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QUEENSRYCHE

Progressive Metal • United States


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Queensr˙che biography
Quite simply, Queensryche was one of the essential bands in the development of progressive metal. Merging the metal of Iron Maiden with the atmospheres of Pink Floyd, the band created what may still be the quintessential metal concept album, OPERATION: MINDCRIME. The band's sound has centered on the operatic vocals of Geoff Tate singing over numerous versions of heavy rock over a 30 year career.

Starting in the early 1980's in Seattle, Washington, guitarists Chris Degarmo and Michael Wilton, along with bassist Eddie Jackson and drummer Scott Rockenfield, were in a cover band, the Mob, cutting their teeth on the work of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. Singer Geoff Tate of local progressive bands Babylon and the Myth was brought in sporadically for gigs and then an EP. The EP, fueled by the anthemic "Queen of the Reich" gained the band national exposure. The band acquired Tate permanently, changed their name in honor of their then signature song, and were signed to EMI.

Initially tagged as an Iron Maiden descendent, Queensryche folded in more and more progressive influences under Tate and DeGarmo's direction on the LPs THE WARNING and RAGE FOR ORDER. The latter is one of several albums that may be considered the first true progressive metal album, as it melded keyboards, conceptual themes, and more complex song structures. However, Queensryche's defining moment was the full concept album from 1988, OPERATION: MINDCRIME. Its ambitious story covered government, religion, sex, drugs, and mental illness. The interconnected songs included an over ten minute epic, several MTV hit singles, and fueled the band's rise supporting several of the top metal tours of the time.

The following album, EMPIRE, took an intentionally more commercial tone and catapulted the band to major arenas where they performed MINDCRIME in its entirety as a headliner. The Pink Floyd influenced single "Silent Lucidity" was one of the major hits of the year. This would be the band's peak with eclectic PROMISED LAND being the last of the band's classic era. Musical tastes had changed, and the band attempted unsuccessfully to accommodate to alternative / grunge with HEAR IN THE NOW FRONTIER. DeGarmo left the band soon after, and Queensryche has had an up and down career. TRIBE and OPERATION: MINDCRIME II were much better received than their predecessors, and the band's continuing tours have included co-headlining with fellow prog-metal pioneers Dream Theater. Though never reac...
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QUEENSRYCHE shows & tickets


  • Welcome to Rockville Festival on 25 Apr 2015
  • Bang Your Head!!! 2015 on 16 Jul 2015
  • Metaldays 2015 on 19 Jul 2015
  • Alcatraz Metal Festival 2015 on 8 Aug 2015

QUEENSRYCHE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

QUEENSRYCHE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.63 | 207 ratings
The Warning
1984
3.99 | 261 ratings
Rage For Order
1986
4.22 | 797 ratings
Operation: Mindcrime
1988
3.75 | 305 ratings
Empire
1990
3.98 | 285 ratings
Promised Land
1994
2.48 | 150 ratings
Hear In The Now Frontier
1997
2.05 | 132 ratings
Q2K
1999
3.13 | 141 ratings
Tribe
2003
3.24 | 191 ratings
Operation : Mindcrime II
2006
2.15 | 92 ratings
Take Cover
2007
2.84 | 140 ratings
American Soldier
2009
2.03 | 117 ratings
Dedicated To Chaos
2011
2.04 | 60 ratings
Frequency Unknown
2013
3.63 | 70 ratings
Queensryche
2013

QUEENSRYCHE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.68 | 47 ratings
Live Evolution
2001
4.49 | 90 ratings
Operation: Livecrime
2001
2.62 | 25 ratings
The Art Of Live
2004
3.00 | 27 ratings
Mindcrime at the Moore
2007
2.50 | 2 ratings
Extended Versions
2007

QUEENSRYCHE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.41 | 57 ratings
Operation: LIVEcrime
1991
3.75 | 22 ratings
Live Evolution
2001
4.61 | 78 ratings
Operation: LIVEcrime
2001
2.15 | 23 ratings
The Art Of Live
2004
3.73 | 28 ratings
Mindcrime at The Moore
2007

QUEENSRYCHE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.64 | 36 ratings
Greatest Hits
2000
1.40 | 11 ratings
Classic Masters
2003
1.50 | 2 ratings
Face To Face
2006
3.41 | 22 ratings
The Best Of Queensryche: Sign Of The Times
2007

