My interest in Queensryche goes a pretty long way back and I can say to the readers that the first time I ever caught them in concert was when they were opening up for KISS on the bands “Animalize” tour. They were supporting their soon to be released masterpiece “Warning” and believe it or not, I couldn’t have cared less that night. This was based on the KISS mania setting in and my not being open to this obviously rising star in the Metal world. I was not alone in this view and that was just how a KISS show worked. You often were bored at any opening band while you waited for the Kings Of The Nighttime World to come out and dominate the stage. Moving ahead a couple of years in time, the chance to see Queensryche again happened when Iron Maiden was on their legendary “Powerslave” tour and for me this was a match made in heaven. I say it like this because the band was winning me over note after note and had the many thousands of fans in Radio City Music Hall pushing their fists into the air as singer Geoff Tate told us to “Take Hold Of The Flame” with a soaring and commanding register. I’ve been a fan ever since that time and have followed them as a band in both my personal life and as that of a music journalist. They pushed the envelope a number of times in their releases and we have reviewed many of their recordings and video films on the site as well as supported their touring efforts. To see any contest that features Queensryche just click their logo below to launch the query that will present all that is resident on the PiercingMetal.com website.
Venue: Nokia Theatre (New York, NY)
Label: Rhino Entertainment
“I remember now, I remember how it started” – For me the experience of Queensryche started in July of 1984 as the band KISS, while on tour for their album “Animalize” had brought a new band from Seattle as their opening act. The newly signed group was as new to their recording contract as they were to the stage but believe me it did not show like this at all. The group delivered an impressive set from their new (and first) album entitled “The Warning” and while a KISS crowd is often unreceptive to the opening act, lead singer Geoff Tate was clearly a man who could handle them and hold their attention. He also sounded incredibly close to the recording and as a result, legions of KISS fans became followers of Queensryche as well. They would follow this release with their sophomore effort “Rage For Order”, and while it was an album that would give some fans pause they did not suffer a Sophomore curse and give you sub-par music. Many fans actually cite this album as a personal favorite and songs from it often bring resounding response from the audience. For their third album, there would be no resting on ones laurels and instead this would be the one to do it. The third record would be one of the best albums to hit the Progressive Metal genre ever and come to be regarded as one of the most important pieces of music of all time. The album was “Operation: Mindcrime”. It was a recording that would set Metal fans and the genre on its ear, as it was a tale full of intrigue, political viewpoints and mind control. To its credit, the album remains as strong in the minds of fans today as it did when it was originally released.
Continue reading Queensryche @ Nokia Theatre Times Square (9/21/2006)
Title: “Operation: Mindcrime” (expanded edition)
Label: EMI Music/Capitol Records
Release Date: 6/27/2006
Genre: Progressive Metal
Queensryche truly had a winner with their third album; the long acclaimed and revered Progressive Metal Rock Opera “Operation: Mindcrime”. The release became an instant favorite among their fan base and proved to the Metal world that the group was not a one-trick pony. The release of the expanded edition by EMI Music/Capitol Records celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the band’s formation and takes the original release and expanding it to a larger level of potential. The original album saw the remaster process a couple of years ago with the rest of the catalog and these are some of the best releases I had ever gotten my hands on so how could an already well-done issue be pushed up another notch. The answer would be simply to just do it and give the people a little bit more to enjoy of this Metal masterpiece. On top of the original album and its bonus tracks a second CD would be included that featured an unreleased performance of the album from the Hammersmith Odeon in London. While the label had issued an individual album called “Operation: Live Crime”, it is a great idea to have this connected to the studio recording. Those who have enjoyed the music on this album can attest that hearing Mindcrime live in its entirety is simply amazing. The storyline of the album was so rich in detail that one begins to wonder why this never saw conversion to either the Big Screen or Broadway stage. It could have worked and become a bit of a cult classic if done to the exact specifications of the plot.
Continue reading “Operation: Mindcrime” (expanded edition) by Queensryche
Title: “Operation: Mindcrime” (remaster)
Label: EMI Music/Capitol Records
Release Date: 5/6/2003
Genre: Progressive Metal
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.
Continue reading “Operation: Mindcrime” (remaster) by Queensryche
Title: “Operation: LIVE Crime
Label: EMI Records
Release Date: 9/25/2001
Genre: Progressive Metal
Released as a companion to the video bearing the same name Queensryche gives the listener the CD version of “Operation: LIVE Crime”. Simply put, this is an amazing recording of the full “Operation: Mindcrime” album by the band in their prime from a concert performed in 1991. Originally released when CD was a new medium it came as a boxed-set format with a VHS of the concert and a full color illustrated booklet. It was also released as a cassette tape (anyone remember those?). The VHS is what is featured on the DVD and while I would have liked to see the two released in the same package again, this serves the need for those fans that might only want audio and those that only want video. Music fans everywhere seem to know this recordings original album and that’s what makes this a must have for the Queensryche section of your music collection. The Mindcrime album broke ground for Progressive Metal and showcased the massive talents of Queensryche not only as musicians but as storytellers capable of delivering Heavy Metal’s version of “The Wall”. The two albums are similar in their epic and detailed story and listening to the live version from beginning to end is clearly the way that this album was meant to be enjoyed. In 1991 Queensryche was very on-top of their game and still running the original full lineup of Tate, DeGarmo, Jackson, Rockenfield and Wilton. Not a note seems to be missed and the production just makes you reach for that volume knob to edge it ever higher. I found myself doing this especially when my favorite numbers came on in the performance and in particular “I Don’t Believe In Love” and “the Needle Lies”. Pamela Moore from the original album makes an appearance during “Suite Sister Mary” and if you don’t own the DVD yet, you must grab it for this song is more powerful visually than I thought possible in the audio. Overall the piece is excellent and the CD also includes two bonus unreleased tracks with “The Lady Wore Black” and “Roads To Madness”.
Continue reading “Operation: LIVE Crime” by Queensryche