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Marc Baum
4 stars When most people think of Queensryche, they think of their famous concept album Operation: Mindcrime, and they think of progressive metal. What most don't know is before Queensryche turned "artsy" they were helping pioneer a more traditional/power metal style of music. They were probably one of the first popular American bands to draw inspiration from the NWOBHM, and Iron Maiden in particular. I've always heard the production on the original is pretty bad, but I can assure you that the production on the remastered version sounds just fine, it actually sounds quite good to tell you the truth.

The mini album kicks off with "Queen of the Reich" and this easily one of the best heavy metal songs ever. A fast and energetic rocker, with an almost thrashy, speed metal riff. Aggressive drumming, and absolutely stellar vocals. Geoff Tate has such a high vocal range, he never has to really do an all out falsetto, but it's still very high. The lyrics are awesome, the solo's are kick ass. This song is 4 minutes of heavy metal perfection. "Your soul slipped away....It belongs...Queen of the REEEEEEEIIIIIIIICH!!"

Next up is "Nightrider" and this is total Iron Maiden worship, when the song kicks in at about 1 minute it reminds me of a slightly slower version of "Murders in the Rue Morgue". This isn't a bad thing, this is a killer song. Pretty fast and aggressive for 1983. The solo is pretty impressive too, and I love that ending, "Beware of the NIGHT!"

"Blinded" follows, it starts out with some nice shredding, and kicks in at probably an even faster tempo than the first two songs. Short and to the point, the only thing I really don't like is the chanting at the end of the song. A pretty long solo with some nice melodies here and there.

"The Lady Wore Black" is the other well known song off the mini album, and for good reason. This is probably one of the best heavy metal "ballads" ever penned. A real atmospheric song, Tate's vocals sound creepy and dark. And the shrieking he does before the chorus is classic, I have no clue what he says but it sounds really awesome. The chorus is simple, but heavy and effective. The solo is emotional and to the point, they knew not to over-do it. Awesome song.

"Prophecy" is only found on the re-issued version, which is what I'm sure most people have anyways. Really catchy, you can tell this was recorded during the Rage For Order sessions, it obviously has that sound. I think if this had been releasd on RFO it would have been the best song on there. Sometimes you wonder why bands choose to ditch such awesome songs. This one is a catchy head banger, with some of the best lead work on the album.

Queensryche started with their progressive metal direction with the next album after this one, their full-length debut, "The Warning", but still keeping enough of their power metal elements. Of course Queensryche eventually became full on progressive rock and became the butt of many a metalhead's harsh criticism, and yes, i'm still a fan (except for Q2K, man did that ever suck, but that's a different review...), but for those wishing for Queensryche to get back to the heavy stuff, or for those who are looking for a quick fix of brilliant power metal, look no further.

rating: 8.5/10 points = 85 % on MPV scale = 4/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

Report this review (#23504)
Posted Wednesday, December 24, 2003 | Review Permalink
3 stars There is always a beginning, and this EP was the beginning of one of the most powerful progressive rock act in the world during the 80s and early 90s. This band was actually a no band when they recorded this EP. Meaning that they were a four-piece where singer Geoff Tate had not yet decided to join the band. He just wanted to sing for the band as he was actually enganged with another band. The opening track "Queen of The Reich" was as powerful as metal can be with additional of speed metal element. It was clear that Iron Maiden & Judas Priest were the big influence. Geoff himself delivered his high-note scream perfectly. For a band that would be highly recommended as a progressive rock band, this song proved that they had wider range of musical taste that would also please other genre fans as well. "Nightrider" and "Blinded" followed with a more typicial tempo but a slightly different angle of delivering. That last song, "The Lady Wore Black" has become a Queensryche ballad classic. This song also marked the first time Geoff and Chris DeGarmo wrote a song together as a band. I have no conclusion on this EP except that this might give you a picture of how the band sounded in the 80s as they had changed a bit during the 90s. [davidewata, Indonesia]
Report this review (#23509)
Posted Wednesday, November 10, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars In 1983...the world experienced the birth of another metal genre...the us power Metal. The debut of ryche (ep not a full length album) is just great!! Great Melodies, great 'metal' lyrics and tate's performance makes even rob halford to sound Too 'poor'. The group takes its influences from iron maiden and creates 4 little Diamonds...of which queen of the reich and lady wore black are my favourite. I would Recommend to someone to buy the cd version of the ep because it includes an extra Song, the wonderful prophecy. Thank god for ryche!
Report this review (#39694)
Posted Monday, July 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Not a bad EP considering that's it's the first from the band. The sound quality is poor though.