QUEENSRYCHE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.33 | 108 ratings
Queensr˙che
1983
3.87 | 15 ratings
Anybody Listening?
1992

QUEENSRYCHE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Take Cover by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 2007
2.15 | 92 ratings

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Take Cover
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I'm really not a fan of cover albums unless the songs have been reworked in a very creative and unique way beyond the parameters of the original intent. QUEENSRYCHE released their tenth studio album TAKE COVER which is admittedly a clever name for an album totally devoted to their take on other's music. There's quite a range of artists COVERed here ranging from Pink Floyd to Black Sabbath to The Police and Peter Gabriel to even the O'Jays. The range of influences is great but there are a few factors which really keep me from getting excited about this album one of which is the fact i'm really not a fan of all cover songs for albums!

Firstly, Geoff Tate's vocals just don't sound right to me on some of the arrangements that were clearly constructed around the original vocalists abilities. This includes "Red Rain," "Welcome To The Machine" and "Neon Knights." Secondly, I don't think the band adds much to the way of creative interpretations for the most part. There are a few exceptions. I think they do take some creative license on Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth" and "For The Love Of Money" from the O'Jays.

Where I think the band shine especially with Geoff Tate's vocals is where they have always been at home and that is with the more operatic type of music and that is displayed quite well on Carlo Marrale's "Odissea." This is my favorite track on the entire album. I know some will find this album satisfying but I really have no desire to hear a whole album of QUEENSRYCHE doing covers. I do appreciate a well-crafted cover song slipped into an otherwise original album but despite being a hardcore fan (up to "Promised Land" anyways) I have no desire to ever hear this one.

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 Live Evolution by QUEENSRYCHE album cover DVD/Video, 2001
3.75 | 22 ratings

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Live Evolution
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by SteveG

3 stars Look how the mighty have fallen.

Live Evolution is a terrific overview of the band that I consider to be THE Progressive Metal rock band. It also chronicles the band's quick decline in the late nineties and is an indicator of why the band are the way they are today. Fragmented.

First off, the sound on this live album is too good to be true. However, I was informed by a friend that this live outing was taken from a DVD of the concert, so let's assume that Queensryche were having an exceptionally good night.

This 2001 concert is chronological and starts off with great tracks from their debut EP and Warning album. These songs, such as London and Screaming In Digital, already have signs of progginess to them, even if they are very dependent on bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden for their inspiration. What makes these songs attractive is that they are smartly pulled out from the lesser tracks of those two albums while possessing great hooks and Geoff Tate's immediately likable and dynamic vocals. In fact, the backing vocals from Michael Wilton and Eddie Jackson (guitar and bass, respectively) are stellar as well and add tremendously to the songs.

And adding is a key word with Queensryche. This live set admirably showcases just how effective Jackson and drummer Scott Rockenfield were as a rhythm section. Their incredible skills add to the music and never distract from it as overplayers like Portnoy and Myung from Dream Theater are apt to do times.

Another added dimension is the twin lead guitar work that was such a part of the eighties metal sound and has now been transferred to Queensryche courtesy of Wilton and new man Kelly Gray, who replaced long time member Chris DeGamo.

The concert deftly captures the band doing the best songs (and hits) from albums Operation Mindcrime, Empire and The Promised Land before the band inevitably run out of steam by the time the concert winds down with the dull material from Hear In The Now Frontier and Q2K.

What is immediately apparent is the band jumping back and forth from slick production and hooks to moody atmosphere and more bluesy playing, while losing their way. Permanently. Even the best songs from these two later albums sound subpar compared to the Mindcrime and Empire set.

Live Evolution may not be an essential album if you have Queensryche's key studio albums, but it does show exactly where the band went down hill and possibly why. 3 stars.

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 Operation : Mindcrime II by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.24 | 191 ratings

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Operation : Mindcrime II
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars OPERATION MINDCRIME II is the sequel to the the 1988 classic and the ninth studio album by QUEENSRYCHE. The story picks up where the first left off where Nikki is arrested for the murder of his favorite prostitute turned nun Sister Mary. The story picks up faithfully 18 years later as he is released from prison and seeks the ultimate revenge on none other than Dr X who single-handedly flushed his life down the big crapper. We get a reprise from Pamela Moore as Sister Mary and even a cameo from Ronnie James Dio who takes on the unflattering role of Dr X. The band was in the midst of all the 2000s drama at this point. Chris DeGarmo, who briefly reunited with the band on "Tribe" butted heads with Geoff Tate and left for good. Due to diminishing sales the band retreated to one of their most respected albums and decided to make a sequel. Well not really. This seems to be a Geoff Tate project with the other members in name only. This was a studio musician affair with Rockenfield and Wilton's tracks being re-recorded by others and it sounds like it.

