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QUEENSRYCHE

Progressive Metal • United States


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Queensr˙che picture
Queensr˙che biography
Founded in Bellevue, Washington, USA in 1981 (as The Mob)

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-headli...
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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)

3.69 | 268 ratings
The Warning
1984
4.02 | 335 ratings
Rage For Order
1986
4.24 | 1028 ratings
Operation: Mindcrime
1988
3.77 | 387 ratings
Empire
1990
3.95 | 361 ratings
Promised Land
1994
2.53 | 199 ratings
Hear In The Now Frontier
1997
2.19 | 170 ratings
Q2K
1999
3.06 | 180 ratings
Tribe
2003
3.23 | 239 ratings
Operation : Mindcrime II
2006
2.16 | 120 ratings
Take Cover
2007
2.79 | 180 ratings
American Soldier
2009
1.91 | 150 ratings
Dedicated To Chaos
2011
2.00 | 95 ratings
Frequency Unknown
2013
3.51 | 105 ratings
Queensr˙che
2013
3.67 | 92 ratings
Condition Hüman
2015
3.64 | 37 ratings
The Verdict
2019

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

3.82 | 48 ratings
Live Evolution
2001
4.48 | 116 ratings
Operation: Livecrime
2001
2.61 | 31 ratings
The Art Of Live
2004
3.30 | 35 ratings
Mindcrime at the Moore
2007
2.50 | 2 ratings
Extended Versions
2007

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

4.56 | 63 ratings
Operation: LIVEcrime
1991
3.72 | 24 ratings
Live Evolution
2001
4.63 | 89 ratings
Operation: LIVEcrime
2001
2.35 | 28 ratings
The Art Of Live
2004
3.87 | 25 ratings
Mindcrime at The Moore
2007

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

3.72 | 33 ratings
Greatest Hits
2000
1.40 | 11 ratings
Classic Masters
2003
1.50 | 2 ratings
Face To Face
2006
3.61 | 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)

3.38 | 137 ratings
Queensr˙che
1983
4.07 | 15 ratings
Anybody Listening?
1992

QUEENSRYCHE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Verdict by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.64 | 37 ratings

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The Verdict
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars After a 4 year break, Queensryche released their 16th album in March of 2019 called "The Verdict". The band started out in 1984 during the rise of Hair Metal, but their music was a huge step above the typical commercial metal sound of the 80s, because from the beginning, they had a progressive level to their music and they helped launch the Progressive Metal sub- genre. In 1990, they released their most popular album "Empire" and decided to move more towards an accessible sound, but even then, they were able to find a great balance by incorporating progressive sounds from the 70s. After that, however, they had a hard time copying the success of that album. Many people don't even know that they are still out there putting out new music and touring, except for their loyal fans. However, their music has always had a level of quality to it.

One of the things that helped Queensryche stand out was Geoff Tate's unique vocals. He was classically trained as a singer and had that operatic style. However, in 2013, Tate left the band and lawsuits followed. The band has a new vocalist since that time, Todd La Torre. Three of the original members of the band are still full time members, however, they are Michael Wilton on lead guitar, Eddie Jackson on bass and backing vocals, and Scott Rockenfield on drums. Scott, however, is taking paternal leave from the band, and in the interim, vocalist Todd plays drums in studio, and Casey Grillo from "Kamelot" plays drums on live shows. Parker Lundgren has been with the band since 2009 and plays rhythm guitar and backing vocals.

So, how is the new album then? Well, as most Queensryche fans know, LaTorre's vocals are quite similar to Tate's, and a regular listener would have a hard time hearing a difference. The first two tracks, "Blood of the Levant" and "Man the Machine" are your basic Queensryche fast and heavy tracks, sounding somewhat similar to the early years, but short and somewhat radio ready, at least in the heavy metal genre. Things don't get interesting until the 3rd track "Light-years" which definitely stands out beginning a bit more atmospheric and building from that. LaTorre gets to show off a bit more with some heaviness and emotional screaming, but nothing over the top. "Inside Out" is also better with a moderate beat at first and some cool harmonies and with the chorus being faster. You can hear a Sabbath influence, but with a bit of Alice in Chains in the harmonies. The guitar break is very nice as the heaviness actually abates a bit allowing it to sing out better.