"Queen Of The Reich" has become a classic (heh De Garmo wrote it). "The Lady Wore Black" is one of those whistling power ballads. Another trademark of early Queensr˙che. "Prophecy" is another strong track (it is track #5 on my CD copy, and comes from the Rage For Order sessions, so the sound is much better). The remaining two tracks are average.

Rating: 76/100

Report this review (#66262)
Posted Monday, January 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars A solid debut ep for Queensryche. It definatly has a Iron Maiden or Judas Priest feel as others have said, and only has a little of the progressiveness that would come on Queensrych`s later recordings. The album opens with Queen of the Reich (one of my favorite songs by Queensryche) which has solid riffs and display Geoff Tate`s excellent voice. The next song, Nightrider is a somewhat cliche Maiden/Priest sounding song as is Blinded. The final song on the original EP is The Lady Wore Black, which shows a hint of the prog metal that was to come later, and is a good album closer. The Reissued cd I have includes several live versions of these songs and songs off their "The Warning" cd. Which are all pretty good but nothing to get overly excited about. Overall this is a solid debut for Queensryche but at this point they were still in the process of developing an original sound. I would recommend it to all Queensryche fans, however if you are not a big fan of them then dont bother with this one.
Report this review (#74978)
Posted Friday, April 14, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars The beginning of an era. The metal band "The Mob" persuaded locally renowned Prog-rock loving vocalist Geoff Tate to join the band. After a name change Queensryche were ready to release their first 4-track E.P. This record shows more the Metallic sound of the Ryche rather than their Progressive elements and tendencies, it is however an excellent first effort.

1. Queen Of The Reich: Soaring vocals from Tate mixed with crunching riffs, a great song. (8.5/10)

2. Nightrider: Some interesting riffing and a nice solo makes for an enjoyable track. (7.5/10)

3. Blinded: Straight up metal, good energy in this song. (7.5/10)

4. The Lady Wore Black: The standout track on the E.P, a Queensryche classic. (9/10)

Overall: 79/100

Report this review (#82781)
Posted Wednesday, July 5, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Spring, 1984. I'm an 18-year old rivethead scanning the LPs at the local Sound Warehouse, trolling for new talent. My eyes fall upon a mostly black album cover with the band's name written in Old-English script. "Hmmph, pretty cool" I thought, so I checked it out. A 4-song EP..interesting song names..young guys with a dark, slightly disturbing look..only $4.99..what the heck I thought.

I arrive at my brother David's one's home. I immediately go to his powerful and LOUD stereo, place the record on the turntable, and start the record spinning. I'm immediately bludgeoned with a sonic sledgehammer like I've never known before; a deep, penetrating, brain-bending, soul-changing grip that, to this day, has failed to relinquish it's hold on me.

Now, I'm a HUGE music fan. But it's rare, DAMN RARE, when I completely stop what I'm doing, STOP, sit and listen, REALLY listen to music. But that's exactly what I did.I can recall the scene vividly. Sitting and listening to the skilled, powerful and melodic duel guitars.churning rhythms behind soaring solos, driving bass lines and beautiful drum fills.stuff that made you tap your foot, bang your head and groove joyously as the music took you away from here, to that wonderful place that only music can. Never before and never since have I ever been as overwhelmed by a first listen of a band as that fateful Spring day in 1984 when I discovered my all-time favorite band, Queensryche.