I have to admit that I was excited when this was released and even liked it at first, however even upon first listen it is immediately apparent that this is far inferior to the 1988 classic. The story is the best part as it explains a lot about what happened to the characters and even some of the individual tracks are pretty good. Even now I still find this an ok listen, but after repeated listens this definitely loses some of its luster. I find it safe to say that disappoints despite my overwhelming desire to want to like it. I love tracks like "I'm American," "If I Could Change It All" and "Fear City Side" and a few others are ok-ish, but many of these are really not that great and the charade of how it was made becomes more apparent upon every spin. I really wish this could have been made in the 90s perhaps after "Empire" when the band was still at their peak and DeGarmo was on board but as history has unfolded it was not to be and in the process this is a very mixed album for me. OK but not great. Does it diminish the original? Hell no. I can still listen to that at any given moment and be floored and this only becomes weaker and weaker YET it isn't a total waste of time either.

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 Tribe by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.13 | 141 ratings

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Tribe
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars After the Q2K train wreck, QUEENSRYCHE took a few years off to get their sheeeeet together. They opted to keep the alternative rock sound going for a third album in a row which is kind of a shame since it's my least favorite era from them but I have to admit that third time's a charm and they got the sound right this time, at least for them. After a gazillion other things plaguing the band including Chris DeGarmo exiting stage left, not only did they survive the cataclysm but mended relations with DeGarmo so that he contributed guitar parts to some of the tracks on their eighth studio album TRIBE. Not exactly a full-fledged reunion but enough to prove a very salient point about the band known as QUEENSRYCHE. It is clear to me that DeGarmo was one of the major ingredients that made this band so magical. It is the albums that he is on that I like best and the rest are just missing that extra mojo to make it special.

TRIBE only reinforces this belief because it is the songs that DeGarmo contributes to that I find most appealing. There are exceptions like the title track. Although I find this album to have way too much filler, some of the tracks are actually quite good. I love "Open," "Losing Myself" "Tribe" and "Desert Dance." Scott Rockenfield's tribal drumming along with the grungy guitars and interesting bass lines is something hitherto never tried before as far as I know especially in an alternative rock context and Geoff Tate has honed his vocals at the point to fit in with this lower register type of music. Overall a good comeback after my least favorite album from the group but unfortunately nothing on here compares to "Promised Land" and before. Still a reason not to write them off entirely for a glimmer of hope has been sparked and some good tracks to boot. Unfortunately Geoff Tate and Chris DeGarmo butted heads a few times too many and DeGarmo departed for good after this brief reunification.

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 Q2K by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 1999
2.05 | 132 ratings

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Q2K
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

2 stars After the lackluster sales of the previous album "Hear In The Now Frontier" where QUEENSRYCHE decided to abandon their progressive metal sensibilities and jump into the world of alternative rock when Seattle grunge was ruling the world, they were forced to finance their touring obligations due to EMI America Records going bankrupt and as a result Chris DeGarmo saw the writing on the wall and jumped ship before the great fall which takes place on Q2K. He was replaced with Kelly Gray who only stuck around for this one album. Q2K is really the first time the band stuck to the same formula for two albums in a row and what a terrible decision it turned out to be.

This is one of those albums that I played once and was so disappointed after one listen that I got rid of my CD and totally wrote off this band. Recently I have been relistening to the albums that came after "Promised Land" to see if I was too hasty in my initial reactions. Well, I was surprised that I liked the previous album much better than I remembered but I cannot say the same for this one. Unlike that one this one has really no tracks that I can get into. If you want to experience an album where the musicianship is top notch and the songs are at the zenith mediocre then check out this millennial turkey. The album cover implies some kind of cool futuristic, even electronic metal fusion or something experimental. I was hoping for an album of electronic metal kinda like the song "Disconnected" from "Promised Land," but this is really no more than a bunch of very well played generic alternative rock tracks. I get a one star enjoyment value out of this one but because this is so well played I will bump it up to 2.