"Propaganda Fashion" has a great Progressive sound with a more complex melody, vocal effects and alternating meters. It would have better with even more development over extended time. "Dark Reverie" starts out more like a ballad, but dark sounding as the title suggests. It might be an attempt at "Silent Lucidity" and the synths that show up from time to time might also indicate that. It is more a song of its own though, not as good as "SL" but it's still good. It is at its best when LaTorre belts out the vocals with emotion. "Bent" is the longest track at just under 6 minutes. It goes for a much heavier and progressive sound. There is time for great development here, with great vocals that sound like early Queensryche and also great guitar and progressive passages.

"Inner Unrest" continues with a great progressive and heavy sound. This continues in "Launder the Conscience". The album ends with a more lush sound on "Portrait", again with their trademark harmonies. It's a nice quieter track, but still with some muscle behind it, and also a great closer for the album.

Queensryche has always been a band that relies a lot on their vocals. Tate did an excellent job with vocals and lyrics and left just enough time for guitars and other instruments to do their solos. But the music has always been lyrics-heavy. That was why his voice is so important. I have to say that LaTorre does a pretty good job at doing this too, but, even though he has a decent and strong voice, there is that difference there that makes LaTorre sound more like Bruce Dickinson from "Iron Maiden" at times. It's a decent balance though, and it works. They have done a much better job at incorporating LaTorre into the classic Queensryche sound on this album, at times you almost think you are listening to the classic band. "The Verdict" is not a perfect album, but it is one of the band's better albums and has plenty of heaviness and progressiveness, with a few softer sections. This album is better than I was expecting, quite honestly.

 Operation : Mindcrime II by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.23 | 239 ratings

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Operation : Mindcrime II
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by patrickq

2 stars It's a bit trite to knock the sequel for not being as good as the original. But if the original Operation: Mindcrime (1988) wasn't so great, this album would probably not have been had presented as a sequel. Put another way: bands rarely make sequels to their albums. And when they do make a sequel, years later, it shouldn't be a surprise when they choose an original that's considered a classic.

I ordered Operation: Mindcrime II the minute it became available. And I hated it. Looking back, I'm not sure what I could have expected, but whatever that was, the album didn't deliver.

But in retrospect, this album isn't quite as bad as it originally seemed to me. The main fault of Operation: Mindcrime II is its lackluster compositions. Whereas the original fused heavy metal and heavy melody, the sequel's attempts at hooks falls flat. To be fair, Operation: Mindcrime II is, in some aspects of, as good as the original. There are several nice segues between tracks, for example; and there's some really good singing dialogue between vocalist Geoff Tate and Pamela Moore (who reprises her role from the original) and between Tate and Ronnie James Dio.

In concept, Operation: Mindcrime II might come across as a money grab by a once-successful band hoping to regain its onetime glory. And in actuality , that might have been exactly what it was. In any event, judged on its own merits, Operation: Mindcrime II is a two-star album: not as bad as it seems at first, but not very good either.

 Operation: Mindcrime by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 1988
4.24 | 1028 ratings

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Operation: Mindcrime
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by patrickq

5 stars I'm not much of a Queensryche fan, and neither do I care much for metal, progressive or otherwise. But to me, Operation: Mindcrime is a genuine masterpiece of rock music.

To me, there are three components by which to judge an album: composition, production, and performance, and all three are excellent on Operation: Mindcrime.

In terms of production, Operation: Mindcrime had a great sound when it was first released on CD in 1988. In particular, the album is mixed well, especially given that on most songs, there's more going on than one part each from a singer and four instrumentalists. In addition to an orchestra and choir on "Suite Sister Mary," there are additional guitar and synthesizer parts sweetening many of the tracks. And then there is the expansive use of backing and harmony vocals. Finally, the rhythm section (bassist Eddie Jackson and drummer Scott Rockenfield) sounds fantastic throughout. I'm not sure whether the band wanted to work with producer Peter Collins because of his symphonic inclinations, or whether Operation: Mindcrime sounds symphonic because of him. Either way, even given the ambitious album concept, the production and arrangements are themselves ambitious, and Collins proved up to the task.

