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Queensr˙che - Empire CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.77 | 392 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This was Chris DeGarmo's project really, and he decided that the last thing he wanted to do was another concept album or even the hint of a concept album. So there would be no theme to this record either. This is simply a collection of great to good songs that standup well on their own. This would be their biggest selling release thanks mostly to MTV who aired their videos repeatedly. I didn't have MTV back then but I certainly heard some of these songs on the radio. I admit i'm a sucker for melodic, guitar driven metal. Tate especially shines on this recording.

"Best I Can" is a song about overcoming handicaps. The song opens with samples and a keyboard line before a full blown sound arrives. This is an uptempo rocker ! The synths work well and the guitar is killer after 3 minutes. "The Thin Line" is a let down after such a great start. I like the chorus but not so much the verses. "Jet City Woman" is much maligned, but I like it. The vocals on the chorus are really good. The bass is also good throughout while we are treated to a blistering guitar solo late. "Della Brown" is a song about poverty and regret. The bass is very prominant while the guitar melodies sound like they are bouncing around everywhere, very atmospheric. They sound amazing! "Another Rainy Night" is a commercial sounding tune all the way.

"Empire" is about the age that we live in, that is all about instant gratification. This is the heaviest track, a powerful song with screaming guitar 4 minutes in. "Resistance" is about the damage we are doing to our planet, but musically this is my least favourite song on the album. "Silent Lucidity" starts off lyrically with the bad dreams that children sometimes have and developes from there.This is head and shoulders the best song on the record. Acoustic guitar, strings and gentle vocals as the song builds to an emotional and uplifting high. Simply beautiful ! Back in February of 1991 I was at work when I received a call from my mom telling me that my dad had just died. I got my coat and got into my truck to drive home, I was numb. About ten minutes into the drive I turned on the radio and this song was just starting to play. The words were so meaningful to me at the time, and this song has always brought my dad to my mind. It's always been a good feeling when this song comes on, despite the circumstances that it reminds me of. Words like "I-will be watching over you" and "I-am smiling next to you..." can't help but make me feel good about my dad.

"Hand On My Heart" is saved by the late heroics of DeGarmo and Wilton. "One And Only" features more tremendous guitar from those two guys and the bass is quite heavy late. "Anybody Listening ?" is the longest song on the album and one of the better ones too. The contrasts between the heavy and mellow passages are great. I really like the mellow sections.The song seems to smolder for a while until it breaks out into a raging fire of guitar. One of the bonus tracks "Scarborough Fair" is so well done ! I really like when they step it up a notch 1 1/2 minutes in. I'm sure Simon and Garfunkel would be proud. Haha.

For me this is one of their top four records. And it does have sentimental value to me as well. Sure there are some songs(3 or 4) I could do without,but this is a strong release, and a worthy addition to your metal collection. Barely 4 stars.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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