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 Hear In The Now Frontier by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 1997
2.48 | 150 ratings

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Hear In The Now Frontier
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Of all the possible musical directions QUEENSRYCHE could have taken on their sixth studio album HEAR IN THE NOW FRONTIER from the previous album "Promised Land," no one could have predicted that they would leave all those experimental meanderings behind to try something completely new. Well, new to them anyways. The musical world had changed drastically in the early 90s and moderately progressive melodic metal just wasn't the cat's meow any longer. The band went the way of many 80s bands trying to sally forth into a strange new musical landscape by stripping down their sound to fit in with the explosion of grunge and alternative rock. Ironically the band who emerged from Seattle was being upstaged by a whole new breed of angry rockers from their very own turf. For this release they even managed to record the album in the home studio of Stone Gossard from Pearl Jam and then it was mixed by Toby Wright who had helped Alice In Chains make it big. The result of this radical direction change was not one that pleased a skeptical fan base who thought they knew what their favorite band sounded like, but now they weren't so sure.

Upon first listen I was as disgusted by this album as anyone else. I mean who would have thunk this? QUEENSRYCHE? Famous for rock operas and sophisti-metal doing grunge? Oh gimme a break! Well, I wrote this album off for many years but I have been giving it a spin and re-evaluating it and I have to say that it's not as bad as my first impressions made it out to be. True, it will hardly go down as their crowning achievement but once again they do manage to deliver extremely well written melodic performances albeit stripped down. They definitely prove here that they have the basic skills of songwriting down pat and no further embellishment is necessary. OK, point well taken. I can get on board with their bold and brash ability to constantly reinvent themselves. I love bands that do just that. So what's holding me back from liking this more?

I have to say I think the problem stems not from the fact that they did a complete left turn to create a new sound. That is not the issue here at all. I think the problem lies in the fact that they are simply overqualified as musicians to be doing this kind of less demanding stuff. Geoff Tate's operatic vocal ability over the simpler riffing and song structure is as surreal as the ear-covered desolate landscape gracing the album cover and liner notes. This album is tantamount to the London Symphony Orchestra playing nursery rhymes at a kid's birthday party or Yes doing a full performance of "Close To The Edge" only reggae style at a flea market. There are actually a few songs here I really like. I totally dig "Sign Of The Times," "Hit The Black," "Anytime / Anywhere" and "spOOL." No individual tracks are bad but the album is a bit samey and lacks enough diverse elements to justify the nearly 60 minute experience. It's true that if this WAS a Pearl Jam or Nivana album, it would be fantastic but this is QUEENSRYCHE. Everybody expected more. OK. I'm down with experimentation and all and I give this one a passing grade, it's just not an album I find myself wanting to hear very often. I always go back to the albums that came before.

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 Promised Land by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.98 | 285 ratings

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Promised Land
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars After the grueling touring schedule of the previous years with the huge success of "Operation: Mindcrime" and "Empire," QUEENSRYCHE took a few years to take a much needed break and reflect on the experience of becoming a huge band on the world scene and all the pressures that go with it. The exhausting experience saw the band feeling no hurry to release any new material and so hard was it to get the whole band together that much of the album was recorded as individual tracks that were sewn together at the end to create a sum of the parts. The result is one of the most experimental albums of the band's career covering the diverse aspects of the band's past as well as incorporating a whole score of new sounds and ideas into the mix. The album may seem a little disjointed compared to the finely tuned focus of "Mindcrime" or the more commercial sound of "Empire" but despite not giving this a spin often, when I do I seem to like this album more each time and it has emerged as one of my favorites.

The album opens with a strange musique concrete intro followed by the only two real metal tracks on the album that could easily fit on one of the earlier albums. The first one of which "I Am I" has the addition of a sitar which signifies not only is QUEENSRYCHE back with gusto but that things are different this time around. After two hearty metal rockers the tides change completely and we get two acoustic rock tracks. "Out Of Mind" is a melodic spacey track about seeing the world from the confines of a nursing home as seen by the throwaway elders in US culture and "Bridge" is an apparent therapy session of Geoff Tate (I presume) about his relationship with his dad (or lack thereof). After this set we are treated to two of my favorite tracks on the album "PROMISED LAND" which is a long sprawling feast of sounds with saxophones and an excellent production and "Disconnected" which is a hint of a anesthetized paranoid schizophrenic unable to plug into the real world. The following track is a scrumptiously beautiful piano ballad called "Lady Jane" which like most of the track has nothing to do with the others. "One More Time" is another well written track that didn't appeal to me at first but since has become quite appreciated. The only track I still can't get into is the final one "Someone Else" which is yet another piano ballad. The melodic developments just don't hit me although it may work well for others.

