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Queensr˙che - Operation: Mindcrime CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.24 | 1209 ratings

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4 stars Honestly, "Operation Mindcrime" is no progressive at all. It's got some progressive moments but most of the time you're listening to a melodic metal album but's a great record. "Operation Mindcrime" finds the band at his peak. After they released this, they only did a couple of albums which were worthwhile of checking out. This is a concept album but I can't figure out the whole idea of the lyrics. I suppose this is the story of a guy who gets involved in some kind of political underground movement. Suddenly he gets orders to kill the person who looked after him. Finally he's getting depressed of all the dirty jobs he has done. Anarchy, revolution, religion and sex are the main themes in the lyrics. If you'll take a close listen to the lyrics you'll notice interesting idea's concerning the American society in 1988 which may still be relevant today. All tracks are bound to each other by sound effects similar to those Pink Floyd used on "The Wall, almost like in a movie. The progressive elements are in the complexity of the story, the music and the sound of some guitar lines, string keyboards and especially in the wonderful epic which clocks over the 10 minutes. "Suite sister Mary" is the dramatic highlight of the album. The formula of using an orchestra, a choir and a fantastic duet between male and female voice may not be that new, the way it sounds is highly original even after all those years. Awesome !

No real bad tracks can be found but other highlights are the powerful "Revolution calling" with its progressive intro "Anarchy-X" and the ending section which consists out of 4 emotional tracks that shouldn't be separated. Although this is not a ballad by any means, "I don't believe in love" has emotional melodies that are absolutely stunning but like on "Eyes of a stranger" I noticed some pop influences but not in a bad way. In the first verse Geoff Tate almost sounds like David Bowie but nevertheless the sound is getting rough later on and the melodies have never sounded better. "Spreading the disease" has some outstanding industrial influences in the thigh sounding rhythm section. Maybe this track sounds the least outdated. "The mission" is the most accessible track on OM, like on "Suite" the dramatic elements show themselves in the vocal lines and string keyboards which makes it suitable as part of a soundtrack. The sound of this album is extremely polished as you can expect from an album of 1988. Fortunately it never gets slick or too commercial.

Although the issues in the concept are a heavy weight, Queenr˙che manages to make it sound amazingly accessible. The intriguing idea's are interesting, the political conspiracy's are credible and the storyline is fascinating. But most of all the music is exciting. "Operation Mindcrime is extremely recommended for everyone who likes powerful melodic rock. I would like the band to top this masterpiece with the upcoming sequel but I don't think they ever will/can do it.

Fishy | 4/5 |


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