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“Operation: Mindcrime” (remaster) by Queensryche

Artist: Queensryche
Title: “Operation: Mindcrime” (remaster)
Label: EMI Music/Capitol Records
Release Date: 5/6/2003
Genre: Progressive Metal
Rating: 10/10

Queensryche’s third full-length album would be the bands magnum opus and long receive the acclaim of being a Progressive Metal masterpiece. A lot of people did not get the premise of “Rage For Order” which was a really good album as well, but now with “Mindcrime” the group has brought experimentation from the last release along with the technical detail of their debut and proven just how talented this band is. A rich and detailed storyline filled with intrigue, mystery and politics is the premise of “Operation: Mindcrime” which finds the story’s “hero” Nikki detailing the recent events of his life. The album also introduces us to Dr. X, the villain of the story and Sister Mary, the reluctant heroine of the tale. From start to finish this is an amazing album and it’s difficult to absorb the level of detail just from the first listen. I remember when it was released at how the college radio stations would play the full side one to give the listener the full effect. It was one of those releases that you would find yourself buried in the lyric sheets as you read word for word to better grasp what was happening. Given the story running along the whole record its difficult to skip around (but it can be done after your first listen). With this album we find a Queensryche that shows no complacency or signs of slowing down the pace and for many fans of the band this entire album is their favorite and not just a couple of songs. I believe that this is due to the level of song writing on the piece as Geoff Tate and Chris DeGarmo pulled out all the stops. While I am also guilty of the full enjoyment my favorites fall to “Suite Sister Mary (the song that launched a career for Pamela Moore), “I Don’t Believe In Love” & “The Eyes Of A Stranger”. The level of musicianship of Tate, Wilton, DeGarmo, Jackson and Rockenfield is superb as well and should be applauded.

Originally released in 1988, the album was ahead of its time for Metal music; the still new Queensryche was taking quite a risk by unleashing this on the public but to their credit it worked and still works today. The remaster provides a lot of extra information on the album and the times of its release and offers a great selection of photos. Lyrics to the story are also provided to enjoy along with an amazingly clear production level. The remastered Queensryche catalog is perhaps one of the best released as new technology brings their music a bright new life. Bonus live tracks are also given on this release but they don’t add much to the mix given the already powerful nature of this recording. If you don’t own any Queensryche then this is the album to buy and begin your collection.

Track Listing:
1. I Remember Now
2. Anarchy-X
3. Revolution Calling
4. Operation: Mindcrime
5. Speak
6. Spreading The Disease
7. The Mission
8. Suite Sister Mary
9. The Needle Lies
10. Electric Requiem
11. Breaking The Silence
12. I Don’t Believe In Love
13. Waiting For 22
14. My Empty Room
15. Eyes Of A Stranger
16. The Mission – live
17. My Empty Room – live

Official Web site: www.Queensryche.com

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