The performances are also very, very good. This includes, in particular, the lead guitar work, shared by Michael Wilton and Chris DeGarmo, and the vocal performances by Geoff Tate.

But, of course, great playing and great production will only get an album so far. The strength of Operation: Mindcrime is in its composition. The album is neither a libretto-focused musical, nor simply a thematic collection of songs. It's a bona-fide concept album with a storyline and distinct characters, although it takes a few listens to figure this out. At the same time, most of the songs stand by themselves; two even made the Billboard rock-airplay top 40. Interestingly, these two ("Eyes of a Stranger" and "I Don't Believe In Love") are the last two proper songs on the album, and in my opinion, are two of the weaker songs here. The best is the dark, baroque "Suite Sister Mary," the nearly 11-minute centerpiece of the album - - but even without this track, Operation: Mindcrimewould be an excellent work.

There must be some who think that Operation: Mindcrime is self-important pomp - - and I suppose that's true. With its sound effects, instrumental interludes, and guest vocalists, combined with Tate's sometimes stiff, and often operatic vocal delivery, Operation: Mindcrime borders on bombast in places. But it's the kind of near-bombast I enjoy, especially as part of a self-contained work.

I unreservedly recommend Operation: Mindcrime to any fan of progressive rock music, even to listeners like me who don't ordinarily care for progressive metal. Five stars.

 Rage For Order by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 1986
4.02 | 335 ratings

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Rage For Order
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Not your average Joe's.

Tate| deGarmo and co. were pretty much untouchable from this album to 10 years later. A huge decade for them and a super treat for us. Queensryche arrived in my life as THE video of 1990 that played over and over and over and over (sigh), to the joy of womanhood probably. Yes, I'm talking about Silent Lucidity, although the song represents well the ballads they can produce, I'm more a fan of the crunchy side than their Pink Floyd side. I'm also frankly aware that I'm preaching for an album that passed me by 33 years ago but it's never too late to give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar.

So here goes: it's more than awesome.

Yes, I was happily surprised to hear the same beloved ingredients that made Mindcrime a 7-stars-out-of-5 album. And let's not be shy: there would be NO Dream Theater and their cohorts of clones without Queensryche (and Fates Warning and Rush, if if you wanna be more precise). Why they aren't more praised is beyond my comprehension, considering Limb Bizkit sold millions of records without getting out of the gutter.

Expect an album with a bit more keyboards than what they gave us later, and I think it's a shame they didn't continue with that element. Oh well, we have here a savvy blend of Pink Floyd's melody and wits matched with a tamer form of metal, compared with today's at least. It's an album much above average in terms of melody and vocal prowess from a band on top of their game. Less and less Iron Maiden and a closer approach to what Rush did with Hold Your Fire (I Dream in Infrared, Screaming in Digital for instance). Don't you think it's a shame how it ended? I know their divorce was pretty ugly, including threats to family, smelly spits in the face, fisticuffs and more; a true drama a la Beatles. Luckily, we have a testimony of high intelligence heavy rock with this album that reminds us that for a few short years, Queensryche was the best band in world. And how.

I never realized how much they contributed to the rock background until this album. A real gem.

 Operation: Mindcrime by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 1988
4.24 | 1028 ratings

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Operation: Mindcrime
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by mariorockprog

3 stars 3.5: The third album of Queensryche, the most acclaimed by the community of prog archives. I liked it, although is only a good collection of metal songs with some proggresive elements. Lyrically is really very good, it maintained you entertained, it tells the history of a drug addict that is recruited in a sect to attack some political targets with the justification of a better future. I considered it a good album, but as a prog listener I think it is missing from more prog rhythms, and a more elaborated music to fulfill my expectations of a prog band. I considered it a good album, recommended to any who is looking for an metal sound with some prog elements and a very good lyrics, but not essential at all.
 Operation: Mindcrime by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 1988
4.24 | 1028 ratings

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Operation: Mindcrime
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by Cylli Kat (0fficial)

5 stars This album set a new benchmark in the Progressive Metal canon.

