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CD Review – Queensryche – Operation Mindcrime II

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Trying to do a concept record with both musical appeal and lyrical substance is a daunting feat. Writing a sequel to an album considered by many to be the greatest concept record of all time is an even more trying task. The members of Queensryche faced these trying tasks, as well as having to shake off their last decade of music, which hasn’t live up to the quality of their greatest works, including 1994’s Promised Land. In many ways, revisiting the brilliance of Operation Mindcrime could stand as the ballsiest move in this band’s career, or, if the sequel was pathetic, it could mark career suicide. Thankfully, it doesn’t disappoint.

In reality, Operation Mindcrime II will be judged on two levels – story and music. Looking at the story, it’s the continuation of the story of Nikki. Now 20 years older and released from Prison, Mindcrime II takes you on yet another bizarre tale of deceit, murder, plotting and general evil. It weaves in and out of storylines flawlessly, calculating two moves ahead of one’s normal though process with each and every track. Without detailing the story (you’ll have to buy the record if you really want to know), it’s safe to say that Mindcrime II does a masterful job at revisiting the original epic.

Musically, those looking for a continuation of the original Mindcrime‘s musical landscape need to keep looking. The band has been successful in recreating much of the old-school sonic dirge, but musically this is a far different record than was expected. For the first time in memory, Queensryche has truly built a full landscape of sound instead of individual numbers. Many of the tracks, such “The Chase”, are peppered with ambient keyboard and string combinations. Further, there are peaks and valleys on this release: Many songs, including “If I Could Change It All” or “All The Promises,” are ballads. A large number of songs are mid-tempo rockers as well; it’s almost as if their conception might have come during the TRIBE writing periods. Tracks such as “Speed Of Light” really emphasize this point. This is not saying that any of it is bad. More to the point, the sequel simply doesn’t have the sonic force of the original.

When considering the sound, you have to start with vocalist Geoff Tate. Gone are the days when he could shatter glass with his high-pitched squeal. Today, he has settled into a rich, full tone that is a bit lower than his early voice, but shows greater strength when soaring over the band’s melodies. Tate sounds particularly great on rockers such as “I’m American” and “Murderer?”.

As for the band, it has really put it together this time out. Axemen Mike Stone and Michael Wilton provide a thick, driving wall of guitar throughout, which powers many of the songs. They riff it up hard on tracks like “Signs Say Go,” pushing them hard against the killer underbelly created by bassist Eddie Jackson and drummer Scott Rockenfield.

One of the most interesting songs on the CD is “The Chase,” which features a duet between Tate and Ronnie James Dio (as the bragging Dr. X). It’s a unique combination of two of rock’s greatest all-time vocalists, yet neither singer truly dominates the song.

As a band, Queensryche is as solid as it’s been in years. As a record, Operation Mindcrime II is a success.

RATING – 8/10 – It’s a relative impossibility that Queensryche could ever surpass the brilliance it created the first time around. Too much time has passed: Whereas the original likely sprung from a magical, collective inspiration, the band’s musical ideas are now conceived and planned. Still, there is no denying that the band’s latest release is the best work it has done in more than a decade. An appropriate sequel to their best-ever work, Operation Mindcrime II delivers as most had hoped it would.

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About richwithhatred

  • I was hoping this would be good. Now I am looking forward to it more. Although I miss not having Chris DeGarmo on it. I had some hopes after he was on a few tracks on the last album….

  • Guppusmaximus

    Nice Review… Some valid points.

    “Whereas the original likely sprung from a magical, collective inspiration, the band’s musical ideas are now conceived and planned.”

    Mindcrime I was the brilliant progression to a band that had such talent for writing”Thinking Man’s Metal”. I think you should’ve said it the other way around as I feel that they don’t have the ability nowadays to pen such a masterpiece without a little luck…Especially without Mr. DeGarmo.

    But, I will definately check it out as they left me quite pissed since “Promised Land” including some of “Empire”.

  • Paul Roy

    This will be worth it just for the Tate/Dio duet. I too have been pretty disapointed with these guys since Empire – or especially since DeGarmo quite. A band can’t just lose their primary songwriter, unless someone else really steps up to the plate. Unfortunately nobody else has. They are still a great band to see live at least.

  • doctorx

    Decent review, I’m really excited about this CD. Although I don’t see how anyone can’t enjoy Promised Land!

    Oh, and can people stop mentioning Chris Degarmo all the time. Sure he made some great music with QR but he’s been gone for 8 years now. Has anyone ever thought that maybe the reason he left was because he couldn’t write music the way he used to. “Hear in the now Frontier” was his last gasp with QR. Then he tried his hand at Spys for Darwin. Is this the musical direction you would have liked to see QR go in? I didn’t think so.

    Can’t wait for April 4th.

