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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) - Still active as of 2019

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 tour...
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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 | 286 ratings
The Warning
1984
4.02 | 361 ratings
Rage For Order
1986
4.23 | 1131 ratings
Operation: Mindcrime
1988
3.77 | 411 ratings
Empire
1990
3.97 | 381 ratings
Promised Land
1994
2.47 | 210 ratings
Hear In the Now Frontier
1997
2.19 | 178 ratings
Q2K
1999
3.06 | 188 ratings
Tribe
2003
3.23 | 251 ratings
Operation : Mindcrime II
2006
2.15 | 126 ratings
Take Cover
2007
2.78 | 189 ratings
American Soldier
2009
1.83 | 157 ratings
Dedicated To Chaos
2011
1.96 | 103 ratings
Frequency Unknown
2013
3.50 | 112 ratings
Queensr˙che
2013
3.65 | 102 ratings
Condition Hüman
2015
3.51 | 54 ratings
The Verdict
2019

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

3.81 | 50 ratings
Live Evolution
2001
4.48 | 122 ratings
Operation: Livecrime
2001
2.60 | 34 ratings
The Art Of Live
2004
3.54 | 39 ratings
Mindcrime at the Moore
2007
2.33 | 3 ratings
Extended Versions
2007

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

4.56 | 67 ratings
Operation: LIVEcrime
1991
3.73 | 25 ratings
Live Evolution
2001
4.64 | 94 ratings
Operation: LIVEcrime
2001
2.35 | 30 ratings
The Art Of Live
2004
3.87 | 27 ratings
Mindcrime at The Moore
2007

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

3.71 | 36 ratings
Greatest Hits
2000
1.39 | 12 ratings
Classic Masters
2003
1.33 | 3 ratings
Face To Face
2006
3.62 | 21 ratings
The Best Of Queensryche: Sign Of The Times
2007

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

3.47 | 150 ratings
Queensr˙che
1983
4.06 | 16 ratings
Anybody Listening?
1992

QUEENSRYCHE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Operation: Mindcrime by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 1988
4.23 | 1131 ratings

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Operation: Mindcrime
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by Isaac Peretz

5 stars One of the most iconic progressive metal albums of all time. And with a reason. Queensryche set a new benchmark for progressive metal in 1988 with their master work, Operation: Mindcrime.

One of the most impressive things about this album is how quintessential it is. It features many typical prog metal elements that would be used later on. Maybe not the technicality of Dream Theater, but the dynamic aspect within each song, along with the balancing between mellow and soft tracks and heavy, distorted sections.

All these aspects are present in Operation: Mindcrime in the album format of a concept album, which helps to the continuity of the album, and allows for easy full- listens.

For any Prog Metal fan: This is truly essential. Tons of progressive metal albums and bands branch from this type of concept and music, including some highly known ones such as Dream Theater and, to some certain extent, Fates Warning. Five Stars.

 Operation : Mindcrime II by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.23 | 251 ratings

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Operation : Mindcrime II
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Letting the past in the past.

I will not moan about how Tate and Friends painfully fell down the stairs of glory right into the ungrateful puddle of has-beeniry. I will not emphasize that they've lost their mojo when DeMarco left and that they clutched at the straws of the past. We get it: they divorced, now mommy and daddy are living their lives apart.

But I will say this: there is still gasoline in the creative tank of Queensryche.

Grimy and aggressive. Imaginative and catchy. Masterful and polished. Many times I pressed the replay button, thing that won't happen with an Henry Cow record by the way. I am surprised as you are, many times I stopped the song exclaiming: 'Wow! What was that?!' Surprisingly well-played, Scott Rocks is pounding cleverly on the drums and Michael Wilton is showing us that he still knows what duelling guitars mean. Great vocals by Tate, who seems to spit vitriol with energy and maestria (read balls). You can clearly hear his enthusiasm and it's contagious. Top that with, again this time, majestic choirs and religious and orchestrated strings.

