on September 3, 2017
This is Queensryche's third full length album "Operation: Mindcrime" which was released in 1988, and it is not only the band's absolute best album in their discography, but it is also one of the all time greatest concept albums to be ever released, and a true landmark in Progressive Rock/Metal as well. I got this CD five years ago, and I fell in love with it completely within an instant, believe me, it is absolutely amazing and brilliant beyond words. It truly shows that these guys can combine masterful and epic storytelling with genuinely amazing, and ever flowing music to make this album an incredibly mind-blowing work of art. The concept of "Operation: Mindcrime" focuses on the story following a recovering drug addict named Nikki who becomes disillusioned with the corruptive society of his time, so he escapes from the hospital, and reluctantly becomes involved with an underground revolutionary cult group lead by the mysterious Dr.X as an assassin of political leaders, and then he falls in love with a former prostitute turned nun named Sister Mary along the way. From a musical standpoint, "Operation: Mindcrime" is just incredibly noteworthy, it is fully loaded with amazing musicianship throughout. Everyone is definitely in top form here. Singer Geoff Tate shines on here with his awesome wailing, soaring and melodic sung vocals with such absolute perfection. The guitar work of Chris DeGarmo and Michael Wilton is very inventive as well, with great crunchy riffs and fantastic solos that'll put a smile on the listener's face. Eddie Jackson's bass lines are just incredibly unbelievable, they just rock your bones throughout, and drummer Scott Rockenfield does an amazing job anchoring the entire album with his rock solid drumming.
The album's opening intro "I Remember Now" is a short mood-setting intro that immediately kicks into Anarchy-X" which is a nice yet short yet pumping instrumental track that serves as a prelude for the following track "Revolution Calling" (one of my many favorites here) which is highlighted by Geoff's amazing soaring vocal deliveries and lyrics, plus an awesome wailing sing a long chorus, along with some great rockin' riffs, wicked fiery soloing, and a straight up pounding rockin' beat throughout. The title track "Operation: Mindcrime" is also another huge highlight, and also my favorite song on the album which is highlighted by an awesomely catchy and crunching opening riff, along with awesome grumbling bass work and solid drumming, an awesomely melodic, wailing guitar solo, and amazing vocals, as well as another catchy sing a long chorus that will stay stuck in your head for days. The chorus in this song is just straight up addicting. "Speak" is another favorite of mine and a nice speedy number that features energetic riffing and drum beats, as well as a blazing solo, plus more of Geoff's amazing vocals, meanwhile "Spreading the Disease" is another awesome ripper that will rock your socks off and get the blood pumping like crazy as it boasts heavy, chunky, fiery riffs and heavy driving leads, rumbling bass lines, bouncy drum beats, plus more amazing vocal deliveries from Geoff as well as an awesome, ripping, shredding solo to boot. Moving forward, track seven "The Mission" features a very nice acoustic opening before morphing into a catchy power/glam metal-esque rocker, and it also features yet more amazingly mind-blowing vocals, plus more awesome riffs, solid bass lines and drumming, plus some more awesome, shredding soloing to top it off.
Next up, we have the 10 minute and 40 second epic "Suite Sister Mary" which is a classic filled with moody guitars, and chanting choirs, and an amazingly epic vocal duet between and Geoff and Pamela Moore. Trust me, this song doesn't get more epic than that. Elsewhere, we have "The Needle Lies" which is a real fiery and intense fist pumper that boasts a fast thumping drum beat, along with blistering riffs and blazing soloing, plus more of Geoff's soaring vocals as well. Following that, we have the short and haunting interlude track, "Electric Requiem" which leads into the next tack and another one of my favorites, "Breaking the Silence" which is highlighted by a driving straight forward and fist pumping drum beat that is backed up by driving, energetic riffs, ear pounding basslines, plus more awesome soloing and amazing vocals as well. Meanwhile "I Don't Believe in Love" is another catchy heavy rockin' classic that is highlighted by more great melodic yet energetic riffing and pumping drums, plus great grumbling bass work, as well as another awesomely infectious and addicting sing a long chorus, and some more strong soloing as well, and then after two short yet melodic interludes in "Waiting For 22" and "My Empty Room" there's the epic and masterful album closer "Eyes of a Stranger" which closes out the album in a very epic and masterful way of course. This song is very catchy, powerful, contagious and yes it's also even danceable as well. The guitar riffs and the solo in this song are just amazing, as well as Geoff's vocals, Eddie's bass and Scott's drumming, plus the chorus here is just pure absolute bliss. Such an amazing song from start to finish, and a great album closer as well.
Also, this 24-Bit Remastered version of the album here also includes two bonus live version of "The Mission" (which was recorded live at The Hammersmith Odeon in London, UK on November 15, 1990), and "My Empty Room" (which was recorded live at The Astoria Theatre in London, UK on October 20, 1994) for an extra treat.
To put it simply, "Operation: Mindcrime" is without a shadow of a doubt the absolute best album that Queensryche has ever released hands down, and it continues to be a true landmark in Progressive music. It is definitely right up there with other Progressive classics such as "2112" by Rush, and "Images and Words" and "Metropolis Pt 2. Scenes From a Memory" both by Dream Theater, and so many others. The masterful quality music, the intelligently written lyrics, and overall concept truly make this album a true masterpiece. I strongly recommend this album to anybody who loves Progressive music. It is worth every penny, trust me, you won't be disappointed, buy it now!!! \m/ \m/