While it was the overall zeitgeist of the music that so moved me, most impressive and the thing that REALLY grabbed my attention was THAT VOICE! Geoff Tate introduced himself to music listeners with a high-pitched, kamikaze wail that shook your windows and rattled your teeth. He belted out fierce songs about Nightriders and Queens then majestically, captivatingly told the tale of the Lady in Black. All sung in perfect key, with a 4-octave range that would be at home in a World Class opera. Now, others have mixed operatic voices with metal but usually with less-than-satisfying results. Mostly because professionally trained singers often don't have natural delivery skills and the lyrics being sung weren't worth listening to anyway.

I listened to that EP so much throughout the Spring/Summer of '84 I damn near wore it out. I just couldn't get enough of the imaginative, original and unique sound QR brought. This was definitely heavy metal, but more melodic, and energetic than usual. It wasn't just a frenzy of guitar notes, but well-thought out solo patterns and guitar rhythms with an urgency and clarity that was absent from most metal. The solo break in "Nightrider" is the best example.the shared solo/rhythm guitar trade-off between Michael Wilton and Geoff DeGarmo is spellbinding.[%*!#]ing brilliant! So too is the great guitar into to "Blinded". Finally the EP's closer, "The Lady Wore Black" displayed the potential heights this band would eventually scale. A beautiful, acoustic-tinged "power ballad" (god I hate that term) that sounds fairly conventional nowadays and wasn't exactly revolutionary back in 1984. It's done about as well as can be done, however, and clearly showed QR knew how to do more than rip off fast, powerful metal songs. It was this element they brought to the metal world that eventually elevated them to greatness.

The EP was originally a 4-song item but since compact discs took over the music world the record-biz powers-that-be decided to add a fifth song, "Prophecy". Frankly it's a throw-in in my opinion, one of QR's lesser efforts. Worse, they placed the song AFTER "The Lady Wore Black", which is a perfect closing song. I recommend you program your player to play Prophecy 3rd, so as to enjoy the full effect of the EP properly.

Report this review (#85147)
Posted Sunday, July 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Not very progressive, but really rocks!

Before offering progressive albums like "Operation Mindcrime" and "Promised Land", QUEENSRYCHE started as a straight heavy metal worthy of all classic bands of its time. But instead of copying their neighbours who were writing the evolution of the genre, gathered between IRON MAIDEN and JUDAS PRIEST, they manage to bring something new to the heavy metal of the 80s', with a theatrical feel. This EP features their first efforts.

The main element which brings novelty here is undoubtedly the high-pitched screaming voice of Geoff Tate, clear and sticking perfectly to the music. The other elements are inclusion of many changes of musical directions inside relatively short tracks. The record starts with the hardly-title song "Queen of the Reich", which can be considered as the debut spearhead song from the band. Agressive powerful heavy guitars riffs fighting the frightening vocals of Geoff... Apocalyptic! "Night Rider" could have well escaped from MAIDEN's debut album. Energetic angry guitars with epic melody... While listening you can really imagine yourself as a knight riding his horse in a heroic-fantasy tale! The next song, "Blinded", is a little bit less epic, but quite dark, catchy and doomy. The EP ends with the track containing the seeds of QUEENSRYCHE's later progressive acts, "The Lady Wore Black". This tune has some echoes with DREAM THEATER's "Killing Hands" and alternates melancholic and heavy epic passages. We want more...

The band really impresses on this first EP, shows their differences and announces future great albums. Highly recommended for 80s' heavy metal fans! Geoff's voice is unbeatable.

