, main arranger) essential album. I am fond of all the different ideas he came up with behind his instrument sound wise. He had some great riffs on his guitar, along with beautiful acoustic arrangements, some really dissonant pieces and even diving into some effects. His guitar work on this album is unlike any other Queensryche album, as it got a little more band oriented on subsequent albums. The song arrangements were all very good and Geoff can carry the listener through them with his now perfected vocal work. An album not to be looked over for its age, I consider this an excellent piece of music.

Report this review (#190660)
Posted Thursday, November 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Prog Metal's First Dramatic Fire

Prior to Rage for Order, several bands, Queensryche chief among them, had been dabbling in adding progressive elements into metal. But the moment that prog metal truly arrived was 1986 upon turning this LP or cassette over for side 2. The first song on that side, Neue Regel, is pure prog. Combining syncopated time acoustics, seamless transitions between quite distinct sections, intense effected vocals, and composed riffs designed in conjunction with the song, this piece announced that the band was going to jump into a new sound head first.

The style of composition is something that Queensryche did better in the late 80's than virtually anyone in metal has ever done. Unlike the majority of metal (including most prog metal and this band's debut EP), the riffs did not come first, with vocals added over the top. The multiple parts of the song clearly evolved together, with melodic themes obviously in mind, and rhythmic interplay essential for the composition. While the rhythms are rarely in complex time signature, the members set up polyrhythms between their parts that are the heart of progressive playing. Tate had managed to do this once on the EP, a little more on Warning, but here is when the style blossoms. Guitarists Chris Degarmo and Michael Wilton's leads are also clearly composed for the song here, an element that becomes their signature, and something that has evolved from the trade-off improvisation punctuated by parallel harmony leads typical of NWOBHM.

Side 2 of Rage for Order also contains Screaming in Digital, which is a virtual prototype for Pain of Salvation's masterpiece The Perfect Element. While PoS again have evolved the complexity to some degree, Geoff Tate's unmatched voice pulls off the theatrics much better. Keyboards play a much larger role in this album, again courtesy of Tate. But instead of smoothing the rough edges as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest did around the same time period (Maiden as a nice addition to their stock sound on Somewhere in Time, Priest as a commerciality grab on Turbo) the keys add darkness, thickness, and a new layer of complexity to an already complex music.

Unlike Dream Theater, who draws more on the then very popular shredder movement (led by Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai and their gazillion imitators including John Pertucci), Queensryche based their evolution by incorporating Rush and Pink Floyd into their metal. Their progressiveness is, like Devin Townsend's, vertical / harmonic, deriving from layering and composition, rather than horizontal / melodic which defines the complexity of the majority of the Dream Theater school.

Rage for Order also fixed Queensryche's perennial problem of getting mired in mid-tempo, sometimes dragging, drama for way too long. Several songs here are driving, on top of the beat rockers which offset the slower sections extremely well. At the same time, side 2's slow burners "London" and "I Will Remember" (perhaps the best Queensryche ballad of all time) still move well displaying the bands much improved songwriting skills.

Two final elements must be mentioned and are sometimes ignored. The extreme importance of harmony vocals in Queensryche's music often gets forgotten because of the power of Tate's lead voice. And yet, without the vocal interaction (which on record is a combination of Tate and Degarmo but which Degarmo pulls off perfectly live) the songs would be missing an essential element. Also, the much improved and composed drumming of Scott Rockenfield is starting to demand attention on this album, and is absolutely essential on the following album of the decade, Operation: Mindcrime.

Side 1 contains more standard melodic power metal, though improved, that had been the basis for Queensryche's previous album the Warning. The opener, Walk in the Shadows, is straight ahead metal where Tate evokes Ronnie James Dio to good effect. The Whisper is a middle eastern tinged piece that is very much reminiscent of Maiden's Powerslave. At the same time, already the prog is finding its way in on the eerie cover Gonna Get Close to You which uses the mechanical rhythms introduced on Warning's NM 156 and also on display later on Rage for Order.

Rage for Order is, in my opinion, the first true prog metal album. That alone earns it high marks, but the great songwriting, stunning performances, and perfect pacing push it near the top. The fact the Queensryche bests this album on their next effort does not diminish from the fact that this is an excellent piece of prog metal.

