Queensryche - Operation : Mindcrime
Well, here we are. I'll save the majority of the "emotional recap" stuff for a follow-up post and just get to the point. When I set out to do this list, I assumed that this album would finish #2, and the album that finished #2 would be in this spot. However, throughout the course of this process I took the time to revisit most of these albums, which included listening to both of these albums back to back - and what I realized is that all in all, I actually prefer this album a hair over Somewhere In Time. I even checked back later to make sure it wasn't just how I was feeling that night.
Queensryche are essentially the band that invented Progressive Metal with 1984's "The Warning" - and they evolved considerably for their sophomore album "Rage For Order" in 1986. It made sense that their third full-length would be a full-blown concept album - and what a record it is.
Operation : Mindcrime really doesn't NEED much of an introduction, as it is one of the most universally praised metal records of all time, and it's truly deserving of every positive review you've ever read. Queensryche was still "mainstream-minded" enough here that they produced an album that manages to be a thrilling, well-written, and emotionally compelling story... that had hit singles. The majority of the album is still honestly very manageable 4-minute songs with great hooks and melodies, which is probably why I like it so much. This album appeals to virtually every part of me that loves music. Great concept? Check. Catchy songs? Check. Intricate/Technical Playing? Check. Emotional Viability? Check. Lyrical and musical depth? Check. Occasionally over the top bombast? Check.
Basically, with Mindcrime - Queensryche made a record that Prog/Concept Record geeks can love the shit out of - but yet it doesn't turn off even the most straight-forward song-minded metal fan. Even my friends who don't generally like Prog Metal still think Mindcrime is an amazing record. It's truly one of those albums that sort of transcends all boundaries in metal. My best friend's girlfriend who liked no metal at all STILL appreciated it for the theatrical aspect. If you don't like this record at least a bit, you probably have bad taste - end of story.
I've seen this record live in its entirety twice, and as a live show (even when played by an inferior lineup) - it is thrilling and amazing. These songs have become an essential part of my life both as a musician and not. It's one of those very rare albums that I'm basically always in the mood for. Hell, as much as I love The Warning - if it weren't for how undeniably mindblowing this album is, I probably would've completely lost interest in this band's entire history by now. But when a band sucks for 20 years and you still love them essentially because of the validity of one album? I think that pretty much speaks for itself.
01 I Remember Now (1:17)
02 Anarchy X (1:27)
03 Revolution Calling (4:42)
04 Operation:Mindcrime (4:43)
05 Speak (3:42)
06 Spreading the Disease (4:07)
07 The Mission (5:46)
08 Suite Sister Mary (10:41)
09 The Needle Lie (3:08)
10 Electric Requiem (1:22)
11 Breaking the Silence (4:34)
12 I Don't Believe in Love (4:23)
13 Waiting for 22 (1:05)
14 My Empty Room (1:28)
15 Eyes of a Stranger (6:40)
"Eyes of a Stranger"