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

OPERATION: MINDCRIME

Queensr˙che

 

Progressive Metal

4.23 | 1054 ratings

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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'.

AndyJ | 3/5 |

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