On the less exciting side, the love story is taking too much space. The concept of the revolution leaded by Doctor X is putted more aside to let Rikki's guilt and sadness sing. Hmph. Not the path I would have chosen. Yes, Sister Mary won't come back, but after 18 years in the can, I thought Rikki would've been more pissed at the world. Again, less love, more rock please?

You will think: « This guy's obviously a fan. He sugarcoates it. » Nope, uh-uh. In this world where Ayreon, Dream Theater and Blind Guardian lead the metal-opera, Mindcrime 2 is less over-the-top, dirtier (Rikki's greasy hair and filthy fingernails), more accessible and far less dizzying the the others. You easily grow tired (and bored) of double albums of metallic tugs of war, not the case here. A few duds but nothing to drown the fun.

Being a Queensryche fan is a long and unpredictable road. Sometimes you scream for more, sometimes you beg to make it stop.

An hour of theatrical metallic fun.

 Hear In the Now Frontier by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 1997
2.47 | 210 ratings

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Hear In the Now Frontier
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

1 stars If at least the songs were good.

I don't mind a change of seasons in an artist career and I welcomed Rush, Yes, Aimee Mann, The Stranglers, Green Day or even Gentle Giant. True, Gentle Giant's commercial albums are not that bad (if you like Men at Work). But for my beloved Queensr˙che, it did not go well. Here goes.

On Hear In the now Frontier, 'r˙che sounds like a typical 1997 alt-band. Unfortunately, not the sophisticated-Radiohead-type but more like the Collective Soul- Third Eye Blind- Tonic- Matchbox 20 type. You know, really easily forgotten generic band. No kidding, I wanted to push skip on almost every song. And I do not feel relieved by that. I love the guys. I know they had bills to pay and kids to send to private schools, but these songs feel uninspired, tired and out of joy. And deGarmo was still in the band! Sheesh! At least they tried something new, Ac/Dc has served the same pāté for all their career.

A true change of scenery, like ordering lacquered duck and being served fish sticks.

And by the way, who fondly remembers Collective Soul?

That's right: nobody.

 Queensr˙che by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1983
3.47 | 150 ratings

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Queensr˙che
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Corny or sublime?

The best way is to listen. One thing for sure, Queensr˙che really embodied an air-du-temps witht this EP. This lives, breathes and headbangs 1983, mullet and Export A cigarettes included. Totally Beavis and Butthead (who?!) music, perfect for playing Gorgar pinball while acting tough at the local arcade.

Lyrics like 'There is no escape!' will induce cringing in your loved one, screaming to turn it off or breaking up. But Tate's voice is hypnotic, compelling, making you lipsync like a maniac for the joy of fans like you. Because there is a LOT of closet Queensr˙che fans. Their sound was irresistible: either you clench your fists in disgust or delight. My wife hates it with a passion, it's like a sitting in a dentist chair for her.

The Iron Maiden reference is inevitable but I also hear a lot of Rush, especially in Nightrider. While Maiden aims toward horror, the science-fiction theme of Queensr˙che always appealed more to me.

It's a geek paradise: fantasy/sci-fi lyrics, dual guitars, high pitched vocals (the best in the buisness at the time) and big rolls on the toms. And make sure to watch the video of Queen of the Reich, one of the most craptacularesque videos ever made; you're in for a fantastically funny time.

50% leather, 50% rock and 50% testosterone.

 Promised Land by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.97 | 381 ratings

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Promised Land
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

5 stars True Lost Gem.

Okay, if one expression is overused on the Net it's truly « lost gem ». It seems they are everywhere these days. Phew, that been said, I never heard of Queensr˙che on MTv past 1991. It seemed they vanished after their big Empire moment, or maybe it's just Nirvana that took all the spotlight, leaving scraps of attention to everything else but grunge? I vote for the latter. A true overlooked record that fell in the cracks of the sofa of time.