Report this review (#210608)
Posted Monday, April 6, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Role as simple Hard Rock when listener considers meaning of this album for Queensryche. Or, it might be understood that it is Rock album that contains a lot of parts where this album was counted very in total if it catches based on the flow in the 80's that Hard Rock and Heavy Metal caused.

If some respects are considered, it is a point to have appointed Neil Kernon to this album as a producer. And, a progressive, Kon futuristic lyrics and idea that chases the flow from the debut album and reaches with this album. And, guitar player's Chris DeGarmo makes remarks on the production of this album. These elements might surely have remarkably told the listener the revolution as the band.

Chris DeGarmo is said, "The sample of various sounds was recorded by digital and reproduced with the keyboard" as a statement for that time. The meaning of the album and the establishment of the concept might be calculated indeed as a band and be done surely. From "The Warning" to might one of big factors to accomplish revolution of band in 2 years those elements

And, the fact that appoints Neil Kernon to this album. The band might not have been at least requesting work to go to Neil Kernon by "Dokken" and "Autograph" as a real intention of the band. Arrangement and composition of idea and tune that should be done as band with this album. Those points are indeed calculated.

This album might not have been approved only by the part of advancement when thinking about the flow from which advancement and the revolution were requested as a band. Of course at that time, the meaning of various ideas, machine parts, and lyrics might have been considered to do the idea concretely. However, Neil Kernon that does good work in initial Queen exists. And, the directionality of the music that the band thought about. They might not at least follow the part of classics and there be a fact not approved either. And, when it started this album, the band might have been considering various possibilities. Details from "The Warning" to this album might have surprised the listener as music of the band that had evolved surely. Not only the part of simple Hard Rock and Heavy Metal but also these albums that completely united a progressive element as a tune remarkably showed what should be of Rock in the future that the band held at the same time as succeeding as a music character of Queensryche at that time.

Arrangement as emotional lyrics and Rock straight of "Walk In The Shadows". Or, it has a beautiful melody and a moving arrangement "I Dream In Infrared". And, it progresses while taking the rhythm of the shuffle "The Whisper". A digital part is already included in the tune and has offered the listener the evolution of the band. Kon a very futuristic "Gonna Get Close To You" digital sound has been taken to the tune. It might be a part where the band has surely exceeded the region as Rock Band. The idea has succeeded. "London" and "Screaming In Digital" that establishes the directionality of music at that time as the band might be elements that surely showed the directionality of the album. The performance that they had done told the listener to have transformed to the band by which the band had a completely progressive flow.

The music of Queensryche in the 80's was offering the listener the flow that advanced surely. As for these elements, I will be able surely to feel the process of advancement exactly. And, evolving for them might have been an act of some nature. And, the flow is connected with the work that should be able to be called their one tops by "Operation:Mindcrime".

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Posted Sunday, October 18, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars If nothing else, RAGE FOR ORDER is a fine metal release that's superior than most of its peers at the time. It's more melodic than thrash metal, and more impressive than glam metal. Still, I can't shake off the Maidenisms here; Queensryche sounds like Iron Maiden right down to the epic operatic vocals, just with glossier production.

Most of all, I hear little more than a good metal album with progressive parts being sporadic here at best. The rally cry chorus in ''We Are the Rebellion'' and the general epicness flooding ''Neue Regal'' are the highlight tracks, although prog fans will also enjoy ''London'' and ''Surgical Strike''. ''Screaming in Digital'' has some really off-kilter rhythms, but the rest of the album is standard metal tracks.

If you need a metal fix, RAGE FOR ORDER is good for that. For prog metal, this album isn't quite there especially knowing that there's MASTER OF PUPPETS that was released around that time and knowing PERFECT SYMMETRY and IMAGES AND WORDS are to come. It doesn't make me cringe, and makes me smile.

Report this review (#299063)
Posted Monday, September 13, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is 1986 in Seattle and this is heavy metal. Considered as a classic, "Rage For Order" is included in most lists of best metal albums of all-time. I agree with that, but I think this is derogatory for this album. This is progressive metal at birth. The insiration of the band is phenomenal and the songwriting has nothing to do with "The Warning". There is a unique groove which reminds even of pop artists. "Gonna Get Close To You" sounds like Prince plays neo-prog. The dramatic atmosphere in many tracks is a precursor of what happens throughout "Operation Mindcrime". The guitar melodies and riffs are innovative to say the least, especially whenever Chris DeGarmo comes in. The vocal abilities of Geoff Tate are impossible to describe. His singing/narrating style has influenced most prog metal singers from then on. Favourite tracks:"Walk In The Shadows", "I dream In Infra Red", "Neue Regel".
Report this review (#299481)
Posted Friday, September 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Rage For Order was the second full-length studio album by the Seattle based Progressive Metal band Queensr˙che. It was released 1986 and is quite a curious album that is both hailed by some fans as a masterpiece and condemned by other fans as a forgettable transitional period.