  • Guppusmaximus

    I finally got a listen to Operation Mindcrime II and it’s definately a poor sequel… Let me explain: It just isn’t metal! It’s a hard rock album and the production is lacking any kind of drive. Sure it’s dramatic and would probably make a good storyline for a movie but it doesn’t have the emotion and power that the first one had..

    “Queensryche has truly built a full landscape of sound instead of individual numbers….” I guess if you consider editing out the space between tracks an impeccable egineering acheivement of some kind.

    I feel that if you can’t produce the metal that you used to then why stamp your name on the finished product?
    Maybe I am being a little too harsh but this album in no way reflects the talented powerhouse that Queensryche used to be and it isn’t a suprise…

    Doctorx: If you can’t understand why people didn’t like Promised Land than you probably haven’t listened to much metal just like alot of other people on Blog Critics….

  • anybodylistening

    I think Degarmo gets too much credit.If he was such a grea songwriter then where’s all his brilliant songwriting now? Great songrwriters dont just stop writing songs or making music.As to the guy complaining about this record not being great metal,I think it’s an uninformed and ridiculous statement.I have seen no promotions or interviews with the band claiming this is a metal record.The original Mindcrime wasnt metal,it was a good rock record,but it wasnt metal.I think it would be ridiculous for guys in thier late 40’s to go out there and try to make real metal.QR would sound ridiclous making records that would be considered Metal in this day and age like Opeth,Avenged Sevenfold and on and on.QR was never a metal band in their hayday they were never in league with bands like Anthrax,Megadeth,Exodus and Metallica as far as metal went. QR was always a rock band, I cant think of one song that really approached metal.Having said all that, I think this record is the best they have made in over a decade.

  • Ricardo Marambio

    I’m listening to it right now, and though it was not easy to get used to a sequel of one of my favorite albums of all time, I’m starting to like it. It will definitely grow on you!! Obviously Chris De Garmo is massively missed in the songwriting departament and there is a “weird” feeling about some songs,but anyway, All of us Queensryche fans will end up buying this one.

    One thing for sure, there are things I’d never heard on a Queensrÿche album before

  • George

    Courtesy of BitTorrent, I’ve D/Led it and listened to it three times.

    It’s OK…nothing special, I can’t see it getting any regular play in my CD player or MP3 unit, unlike the original O:M, which still gets listened to at least once a week (and that’s been happening since I first got it on tape in 1991!)

    They tried to emulate the guitar sound of the original, with mixed results.

    There are a couple of decent dual-lead passages, but overall I think the album is a disappointment (and NO, I did not expect them to recreate O:M!)

    My problem is mainly with the songs and the sound of the album. Geoff Tate is a good singer, but he can’t hit the high notes like he used to. There are almost no memorable riffs on this CD either, except for one track which rips the opening chords from Eyes of A Stranger.

    OM2 is by far their best album since Promised Land, but it pales in comparison to OM or anything before it. The production is kind of dry, there’s little excitement to it.

    The Dio track is enjoyable, but only for novelty’s sake. I don’t think it’s that great.

    Just my thoughts, as a long-time QR fan (I’m 31 years old, I know my metal!)

  • Cako

    Well, i’ve listen this record 4 times at this point. I can say, that it doesn´t dissapointed me bacause i stand in this believe: “Queensryche never had been repeated they’ve never repeated an album”..so i did’t expected a copy of original OM. Warning (more classic heavy british metal stuff) didn’t sound like Rage For Order, and RFO (closer to overdubed pop metal like the song Walk in the Shadows) did’nt sound like OM1, and this patterns goes and goes in all next releases. QR is evolution, and i think that’s why the’ve a solid and loyalty fan base. People evolves like music, and for good. QR is ’bout surprises, and that’s why i like them…if I had known ahead of time that they would sound just the same as the first one…i think that had been a little dissapointing. However, speaking bout sequel, it’s remarkable the fact that many song have the vibe and sonical structure that OM1 have. The Song ” The hands” is a good example, taking the melodic line of “Breaking the silence”, but in a slower tempo similar to OM1’s “the mission”. “The Chase” is a new classic, like “Suite sister mary”..that song has the operatic and dramatic crescendo of the OM1 mentioned song. Also, is a good point to include pamela moore in more tha one song, that gives to the record more storyline consistence and put the listener “awake” to story development.
    However, there’s many things both production and writing work, that create a good connection between two records.
    The opening track may sound weak, as it lacks the power intro of the firs OM..I think some distorted guitar work had been good for complete the song. Said this, the bridge to I’m american is well done (convicted). I’m american has the structure of “Neddle lies”…similar rythm lines and breaks, and duel soloing.
    “One foot in hell” has the same vibe of ” revolution calling” with the intro guitar solo work. The duel soloing ala OM1 is remarkable on this song. The song ” Hostage” is a strong point with a mixture of things; fretless power bass,drum intro beating similar to “Speak”…and a very good chorus with super fulfill voice.
    “Speed of light” is a weak point,’cause it don’t fit well with the record, to me it sound closer to HINF or tribe material.
    “Sings say go” is a fast tempo song like “I’m american” and does it’s work.
    “Re-arrange you” begins with interesting string and synth work, to break up into a powerfull chorus with prog chords secuence and voices. OM1 guitar vibe again with duel solo.
    “A murderer” also beggining has string and synth parts that fits very well and sounds modern and “fresh”, then, it breaks into fast tempo like “re-arrange you” and has a back vocals in an operatic way. A chorus similar to “hostage” , very nice vocal parts.
    “Circles” is a sort of connection between songs like “Empty room”.
    Well, i don’t want to take all emotion to the released, i give to you the review of the remaining tracks.