I'm so glad I took the time to drench into Promised Land; we ecounter a much more softer side of the band. I say softer but, darker is perhaps a more suitable word. Call it « sophisticated Dark»: growling bass, haunting saxophone (!), acoustic guitars, grand piano (!), whispers of conscience and melancholic lyrics. Although 'r˙che has never been wedding music, the sadness (or desperation) is obviously deeper, the pain is skin deep. I'm also surprised how much quality songs is packed in this, perhaps one or two filler songs can be found (maybe Global Mind or One More Time).

Promised Land does not disappoint: sophisticated, charcoal matte metal with a slick urban feel, something to listen in your car at midnight, cruising in the city.

You've never heard of it? Good. Now enjoy.

 Dedicated To Chaos by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 2011
1.83 | 157 ratings

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Dedicated To Chaos
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

1 stars In it for the money?

Wow, what a mediocre steamy piece of..er..music. I hardly believe it's only 8 years old because it sounds OLD and TIRED. What goes through your mind when you release uninspired material? Having trouble sleeping or maybe bad digestion? Even if I'm part of their fans, this sounds like a I Mother Earth/ Live/ Dishwalla/ U2 dud. Major bore with garbage lyrics ('go it bad for you'...'on youtube, youtube', 'all around the world,all you need is love'), it's really, really not good.

Is this really made in 2011? No kidding?! I'm never listening to this ever again.

I guess every band has their 'Test For Echo'.

 Operation: Mindcrime by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 1988
4.23 | 1131 ratings

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Operation: Mindcrime
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by CKnoxW

2 stars Over 30 years after the fact, Operation: Mindcrime is excellent at giving the listener a snapshot of what a very particular kind of dude liked in 1988. If you're into big, stadium rock drums, face-melting guitar solos, Reagan-era anti-societal ex-Catholic school boy lyrics, all served with an astoundingly large amount of falsetto vocals on at least 5/6 of the album's 60-minute run time, then boy, I've got some really, really great news for you.

Operation: Mindcrime is definitely worth checking out if you're trying to connect with your dad and want to know what he was stoked on his junior year of college.

2.5 stars

 The Verdict by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.51 | 54 ratings

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The Verdict
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "The Verdict" is the 15th full-length studio album by US prog/power metal act Queensr˙che. The album was released through Century Media Records in March 2019. It´s the successor to "Condition Hüman" from 2015 and the third studio album by Queensr˙che featuring lead vocalist Todd La Torre after Geoff Tate was fired from the band. Drummer Scott Rockenfield had a child and after the touring cycle supporting "Condition Hüman (2015)" chose to take a leave from the band to care for his child. However when it became time to record "The Verdict", Rockenfield did not feel ready to begin playing with Queensr˙che again, and as the rest of the band felt it was time to record a new album, they had to look for an alternative solution on the drum post. Fortunately La Torre is not only a brilliant vocalist but is also a very capable drummer, and therefore the band opted to let La Torre record the drums for the album, instead of bringing in a session drummer.

Stylistically the material on "The Verdict" continue the melodic US power/heavy metal style of the two direct predecessors (which also feature La Torre on vocals). All three albums are actually very similiar in sound and style, and while I was relatively satisfied with the first couple of La Torre-fronted Queensr˙che releases, we´ve come to a point, where it would have been nice with an album which doesn´t sound almost one to one like the last couple of releases.

No one can dispute the high quality of the music though (including me). Queensr˙che are a very well playing act and La Torre is a top tier heavy metal vocalist. "The Verdict" is well produced too, featuring a relatively powerful and detailed sound, which suits the music well. So it´s the songwriting which lacks the last catchiness and memorable hooks. Some tracks of course stand out more than others, and the band also try a few new things on the album, but there are simply too many tracks on the album which are very similar in style and sound, and which don´t stand out. A 3.5 star (70%) is still deserved though.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

 The Verdict by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.51 | 54 ratings

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The Verdict
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

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 | 251 ratings

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Operation : Mindcrime II
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by patrickq
Prog Reviewer

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, in a few aspects of Operation: Mindcrime II compares favorably to 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.

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

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