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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 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)

3.64 | 232 ratings
The Warning
1984
4.02 | 300 ratings
Rage For Order
1986
4.21 | 918 ratings
Operation: Mindcrime
1988
3.76 | 349 ratings
Empire
1990
3.97 | 324 ratings
Promised Land
1994
2.50 | 180 ratings
Hear In The Now Frontier
1997
2.07 | 153 ratings
Q2K
1999
3.10 | 162 ratings
Tribe
2003
3.24 | 216 ratings
Operation : Mindcrime II
2006
2.17 | 108 ratings
Take Cover
2007
2.83 | 162 ratings
American Soldier
2009
1.95 | 136 ratings
Dedicated To Chaos
2011
2.04 | 77 ratings
Frequency Unknown
2013
3.63 | 87 ratings
Queensryche
2013
3.89 | 59 ratings
Condition Hüman
2015

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

3.83 | 42 ratings
Live Evolution
2001
4.48 | 106 ratings
Operation: Livecrime
2001
2.61 | 28 ratings
The Art Of Live
2004
3.33 | 31 ratings
Mindcrime at the Moore
2007
2.50 | 2 ratings
Extended Versions
2007

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

4.59 | 53 ratings
Operation: LIVEcrime
1991
3.75 | 22 ratings
Live Evolution
2001
4.66 | 79 ratings
Operation: LIVEcrime
2001
2.31 | 24 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)

3.71 | 32 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)

3.36 | 120 ratings
Queensr˙che
1983
4.07 | 15 ratings
Anybody Listening?
1992

QUEENSRYCHE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Condition Hüman by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.89 | 59 ratings

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Condition Hüman
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by Einwahn

5 stars Rush have already shown us that great bands can re-ignite in their maturity, and it is fantastic to see the same happen to Queensr˙che. The paucity of PA ratings for 'Condition Hüman' suggests that many site members have given up on this band. Let me just say that, for those who appreciated the first five QR albums, 'Condition Hüman' is almost beyond criticism. Powerful, driving, yet interesting and sophisticated, this is breathtaking stuff. Core members from the original line-up have of course departed, so the endurance of the trademark QR sound is interesting. The drummer Scott Rockenfield is surely integral and I find myself listening ever more closely to his contribution. Production is lucid and very high quality. The title track is 7:46 and would not have sounded out of place on 'Promised Land', QR have not forgotten about progressive rock.

Verdict: Absolutely essential for any Prog Metal fan.

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 Condition Hüman by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.89 | 59 ratings

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Condition Hüman
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Condition Hüman" is the 14th full-length studio album by US prog/power metal act Queensr˙che. The album was released through Century Media Records in October 2015. It´s the second release with lead vocalist Todd La Torre after Geoff Tate was fired from the band. "Queensr˙che (2013)" was generally well received by fans and reviewers alike, but sophomore releases are sometimes hard (and "Condition Hüman" can in some respects be considered just that).

Fortunately that´s not the case with "Condition Hüman", which is as well balanced, well written, and well performed as it´s predecessor. Stylistically the listener is also treated to music that is similar in sound, so if you enjoyed "Queensr˙che (2013)", there is a good possibility that you´ll find listening pleasure in "Condition Hüman" too. The music is melodic US power metal with occasional progressive leanings. Todd La Torre has a strong voice and a commanding delivery and the band are very well playing.

The tracks are predominantly vers/chorus structured and pretty easily accessible, but not simple by any means. The material on the 12 track, 53:21 minutes long album is generally cleverly composed, detailed, and intriguing. Queensr˙che can both pack a relatively hard punch, but also deliver lighter and more melodic playing, and they often strike a good balance between their playing styles. It´s definitely one of their strengths that they can use stylistic elements from a fair amount of musical styles, and combine them into a sound that is unmistakably the sound of Queensr˙che.