Initially it may take quite a few listens to really familiarize yourself with and grow accustomed to. If you only heard one or two Queensr˙che tracks before buying this it may be pretty confusing, unexpected and hard to absorb at first.

When the album came out a lot of Metal bands were incorporating synths into their sound, and indeed a lot of lighter more pop orientated metal bands were coming out and getting radio success yet this synth filled late eighties metal album doesn't really sound anything like either of the aforementioned styles. Additionally, it also came out just before the real first wave of Prog Metal bands had gained momentum and doesn't share many sonic similarities there either.

The actual music has gotten fairly far away from anything that a conventional Metal band would write at this point, yet isn't glam and isn't stereotypically Prog Metal either, in the sense of long songs with long shredding guitar solos. The album that the band released after this, Operation Mindcrime, actually had songs on it like `Speak' `Spreading The Disease' and `The Needle Lies' that were much closer to the traditional spirit of metal than anything on Rage For Order.

Stylistically, the music on this record is relatively dark, brief and quiet restrained in parts. There are moments of hard metal riffs and blazing guitar solos but they are very few and far between. It incorporates a lot of artificial sounds and synth work but in a completely different way to how the likes of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden did at the time and is more unique in its implementation of the controversial instrument.

Rage For Order delivers its dystopian themed messages of paranoia and societal-breakdown in an atmospheric and for the most part vocal-led way, that almost recalls Marillion and the solo career of Roger Waters in as much as the vocal and lyrical content takes center stage quite often and a lot of import is placed on Geoff Tate's diction and emphasis.

Luckily however, Geoff Tate is a remarkably diverse and talented singer with the skill and range to carry off such an album well. The more you get into the nuances of his performance and the polyrhythmic interplay between him and all the other band members, the more the album opens itself up to you as a listener.

Highlights include `Chemical Youth (We Are The Rebellion)' `Screaming In Digital' and `Surgical Strike.'

In summary, this isn't an album that really fits in neatly into one little box, and in that sense it embodies the true spirit of progressive music. No one had made an album like this before; it was music that literally nothing else sounded like. The evocative, melodic and richly textured music can take a good few listens to really "get," but it sure is worth giving it that chance.

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Posted Saturday, May 19, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars There are a few times in my life when I can recall hearing something so unlike anything I had heard before that I was instantly amazed and hooked: Judas Priest's Screaming for Vengeance (quite a change from AC/DC and Van Halen), Metallica's Ride the Lightning (my first Metallica album), Nine Inch Nail's Further Down the Spiral (hadn't heard The Downward Spiral yet), Yes's Close to the Edge. And this album: Queensryche, Rage for Order.

I had been a heavy metal fan for four or five years. I was 15 years old and I tried to learn as much as I could about this form of music that I had embraced, from the poppier stuff like Boston and Bon Jovi to the extreme stuff like Celtic Frost and Bathory. I picked up Queensryche's debut ep the moment I heard about it, eager to hear this new band, and I loved it so much I wrote a short essay in grade 8 English class why I thought Queensryche were a top-class metal band. Though not as heavy, The Warning stretched out the soundscape more with the long tune No Sanctuary and the futuristic NM 156. While other metal bands were all about leather, spikes, chains and - in the case of W.A.S.P - saw blades on the crotch, Queensryche were more sophisticated and intellectual it seemed. No thrusting pelvic saw blades at the female members of the audience for these guys!

When Rage for Order came out, I was excited. But nothing could prepare me for what this recording held on its magnetic tape or the photos on the inlay card. What the heck was this? The band was in leather but long leather coats, high fashion leather boots, and decked out in leather gloves. Their hair was long but styled in a way that made them look like heavy metal corporate wizzos from the far future - say the year 2,000. I wasn't sure if I liked this new level of sophistication or what it meant. Did they look a bit too... womanly? Was this sophisticated glam?