Easily the strangest and all-over-the-map album by QUEENSRYCHE with a roller coaster's ride of ideas and musical implementations. I initially didn't warm up to this album because it was so different and not what I expected but after many years of coming back to it I find it has taken root and unleashed itself in a new way into my psyche. Unfortunately this would be the last great album by this band as we see the great fall into the musical dross beginning with next release as many an 80s band totally lost their way and soul. This would have been a great album to go out on but instead we got two decades of less than stellar releases and bitter battles between band members. 4.5 rounded down

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 Promised Land by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.98 | 285 ratings

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Promised Land
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by twalsh

4 stars This is my first review on PA and I thought I would choose an album that I knew on a pretty deep level. I purchased this still feeling flush with the excitement of Operation: Mindcrime and impressed, but not blown away, by Empire. This is a long way from a METAL album and I wonder if I would have given it a chance if I was not already impressed by Queensryche's prior material, since I was still in a period of life where I wanted most music I heard to be HEAVY.

Great Tracks: Promised Land, Someone Else, One More Time, Lady Jane, Damaged

Good Tracks: I Am I, Disconnected, My Global Mind, 9:28am (not really a track; it sets the atmosphere for the rest of the songs)

Weaker Tracks: Out of Mind, Bridge

I'm not the best to evaluate how 'progressive' an album is. I tend to go for intelligent music, with reasonable complexity, thoughtful lyrics, some heaviness (or a lot of heaviness!) and emotionally dynamic. If most of these elements are present, I'm probably going to like it. Promised Land has all these elements. What stand out most for me are the beauty in the songs that accompanies a dark emotional tone. Geoff's vocals may be at their peak here and drive the emotional tone of the songs. The lyrics really stuck with me on many of the tracks, where I found myself identifying strongly on an emotional level. That said, the 'proggiest' tracks are probably Promised Land and Someone Else

From Disconnected, I loved the slightly tongue in cheek:

Maybe all I need beside my pills and the surgery is a new metaphor for reality.

And the title track, hinting at the failure of the "American Dream" and its emptiness

Watching the sand fall, listening for the knock upon my door, and waiting...for Promised Land. Standing neck deep in life, my ring of brass lay rusting on the floor.Is this all? Because it's not what I expected.

I could include so many more lyrical gems. Songs cover psychic pain, mental illness, hopes and dreams (and disappointment with same) and relationships. They feel loosely connected, from one person's grasping to understand where they fit in the world. Worth a listen, to both the words and the lyrics.

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 Empire by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.75 | 305 ratings

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Empire
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Gaining huge popularity with the success of OPERATION: MINDCRIME that actually spawned a few MTV hits, I guess it was inevitable that the scope of that project burned them out and QUEENSRYCHE decided to make a light and less complex follow-up to their intense rock opera. Overall it's less impressive on every level. There is no unified theme or concept. Geoff Tate's vocals have less range and passion. The songs are a mixed bag with some being much more interesting than others. Chris DeGarmo was the man behind this album and he steered the mighty musical vessel firmly into the Billboard charts with catchy less progressive tunes that MTV played to death. They even scored a top 10 hit with 'Silent Lucidity.'

This is one of those albums that I don't love but have to admit that I do like many tracks. If some of the filler was trimmed off it might actually be an excellent album albeit inferior to the previous releases. I'm particularly fond of 'The Thin Line,' 'Resistance,' 'Hand On Heart,' 'Anybody Listening?' and the title track. The rest is actually ok but pretty weak if you think of QUEENSRYCHE as even remotely progressive metal. I haven't listened to this in quite some and it brings back memories of the 90s and all and serves that purpose but if I have to rate this on the music alone and trying to judge its merit on a timeless basis then I just don't think this release qualifies to be overly praised, however they do succeed in keeping this album just interesting enough that I wouldn't want to throw it out of my collection either.

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 Rage For Order  by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.99 | 261 ratings

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Rage For Order
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

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.

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