"Condition Hüman" is very well produced. The sound production is professional, clear, and powerful sounding. A perfect match for the music. Upon conclusion "Condition Hüman" is another strong release by the band, and it´s obvious that La Torre has reignited Queensr˙che´s spark. They sound inspired again and maybe most importantly they play metal again, and not dull semi-heavy hard rock like they´ve done on way too many of their post-"Promised Land (1994)" releases. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

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 Condition Hüman by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.89 | 59 ratings

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Condition Hüman
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by metalrob4662

5 stars Best album since "Promised Land" I've been a QR fan since the very beginning and this is one of my faves, all the songs are catchy and infectious Right from the Opener "Arrow of Time" to the progressive closer "Condition Human" this album has every element of a Classic QR album. Superb chrouses , excellent guitar work by Michael Wilton ( aka Whip) and Parker Lundren. superb bass and singing by Eddie "Bass" Jackson , Scott Rockenfield's drumming is always a highlight for me one of the best drummers in the business. and of course Todd LaTorre, not only is Todd a Humble guy but an awesome musician in every aspect. I must say if you really listen to this album he makes it his own , there is no "Clone" here just pure kick ass vocals and great lyrics!

The last album was very good, but this one takes it up a notch, and the production is superb! ( I know many people complained about the last one being over compressed) Zeuss (Chris 'Zeuss' Harris) out did himself on this getting the best for the band!

I don't feel there is one filler on this album, even the ballad "Just Us" is incredible.

My top 5 faves though are: 1) The Aftermath /Condition Human 2) Hellfire 3) eye9 4) Bulletproof 5) All There Was

This is a "Must have" for all classic Queensryche fans! and even for those who love great Melodic Metal/Rock with Progressive elements thrown in. I hear they are already writing songs for the next album! Hoping they continue for yrs to come! \m/ Long Live Queensryche!

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 Dedicated To Chaos by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 2011
1.95 | 136 ratings

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Dedicated To Chaos
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by Necrotica
Prog Reviewer

1 stars Let's face it: if you are familiar with the world of metal, then the name "Queensryche" is a household name for the band whose early works are well-regarded. Yet, everything since 1997's Hear in the Now Frontier has been extremely polarizing to old and new fans alike. There WERE signs of hope in the year of 2009 with American Soldier, an album that contained tracks with promising glimmers of the old style. So, we reach the biggest question of them all: What the hell were they thinking with this album???

Here's the thing; the band's recent output might have been lackluster, but nothing compares to the murderous peak they reach here. Dedicated to Chaos is a essentially a lengthy, boring tour of all that has gone wrong with Queensryche. Even a half-tolerable song in the form of the radio-friendly "Get Started" can't save the record from complete mediocrity in any case.

So, the biggest problem? Geoff Tate. You might be wondering: "How does Queensryche's general figurehead become the worst aspect of the album?" The problem is twofold: In his vocals and his lyrics. Most of his vocal output consists of weird off-key wails and spasms that don't sum up to much of anything (except getting incredibly annoying after a while); even his softer side has random out-of-place melodies and dynamics that don't even up with the sound. The lyrics, on the other hand, are ridiculously simple on the record, from the concept of (are you ready for this?) driving (*gasp*) to trying to unify the world in peace. Tate's subjects are overall very limited here, and the lyrics don't expand well on the premises.

The best song here is the aforementioned opener "Get Started," a very straightforward rock track with typical choruses and semi-decent vocals. The song isn't anything extraordinary, but at least the band seem to know what they're doing, and the track is fun to listen to now and again. Let it sink in, because this feeling doesn't last for too long.

When firing up the other tracks, one of the huge issues with the album is that it just drags and drags and draaaaaaags. It's understood that the band wanted to create an album with more rhythm (and that they did), but the rhythms could have at least been more exciting or stimulating; Instead, the band are content with using and recycling bored, tired drumming. Because of stuff like this, the 53:55 runtime truly feels like an eternity.