I remember having the privilege of working in a music store as a guitar instructor when the manager came out with a "White Paper", Pre-Release of this album. I immediately grabbed a cassette and the first cut of the vinyl went onto my tape...

I'd already been very familiar with this Bellevue, Washington band from the first strains of The Warning, and was certainly a fan. But I was unprepared for how great this album turned out to be from concept to execution. I literally spent the summer of 1988 (much to the dismay of my girlfriend at the time and all my other friends to boot) dissecting this album and learning every nuance of every note, the meaning behind every word. I even (correctly) figured out who killed Mary...

I have adored this album from the first time I heard it, and am still overwhelmingly enamored of it. And I believe, I always will be...

An all-time classic, well deserving of a 5 star rating.

As always, your actual mileage may vary.

Grace and peace, Cylli (Jim)

 Queensr˙che by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1983
3.38 | 137 ratings

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Queensr˙che
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

2 stars Queensryche's first ever release, a four-track EP, re-released in 2003 with an additional ten live tracks, isn't anything I find particularly memorable. The main four tracks, the original portion of the record, are good, but not overly special. 'Queen of the Reich' and 'The Lady Wore Black' being the better two tracks. The musicianship and production are fairly standard of 80's metal, and are more reminiscent of the new wave of British heavy metal than the more prog-inspired style the band would later go on to adapt.

The ten live tracks are a nice touch, but ultimately that's all they are, nothing more than "a nice touch". They don't really add anything to this release and are easily forgotten about.

No doubt the band will go on to release some classic albums, especially in their early years, so this is mainly a disc for the die-hard Queensryche fans (if such a thing exists).

 Rage For Order by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 1986
4.02 | 335 ratings

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Rage For Order
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

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.
 Promised Land by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.95 | 361 ratings

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Promised Land
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Best 90's Queensr˙che album

3.5 stars

After their disastrous MTV attempt "Empire", QUEENSR?CHE decided to go back to a progressive approach on "Promised Land". However, in 1994, traditional heavy metal from the 80's was agonizing, whereas grunge, alternative rock and electronic music were greatly developing. Therefore, instead of reproducing the complex elaborated structures of "Operation: Mindcrime", the band decided to try something new by incorporating different musical styles. Still influenced by PINK FLOYD, but also by recent grunge bands such as PEARL JAM and even Eastern music, the compositions are more modern and innovative, resembling no other at the time.

Elegant and refined as always, this adventurous opus is well rooted in the 90's and not totally metal. It alternates atmospheric, gloomy, somber, melancholic, spacey, tortured and even slightly electronic passages. The range of addressed themes is also quite wide: reincarnation, isolation, alienation, madness, consumer society...

The ambient opener "9:28 A.M." is a short concrete music piece composed by drummer Scott Rockenfield. Quite surprising, the dark "I Am I" contains heavy riffing guitars and middle-eastern sonorities, installing an oppressive ambiance. Magic! The powerful "Damage Case" is great and sinister too. On the contrary, the enjoyable floydian piece "Out Of Mind" is acoustic and calm. "Bridge" narrates the relation between Chris de Garmo and his father, who died during the album recording sessions. A song also driven by the acoustic guitar, but a little boring tune. The proggiest song of the record is undoubtedly the title track, tortured and depressive. It features original elements such as discrete futuristic sonorities and especially - and for the first time - Geoff Tate playing saxophone! His solo is just mesmerizing! It's certainly not every day that you hear this jazz instrument on a metal disc.

