This is one of the most intriguing albums in all of metal for me. In fact, Queensryche as a whole is a really interesting entity. Like you, I gave this a listen a long time ago (especially after seeing the band open for Alice Cooper/Sabbath), but didn't really get it, other than a few tracks. Over time, I slowly grew to like more tracks, and now I'd consider it a top 10 album for me. It could do without the interludes for sure, but the other songs are all just so good.
Despite my enjoyment of the album, I've never felt the need to explore more Queensryche. The early stuff is supposedly great, and Empire is well-regarded, but I've never really looked for those albums.
7/29-8/1 - Wacken Open Air
8/29 - Borealis (?)
9/6 - Gruesome
10/3 - Hibria