“Building Empires” by Queensryche

Artist: Queensryche
Title: “Building Empires”
Label: EMI/Capitol Records
Release Date: 10/1/2002
Genre: Progressive Metal
Rating: 4/5

Queensryche’s “Building Empires” DVD is exactly the same release that we saw issued in 1992 on VHS and that’s fine since it covers a lot of ground in the bands career and delivers it in crystal clear digital and audio format. It presents the band from their early years up until the release of their blockbuster album “Empire” and while it does leave out a couple of things that their fans know exist, it is a nice way to get a historical recap of their growth as a band. It begins with the video for “Nightrider” and this is a clip that I recall from watching U68 as a teenager. MTV did show Metal videos, but they would not give us bands like Queensryche for some time. I was not sure why the videos for “Take Hold Of The Flame” and “Queen Of The Reich” were not here, but perhaps these will make some future release. The film for “Rage For Order”’s “Gonna Get Close To You” is here and this stylish clip reminds you of just how much diversity the band was willing to experiment with. “RFO” remains a classic today in the bands catalog, even though it was initially met with some level of hesitation. Its content was vastly different to their debut “Warning” but looking back on it now makes many realize this is one of their best albums. “Eyes Of A Stranger”’s alternate video from “Operation: Mindcrime” is here and this is interesting as its more of a montage of clips that were taken from the tour and videos for the same album. No other videos are present from this release.

There are seven videos from the album “Empire” and this makes sense since the film itself is focused around this release. As an album “Empire” would be the blockbuster, and find new levels of fans for the group worldwide. While not as much an epic tale as was “Operation: Mindcrime”, the release is still one of the most favored and best selling releases that Queensryche had ever done. Seven live clips from the “Building Empires” tour are here to enjoy as well and we find a very confident in their accomplishment stage of the band. They sound amazing and work the stage like seasoned professionals. Given the amount of touring they had already done by their fourth album this was truly the case. The songs only give a taste of the “Empire” material and lean more towards the old stuff. The video closes with two performances from MTV’s popular program “Unplugged” which showed that even Queensryche could tone it down several notches and be magnificent at it. Between the segments we get the members of Queensryche doing some brief introductory comments.

Given the wide scope of content on the video this is a must have for any of Queensryche’s fans and even those who simply enjoy intelligent Progressive Metal. The downside of this if any, is that much of the content comes off as a tease since it’s a bit from “Live In Tokyo”, a bit from “MTV Unplugged” and a bit of the “Building Empires” tour. While Queensryche has yet to re-issue the full Tokyo show my hope is that we will also see the full “Unplugged” program and a “Building Empires” tour DVD some time in the future as well. Many fans of music today are looking back to where some of the best stuff had come from and with The Ryche now celebrating such a rich and storied career it is time to dig some more stuff out of the archives.

Track Listing:
1. Nightrider
2. The Prophecy (live in Tokyo)
3. Gonna Get Close To You
4. Eyes Of A Stranger (alternate version)
5. Empire
6. Best I Can
7. Silent Lucidity
8. Jet City Woman
9. Another Rainy Night (Without You) – (alternate version)
10. Another Rainy Night (Without You)
11. Anybody Listening?
12. Resistance (live)
13. Walk In The Shadows (live)
14. The Thin Line (live)
15. Take Hold Of The Flame (live)
16. The Lady Wore Black (live)
17. Silent Lucidity (live)
18. I Will Remember (MTV Unplugged)
19. Della Brown (MTV Unplugged)

Official Website: www.queensryche.com

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