The first track, Walk in the Shadows totally rocked. I Dream in Infra Red had some beautiful acoustic guitar and a powerful chorus with music that built up through the guitar solo and climaxed with the following chorus. And what lyrics! "As you woke this morning and opened up your eyes / Did you notice the tear stains lining your face were mine?" Had he been crying on her face that night?

But it was the fourth track that really left me reeling. Gonna Get Close to You was minimalistic musically with a steady solid drum beat and simple bass line, rapidly scratched high tone guitar and some synthesizer, with some heavy bits thrown in at the appropriate places. It was not metal. It was not techno either though it sounded more like it than it did metal. It was the most unusual thing I had heard on any metal album and I liked it. Somehow this sound made my music collection different from the AC/DC-Motley Crue rockers at school.

The rest of the album includes some other enjoyable and intriguing tunes like London and the acoustic ballad I Will Remember ("An orbit survey finds your mind"); however, it was the futuristic rocker Screaming in Digital, with its voices and sound effects that painted a haunting picture of life in the future where computer minds feel sadly inferior to humans ("Am I the son that you've always been wanting?"). Or perhaps is that that humans discover how similar they are to computers?

Musically, the album is very cohesive. It has excellent metal guitar and riffs, wild solos, Geoff Tate's operatic vocals, acoustic guitar, and some cool drum parts, as well as sound effects. But it was the use of synthesizer and perhaps guitar and bass synthesizer that really challenged me to like this album. I was dead against synthesizer, preferring the classic two- guitar (or one guitar), bass, drums, vocals bands I heard from 1982 to 84. Then Van Halen came out with Jump and 1984 and Def Leppard used synthesizers. Ugh! That's why thrash metal was so successful as a backlash against this new heavy metal with keyboards. But on this Queensryche album, synthesizers were used mostly for atmosphere or effects, and when they were an integral part of the music as a rhythm instrument, it actually sounded good. It worked!

I just listened to this album from start to finish for the first time in probably 15 to 20 years and in the context of a progressive metal album I could really sense that these guys were trying to introduce us to something new. They had a vision of heavy metal some ten years or more into the future and tried to tell us about it in 1986. I don't think any of their other albums captured an atmosphere of something so fresh and new as well as Rage for Order did.

There might be a couple of fillers on here but even the songs I previously passed by have parts that stand out for their musical ingenuity. It's not a perfect album, but I would consider it a landmark album. What others were only just figuring out, Queensryche took and made intelligent and advanced. From me, 5 stars.

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Posted Saturday, August 4, 2012 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars RAGE FOR ORDER is the third release (counting the debut EP) from QUEENSRYCHE and the point in their discography where they decided to break away from the blatant NWOBHM influences and started to incorporate many progressive elements to their music. These elements include liberal use of keyboards and more social and political lyrics with an overall futuristic feel to the album. Very cutting edge for a metal band in 1986. Looking at the photo of the band in the liner notes they look like a typical glam metal band of the era but they were anything but.

This band was strong from the start always writing well crafted songs with adrenoline soaked energy to drive them hard and heavy. Geoff Tate's vox box is still the star with the chugging riffs (still of NWOBHM influence) but the unorthodox sound effects and keyboards take a greater role in the ideas and song structures. Although I wouldn't call this full-fledged progressive metal I would call it a sort of proto-prog metal where the band was in transition from their earlier sound to that which would be more developed on OPERATION: MINDCRIME. Still for me this is a solid release where despite seeming like it hasn't developed its full potential I still find almost every track memorable.

Report this review (#1085543)
Posted Tuesday, December 3, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars Rage for Order is where I and the critical consensus around Queensryche part ways - whilst many consider it a substantial improvement over The Warning and an important stepping stone on the way to fan favourite album Operation: Mindcrime. I agree to the extent that this is a transitional album between the sound of their debut and Operation: Mindcrime; my basic disagreement is that I do not consider this an improvement. Whereas The Warning left me energised, Rage For Order leaves me cold, not quite feeling progressive enough to scratch the progressive metal itch and feeling a little too calculated to be an enjoyable bit of melodic metal. Plus I find that at this point Geoff Tate's singing style starts to lurch into self-parody.
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Posted Wednesday, September 7, 2016 | Review Permalink

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