Another predicament is that there are some more experiments this time around, often with unfavorable results. The worst of this appears in "Hard Times" which mixes soul, reggae, space rock, and a couple of other genres into a mixing pot, but instead it ends up being very dispassionate-sounding and unconvincing with its influences. The atmosphere that is created only serves to drain any energy the song might have possessed.

This album is not an album where you see a bump in the road; In this album, you see a dark abyss with a small crevice of light seeping out of it. In other words, Queensryche are getting fewer and fewer chances to redeem themselves, and with this album, they just might have killed their career for good. What a shame.

(Note that this review was from 2011, and my thoughts regarding the final paragraph have since changed because of the band's new material with Todd LaTorre)

(Originally published on Sputnikmusic)

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 Tribe by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.10 | 162 ratings

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Tribe
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by Necrotica
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Geoff Tate and co. have certainly been dwindling for the last 15 years. Queensryche used to be known as one of the defining bands in the prog metal genre, but ever since 1997's Hear in the Now Frontier, they took on a more contemporary alternative style with hints of the old 'Ryche sound mixed in. What followed was an atomic bomb of backlash from fans who wanted the old classic sound of Queensryche back. So far, most attempts have still been in vain, but a couple of them have had some shining glimmers of the old days, including 2003's underrated Tribe.

One factor in attempting to bring success back to the band was to bring original guitarist Chris DeGarmo back to the fold for just this one album. However, when Sanctuary Records caught wind of this, they stated that DeGarmo returned as a permanent member, most likely to boost Queensryche's popularity and sales for the album. One thing can be said here: Chris's presence can clearly be felt here, and having him in the album marks a return to the quality not seen since Promised Land.

Unlike previous albums, Geoff Tate really keeps his vocals on the down low here, letting the other instruments shine. This also gives Tate a more diverse palette, especially in terms of the dynamics presented here. Every instrument is very balanced here as well, as supposed to the generally vocal/guitar fronted sound Queensryche usually possesses, giving every member a chance to show what they can do.

About the songs themselves, there are ten here, clocking in at 41:37. The short length of the songs keeps them from getting stale or boring, a problem Queensryche have been running into with some recent work (*cough* Dedicated to Chaos *cough*). "Open" is a great, well, opener and wastes no time cutting to the chase of the album's sound. There are explosive (though sometimes rather slow) choruses and sly verses that show more of that aforementioned diversity here. While I'm on the topic of diversity, this album also features the return of the saxophone used in Promised Land. On here, it's prominent on "Art of Life" and gives it a dark jazzy edge, fitting in with the rugged spoken verses.

A big highlight here is the title track, "Tribe." It starts out with a progressive 6/8 riff, and eases the distortion when the verse hits with more spoken vocals. The tension of the song never really lets up, though, until the chorus clashes with powerful soaring vocals and a heavy rhythm pacing things along. The song sounds like it could have been featured on Promised Land or even Empire to an extent.

Unfortunately, some latter-day Queensryche flaws are still present here, and heard the most on the final track, "Doin' Fine." I starts out promisingly enough, with a strong guitar riff and nice relaxed feel, but soon just turns lazy. Even with a short run-time of 3:54, the song drags on and on, and keeps you waiting for something interesting to show up. Really, that's the biggest problem with the album; Some songs are too draggy and lack the passion of the better songs. "Falling Behind" has a really apt song title in that sense; it starts out with a nice acoustic riff, but then just... never catches real fire.

However, the album is still very good, and is one of the best latter-day Queensryche albums you can get. Geoff Tate's vocals are still powerful, and Chris DeGarmo, while a bit restrained here, hasn't lost any of his touch. Overall, this is a solid album, and their best since Promised Land... that is, until American Soldier came along.

