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

OPERATION: MINDCRIME

Queensr˙che

 

Progressive Metal

4.23 | 1053 ratings

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East of Lyra
5 stars Progressive metal is surely one of the most "love it or hate it" sub-genres. While Queensr˙che may not be the most prolific prog metal band, in my opinion their 1988 album Operation Mindcrime is the start and the end of genre. Even though it was released back in the late Eighties before the genre had fully taken off, to me it represents the pinnacle of progressive metal.

As a concept album, it works tremendously well. Set in a futuristic dystopian society with corrupt leaders and politicians, and the tension between them and the underground rebellious groups which the protagonist Nikki had joined. The plot is full of twists and turns and it really begins to capture the imagination after a few listens.

Musically, the group is on top form. Screaming guitars, growling basslines - and to top it all off, the amazing vocals of Geoff Tate. I've never been much of a fan of prog metal vocalists, but Tate is the exception, he has incredible range and his vocals really help to bring the story to life. The production seems excellent throughout - The 2003 remaster can't be faulted for sound.

The epic story really does cry out a full listen - so playing the album from start to finish is a must. Nevertheless there are many stand-out songs which work just as well if listened to on their own. "Revolution Calling" and "I Don't Believe in Love" are great rock songs with plenty of power. On the other hand "Eyes of a Stranger" and "Suite Sister Mary" are slow and haunting. The latter should appeal to many prog fans - an epic 11 minute journey with great guest vocals from Pamela Moore.

Operation Mindcrime really does deserve five stars. A true masterpiece, and not just for prog metal fans.

East of Lyra | 5/5 |

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