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Queensryche – Operation: Mind Crime

Review: 040
Date: 3 Sep 01


Rating: 5 Stars

Geoff Tate - Vocals, Keyboards, Whistles and Blurbs
Chris De Garmo - Guitars
Michael Wilton - Guitars
Eddie Jackson - Bass
Scott Rockenfield - Drums and Percussion, Keyboards

Tracks 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


Queensryche may have looked like a bunch of Poodle rock boys (remember this album their fourth was released in 1988) but nothing could be further from reality. Long dubbed, the thinking mans heavy metal band, they somehow manage to fall between a lot of Kennels, and therefore very difficult to classify, does somewhere between Metallica and Rush help? No I didn’t think so.

Operation: Mind Crime is arguably Queensryches best release, which garnered the band much needed critical and public success (although mainly in their native America).

The experiment of releasing a concept album worked very well, a complicated story line, which sometimes needs to be held together by the shorter songs, nonetheless it was a step in the right direction after some of the more outrageous story lines in previous concept albums by other artists. Here a disillusioned entrepreneur gets fed up with the Regan era U.S. Government and joins an underworld terrorist organization determined to rid itself of all political scumbags, during his time with them he develops a relationship with a woman and gets involved in the terrorist drug culture, and is then told by the movement, that his alignment with the women is threatening the structure of the underground unit, so he has to kill her, he does so, following orders blindly, and then realizes what he has become, where upon his world falls apart completely.

The music on the album would stand up on its own, without any story, the twin lead guitar work is superb, whilst Geoff Tate’s vocals reveal his earlier operatic training. The songs range from the out and out thrash of “Revolution Calling” and the “Needle Lies”, to the biting and highly cynical “I Don’t Believe In Love”, the albums central and most powerful song in performance, musicianship, sense of style, and drama is also the album’s longest song clocking in at over 10 minutes “Suite Sister Mary” opening with the spoken words “Kill her, that’s all you have to do” “Kill Mary” “She’s a risk, and get the priest as well”. You know you in few a rough ride from that moment. Geoff Tate is joined on vocals by Pamela Moore who plays the unfortunate Sister Mary. In its self “Suite Sister Mary” is one of the most exceptional one song stories ever written (alongside Mott the Hoople’s satire on the music business “Marionette”).

Unfortunately Queensryche always struggled after this to match their masterpiece, and never reached the heights of superstardom that you would of imagined at this point, and were eventually overtaken in the prog metal championship by counter parts “Dream Theatre”, but thereby hangs another tail.

This album still stands up today as a classic of its genre.


Pawed by Mott The Dog
Remastered by Ella Crew


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