Report this review (#110563)
Posted Saturday, February 3, 2007 | Review Permalink

Great debut. Not Prog but sure a great example of early Power Metal for Queensryche (Queen Of The Reich or Reich's Queen for correctly grammatical sense). The story of this debut is a great R'n'R story. Originally was a demo tape produced for Early Street Record shop by 206 Records. But in summer of 1983 over 60,000 copies was sold out. And EMI records... Like Paul Sutter wrote in 2003 Remastered version "With numbers like that to their credit, Queensryche was in position to demonstrate to the record industry at large they did indeed merit some serious attention." But with DJ Marvis Brodley the contract with EMI was a reality. (P.s.: Where already I listened to this story? ... Rush, maybe?). Only 17 mins of music... But not simple music. This because the four songs are Queensryche evergreen! "Queen Of The Reich" (the name of the band... Maimed for censorship? ...Still the Rush teach to go there cautious...!) is a great song with an immense refrain (pratically for all defenders... oooppss... Defenders... This isn't a Classic Metal site. "Nightrider" is another great song with great guitars, great double bass drums, great strophes and great refrain (for defenders of the faith...). "Blinded" isn't totally good (specially for the final) but for sure is a great song. "The Lady Whore Black" is a great song with Proto revival Classic Metal flavour. In conclusion "Queensryche" isn't a Prog Metal Album but one of the first American Power Metal albums. For sure a classic. For sure the start of a great band discography with four great 'ryche evergreen.

Report this review (#142323)
Posted Friday, October 5, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars In fact I can subscribe the first sentence by the previous prog reviewer completely. Only difference is the enthusiasm he shows in his review is lacking with me. Indeed this rocks and it's also a good album but I don't think it's something special. We are talking about 5 good hardrock/metal songs here but that's all really. The thing I do agree with absolutely is that this is not progressive. It's obvious that at this stage Queensryche was not yet a progressive metalband. Later on in their career this grew more and more but apparantly this was an evolutionary process.

I'm afraid there's not much more to say for me here. So 5 good songs with The lady wore black as best known and most striking of the 5 results for me in a 3 star verdict. Looking at the facts of the album it appears that on this edition there were 4 songs. Well, so there is more to say because I'm absolutely sure mine has 5 ! Are there 2 versions (one with a bonus track) ? That would be strange because this is an EP. I wouldn't be dealing with an illegal copy or something ?

Report this review (#158792)
Posted Thursday, January 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Queensr˙che" is an eponymously titled EP release by US power/heavy metal act Queensr˙che. The EP was released through 206 Records in May 1983 in a very limited quantity (206 Records was the band´s own label), but was originally recorded as a demo tape in June 1982 when the band was still known as The Mob. Lead vocalist Geoff Tate was not a permanent member of the band at this point (he was in a band called Myth), and was therefore a session musician on this release. Shortly before EMI Records signed Queensr˙che in 1983 and opted to reissue the "Queensr˙che" EP, Tate became a permanent member of the band.

Stylistically the 4 tracks (some later reissues feature the bonus track "Prophecy", which was written during "The Warning (1984)" sessions, but not recorded until the sessions for "Rage for Order (1986)") on the 17:31 minutes long EP are in a traditional heavy metal style strongly influenced by an artists like Iron Maiden and melodic early 80s heavy metal in general. It´s hard edged, melodic, and epic. Tate was a world class singer already at this point, and delivers his distinct sounding vocals with both passion, skill, and conviction. Predominantly in a very high pitched and powerful fashion. The rest of the band are very well playing too. Pounding heavy metal rhythms and hard rocking riffs and solos.

The first three tracks are hard edged rockers, while the 6:15 minutes long closing track "The Lady Wore Black" is an epic power ballad type track. To my ears "The Lady Wore Black" and "Queen of the Reich" are the two most memorable tracks off the EP, but both "Nightrider" and "Blinded" are quality material too. The sound production is raw, powerful, and pretty well sounding considering the time of release, so upon conclusion the "Queensr˙che" EP is a very promising start to the band´s recording career. It´s a quality release through and through and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

Report this review (#165537)
Posted Wednesday, April 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Essential metal, Good Prog

I put Queensryche's debut EP back on for this review, fully expecting to give it 3 stars as I had Metallica's Garage Days, another essential metal EP. But I had forgotten how good this disc is. Queen of the Reich has to be one of the best metal songs of all time. The intensity, the dual guitar interplay (including perhaps the best early 80's guitar solo), and Geoff Tate's otherworldly vocals are what metal is all about. And while all the classic metal elements are here, there are also some nice little nuances that foreshadow that Queensryche is going to be a band that will push the envelope of the genre.