Also pretty uncommon, "Disconnected" deals with American consumerist society and features Tate on saxophone again, supported by groovy riffing and electronic sound effects. Driven by DeGarmo's piano, "Lady Jane" is a touching power ballad about the influence of commercials. Then comes the heavy alternative rock "My Global Mind", efficient and catchy. The last two songs are unfortunately not the best part of the record. The rock ballad "One More Time" is average and a bit repetitive, whereas the acoustic closer "Someone Else?" sounds rather cheesy.

Anyway, "Promised Land" still remains adventurous and pleasant. I would like to hear this mixture of various styles more often. QUEENSR?CHE has definitely emancipated from their primary IRON MAIDEN influences here. Although uneven and containing less memorable melodies, the music is quite unique and refreshing. A genuine trip into the depths of your mind and the illnesses of modernity. Truly progressive stuff, but not by the common approach of most prog metal bands.

If you're looking for long complex metal compositions such as DREAM THEATER, this is not the one to pick. Nonetheless, if you want something original and depressive, this album is what you need. Recommended to metal or even to alternative hard rock fans!

 Operation: Mindcrime by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 1988
4.24 | 1028 ratings

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Operation: Mindcrime
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Operation: Progmetal

4.5 stars

What an evolution since "The Warning", released only four years before! Initially considered as an IRON MAIDEN rip- off, QUEENSR?CHE has simply offered to the world one of the very first metal concept album. Later, vocalist Bruce Dickinson himself will admit that MAIDEN's most progressive album of the 80's - the very good "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son" - was not as elaborated as this opus. Furthermore, people often even assimilate "Operation: Mindcrime" to a heavier version of PINK FLOYD's "The Wall". Indeed, the compositions are ambitious, elegant and refined. However, is this comparison really justified?

The lyrics narrate the story of Nikki, a former junkie frustrated with contemporary society. He will become part of a secret revolutionary organization, led by a political and religious leader nicknamed Doctor X. This mysterious demagogue manipulates Nikki with his heroin addiction and brainwashing for a political murdering operation called 'Mindcrime'. How does all this musically translate?

After the short spoken introduction "I Remember Now" comes "Anarchy-X", a powerful instrumental opening. "Revolution Calling" is a great heavy metal achievement with its uncommon drumming and beautiful guitar solo. The title track is an enjoyable mid tempo 80's hard metal with a cool bass line, whereas the aggressive and complex "Speak" is just a prog metal little gem of and features numerous changes. Then arrives "Spreading The Disease", both threatening and epic, followed by "The Mission". I'm not a big fan of this song which I find rather average.

The second half is bit darker. Longest and most progressive track, the 11 minutes theatrical "Suite Sister Mary" alternates dark and haunting atmospheres. Undoubtedly the highlight of the disc! The band's initial IRON MAIDEN roots are still slightly perceptible with the energetic "The Needle Lies". After the short ambient sung transition "Electric Requiem", "Breaking The Silence" is heroic and touching, due Geoff Tate's typical plaintive singing. "I Don't Believe In Love" is also pleasant, while the short interludes "Waiting For 22" and "My Empty Room" are calm, pretty and floating. The record concludes on a sinister and pessimistic tone with "Eyes Of A Stranger".

"Operation: Mindcrime" is just one of the most important albums of the progressive metal genre. Although a little pompous at times and still sounding very eighties, it provides sophisticated compositions, rhythm changes, and the inspiration is overall constant. Is this an "heavy metal opera"? Maybe... If so, this deserves to be transcribed in a movie, like "The Wall". Maybe this will be already the case when you'll read this review...

Now that we talk about it, how does this disc finally compare to PINK FLOYD's well-known double opus? Well, here the music only borrows 70's progressive elements, as the palette of instruments and ambiances are not as wide and varied. The short interludes and tracks complexity can remind "The Wall" in the spirit, but I find the general comparison a little too exaggerated.

Neither similar to FATES WARNING's dark tortured style nor to DREAM THEATER's, "Operation: Mindcrime" still remains QUEENSR?CHE's summit and a major influence of the genre. Highly recommended to prog metal fans!

Thanks to Proglucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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