(Note: this review was originally from 2011)

(Originally published on Sputnikmusic)

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 Operation: Mindcrime by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 1988
4.21 | 918 ratings

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Operation: Mindcrime
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by AndyJ

3 stars Queensryche's 'Operation: Mindcrime' was one of the first metal albums I bought way back in my teenage years and it was a completely random purchase. I was sifting through stacks of heavy metal CDs at my local record store when this one jumped out at me. I freaked out over the cover and bought it immediately - I didn't even bother to ask the girl behind the counter if I could listen to it first.

I remember being blown away when I first put it on. Initially I didn't really know what to make of this album, it being so different from the other music I was listening to at the time. But it quickly became one of my favourites. I enjoyed the story of revolution and loss, and fell in love with Geoff Tate as a vocalist - some of those power notes he was able to hit in this album are out-of-this-world!

As a heavy metal album I consider 'Mindcrime' to be very good, but as a progressive metal album I'm a little bit underwhelmed. I never really considered this particular record to be all that progressive. Sure, it has the long story concept running throughout, but the individual songs by and large follow a fairly conventional rock/metal song structure. Intro, Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Solos, Chorus, Outro. Or variations of that... Queensryche put out more proggy albums after this one, specifically the 1991 album 'Empire', which I personally think is better than 'Mindcrime'.

The only particularly progressive song on the album is 'Suite Sister Mary', and if I'm being honest its the one song on the album I've never particularly liked and I have a tendancy to skip it more often than not. The reason being the vocals are just too shrill and over-the-top for me. I find that song just a touch overpowering for my ears - I've never been one for opera!

Musically the performances on this album are solid. As already mentioned Geoff Tate is a wonderful vocalist, and his voice is so full of emotion and power in this album. The guitar riffs are memorable and melodic, and there are some nice instrumental solos. Scott Rockenfield is a total powerhouse behind the drum kit in this album, and his chops really drive a lot of the music on.

The problem I have in assigning a rating to this album is I'm on a prog site, not a metal site. As a metal album this probably deserves 4-stars, but as a prog album I can only give it 3-stars. Queensryche are a progressive band, but I'd argue less so on this album than in their later releases...

Stand-out tracks are 'The Mission', 'Eyes Of A Stranger' and 'Speak'.

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 Operation: Mindcrime by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 1988
4.21 | 918 ratings

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Operation: Mindcrime
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by Losimba

5 stars Concept albums usually get a half or even full star more from me than the music of the album itself deserves. This is not true for Operation: Mindcrime. But the reason is not that I dislike the concept so much, though it took my some time to fully understand the plot.

The 15 songs show a wide scale of variety both in length and style. The only thing not represented is an acoustic ballad. That said, I'm be very curious how Operation: Mindcrime would sound unplugged. I guess it would be different, but not a great deal weaker. That said, the live album Operation: Livecrime gets the same rating as the original version, but that will be another review at another time. Apart from four particularly strong songs I especially like the way the story and album are built up. First two short tracks with some hospital noises and guitar sounds before the first real song gets the album going, a feature later repeated before the Grande Finale. The plot is then quite similar to the one of Dream Theater's Scenes From A Memory, but of course Geoff Tate can claim first spoils as Operation: Mindcrime was recorded and published several years before its counterpart from the other coast. Speaking of Geoff Tate, his voice and style have improved massively compared to the first Queensryche albums, as have the performances of all instrumentalists. But back to the songs, I have always liked little inserts of speech and action like the beginning of Suite Sister Mary. This longest track of the album is on my personal favourite's playlist, as are the title track and I Don't Believe In Love, but everything is overshadowed by Eyes of A Stranger, another personal Top 10 song.

To finish my introductory musings, Operation: Mindcrime would rate at 4.8 stars if it were a normal album. Since 5 is the highest rating, I can't award 5.8 stars, so it has to be perfect 5.0 stars.

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 Take Cover by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 2007
2.17 | 108 ratings

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Take Cover
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

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 | 216 ratings

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Operation : Mindcrime II
Queensr˙che Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

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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