All five songs are quite good. The third song, Blinded, with its circular lyric falling and falling and falling and.. is perhaps the most progressive on the album though it's usually forgotten behind Lady Wore Black (a fairly straightforward rainy night slow metal that will become a Queensryche staple) and Nightrider as the "other songs" on the disc. The closer, Prophecy, is a good metal song added from the Rage for Order sessions for the CD, and is typical of that album.

There is a heapin' helpin' of cheese in these lyrics and the presentation is over the top in grand metal tradition. Watch the video for QOTR which is one of the worst, cheapest jokes of all time. Then find the video of the band playing the song live, and you realize just how powerful they were, pulling off the acrobatics seamlessly and if anything ratcheting the energy even higher.

As metal albums go, this is the second album of Queensryche to obtain, and I would give it 5/5 if this were a metal-only site. If you're looking for prog, Promised Land is probably a better choice for QR #2. This one showcases a talented band exploding with youthful energy, playing their metal anthem at full tilt. 3.5 stars rounded up.

Report this review (#209315)
Posted Monday, March 30, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars The E.P. tradition and Queensryche in form.

But not fashion. This is a high quality EP release from progressive metal progenitors, Queensryche. Here they offer a few very enjoyable songs, with the title track being a band staple, and an overall enjoyable affair.

The opening song rips furiously, and gives one a taste of how powerful and hard hitting the band could be, as Nightrider takes aspirations in the form of a more fleshed out classic metal stretch. The songs on here rarely go beyond straightforward metal styling, but the screams and howls, the riffs and slams all come across very convincingly. This EP serves as a sort of picture of the band in its formulating stages.

Blinded has another catchy main theme followed by Tate's superb, but admittedly raw and seemingly directionless vocal department. This is an excellent grasp of the finer points of traditional 80's heavy metal. Still, the song seems to meander, even in its three minutes. The Lady Wore Black is perhaps the best calling for future accomplishments, as it plods majestically in the moody metal vein. The atmosphere crafted here, although very short, is the album's highlight.

Closing is Prophecy. It. returns to a more standard metal attack, without the Queensryche identity that would be grafted to songs from their future albums. In all, this is certainly a fantastic metal EP, and any fan of Queensryche should get this without question. But the songs sometimes aren't of the highest quality, and the band seems unfocused and raw at certain points. With the short running time of an EP, this makes for an unbalanced listening experience. Still, buyers won't be disappointed.

*** Rychin' Stars.

Report this review (#220977)
Posted Saturday, June 13, 2009 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
2 stars New Wave Of British Heavy Metal emigrates to the States

This very first release by Queenryche is heavily inspired by mid 70's Judas Priest, particularly albums like Sad Wings Of Destiny and Sin After Sin. Geoff Tate often mimics Rob Halford's vocal style here with the trademark high pitched screams. Tate would later develop his own distinctive style, but here he sounds rather derivative as does the music overall. It does not push the boundaries any further than the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal with bands like Judas Priest, Diamond Head and Iron Maiden and in this case I much prefer these bands over Queensryche.

The sound is rather rough and so are the songs. Of special interest is the opening track of this EP, Queen Of The Reich, that gave Queenryche its name (or was it the other way around?). Also, The Lady Wore Black has a memorable chorus but these songs are not particularly exciting musically. Queenryche would go on and make better music later on.

Only for fans of the band.

Report this review (#250583)
Posted Saturday, November 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The raw talented new band that would make a huge impact in metaldom begins here. The tracks became legendary and I heard these on metal radio shows during the 80s. 'Queen of the Reich' is a bonafide classic with incredible high pitched vocals full of conviction and power. The riffs are brilliant on this and great lead solo work to savour. DeGarmo was a master and he shines here.

'Nightrider' is a short blast of energy that delivers and gets out to make way for another 3 minute metal dynamo, 'Blinded'.

'The Lady Wore Black' is a slower track and extremely popular in concerts to come, a very good melodic chorus and wonderful vocal work from Tate help this to be ingrained in the memory.

'Prophecy' closes the EP and is another great track so overall this is a stunning debut and the band would go on to greatness from here.

Report this review (#285315)
Posted Sunday, June 6, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars The brief but energetic deput EP from Queensryche shows little of the prog metal leanings of future releases, instead finding the band playing in a tight NWOBHM-influenced style, with the influence of Iron Maiden (and, to a lesser extent, Judas Priest) very much in evidence - particularly in the vocal delivery by Geoff Tate. It's far from being a top-notch EP but it's not one I'm sorry to own either, being competently composed and performed but lacking any blow-you- away standout moments which keep the songs fresh in your mind after you've given them a listen. Three and a half stars seems fair.
Report this review (#576170)
Posted Sunday, November 27, 2011 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars Originally starting out covering Priest and Maiden songs under the name THE MOB, it's no wonder they sound like a NWOBHM band, but even at this stage I can hear a scant few progressive leanings such as the atmospheric sound effects and the outro of 'Blinded.'

'Queen Of The Reich' was a minor MTV hit and immediately put the band and their newly adopted name QUEENSRYCHE on the metal radar, allowing this energetic band to snag spots opening up for bands like Quiet Riot, Twisted Sister and Dio. And in 1983 that meant huuuuuge exposure.

I have always loved this debut EP and listening to it now, I still do very much. Although it does sound somewhat dated, it was an important release in the evolution of metal. Although hardly considered progressive at this point the seeds were planted to sprout a few years later.

The original album only had 4 songs, but later releases included a 5th track 'Prophecy,' which was recorded during the RAGE FOR ORDER time period but left out for whatever reason. This track actually plays quite nicely with the other ones and i'm happy I have a copy which includes it.

Report this review (#1075928)
Posted Tuesday, November 12, 2013 | Review Permalink
2 stars Queensryche's first ever release, a four-track EP, re-released in 2003 with an additional ten live tracks, isn't anything I find particularly memorable. The main four tracks, the original portion of the record, are good, but not overly special. 'Queen of the Reich' and 'The Lady Wore Black' being the better two tracks. The musicianship and production are fairly standard of 80's metal, and are more reminiscent of the new wave of British heavy metal than the more prog-inspired style the band would later go on to adapt.

The ten live tracks are a nice touch, but ultimately that's all they are, nothing more than "a nice touch". They don't really add anything to this release and are easily forgotten about.

No doubt the band will go on to release some classic albums, especially in their early years, so this is mainly a disc for the die-hard Queensryche fans (if such a thing exists).

Report this review (#1782372)
Posted Friday, September 15, 2017 | Review Permalink
5 stars Corny or sublime?

The best way is to listen. One thing for sure, Queensr˙che really embodied an air-du-temps witht this EP. This lives, breathes and headbangs 1983, mullet and Export A cigarettes included. Totally Beavis and Butthead (who?!) music, perfect for playing Gorgar pinball while acting tough at the local arcade.

Lyrics like 'There is no escape!' will induce cringing in your loved one, screaming to turn it off or breaking up. But Tate's voice is hypnotic, compelling, making you lipsync like a maniac for the joy of fans like you. Because there is a LOT of closet Queensr˙che fans. Their sound was irresistible: either you clench your fists in disgust or delight. My wife hates it with a passion, it's like a sitting in a dentist chair for her.

The Iron Maiden reference is inevitable but I also hear a lot of Rush, especially in Nightrider. While Maiden aims toward horror, the science-fiction theme of Queensr˙che always appealed more to me.

It's a geek paradise: fantasy/sci-fi lyrics, dual guitars, high pitched vocals (the best in the buisness at the time) and big rolls on the toms. And make sure to watch the video of Queen of the Reich, one of the most craptacularesque videos ever made; you're in for a fantastically funny time.

50% leather, 50% rock and 50% testosterone.

Report this review (#2481157)
Posted Sunday, November 29, 2020 | Review Permalink

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