  • Jet City Woman

    Looks more like Operation: WriterCrime.

    “which hasn’t live up to the quality”

    “one’s normal though process”

    I can’t wait until April. Will have to check out the torrents.

  • Gert-Jan Segeren

    It’s epic!

    Allready had my doubts ’bout Promissed Land, and disliked the next albums enough not to buy them… Maybe Queensryche should have stopped making music during the time Nikki was in prison 😉

    OM II is a must-have again!

    Because it’s called OM II doesn’t mean it’s a copy of OM, and I’m glad about that: never pay for anything twice. But if you write an album continuing a story you set out years ago, I couldn’t think of a better title. They also could have changed the names of the characters, rewrite a few lines in the lyrics and give the album a complete new title. Then everybody out there would praise them to the skies for making another concept-album… “just like OM”…

    The story and music continue with Operation: Mindcrime II! Queensryche put themselves back on the map with a great album.

    BTW. Maybe they should have released Empire after OM II and named it OM III 🙂

  • Hostage

    I’ve listened to this album several times now and all I have to say is they have done it again. All the people saying that it’s not a metal album or it isn’t a certain sound that they have tried to shoe horn QR into or any pre-concieved notions of what QR should sound like are dead wrong in this instance.

    I am a long time QR fan and I can tell you, straight up, after the listens I’ve given this Album I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, this is the best album since Empire.

    Thought provoking lyrics, great guitar duos and the production quality is just fine. QR have never been your average band. I’ve never tried to put them in any category as they’ve never fit into just any category. Prog rock/metal, Acid Rock, Hard Rock, whatever. The great thing about QR is that they aren’t the average band.

    They never ask anyone’s leave when they present a finished product. It’s what makes them great. They’ve had a 25 year career without being in the mainstream for most of it and that is something to be proud of.

    They don’t do the same thing over and over again. They push the boundaries and don’t care what people think. Aerosmith has done the same thing over and over again for years. Boring. QR are expressing themselves in their own way and that is their freedom. Most metal heads have a pre-concieved notion of what should be metal and what shouldn’t. Open your minds and listen to this album more than one time. It grabs you and whirls you around. Great song progression, great story.

    I’ll even concede the fact that from Promised Land on some of the albums were weaker than previous releases but they were all still good music. Thats not the case with this album.

    I’m 38 years old and “I” know my metal and my music. This is a great Album.

  • Hostage

    I’ve listened to this album several times now and all I have to say is they have done it again. All the people saying that it’s not a metal album or it isn’t a certain sound that they have tried to shoe horn QR into or any pre-concieved notions of what QR should sound like are dead wrong in this instance.

    I am a long time QR fan and I can tell you, straight up, after the listens I’ve given this Album I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, this is the best album since Empire.

    Thought provoking lyrics, great guitar duos and the production quality is just fine. QR have never been your average band. I’ve never tried to put them in any category as they’ve never fit into just any category. Prog rock/metal, Acid Rock, Hard Rock, whatever. The great thing about QR is that they aren’t the average band.

    They never ask anyone’s leave when they present a finished product. It’s what makes them great. They’ve had a 25 year career without being in the mainstream for most of it and that is something to be proud of.

    They don’t do the same thing over and over again. They push the boundaries and don’t care what people think. Aerosmith has done the same thing over and over again for years. Boring. QR are expressing themselves in their own way and that is their freedom. Most metal heads have a pre-concieved notion of what should be metal and what shouldn’t. Open your minds and listen to this album more than one time. It grabs you and whirls you around. Great song progression, great story.

    I’ll even concede the fact that from Promised Land on some of the albums were weaker than previous releases but they were all still good music. OMII isn’t weak at all. Very strong album from a great band

    I’m 38 years old and “I” know my metal and my music. This is a great Album.

  • Ryan

    After 3 listens, I have several things to say about this album. First, I am impresed. Not because it comes even close to capturing the driving melodic brilliance of the original; it fails miserably in this respect.

    Fortunately, that doesn’t seem to be what the album was trying to accomplish. Instead of musically conveying the passion, energy, and frustration of a disillusioned youth, it instead assaults the senses with driving rhythms, innovative riffs, and tortured vocals that brilliantly capture the mindset of a man who has been consumed by the pain of his experiences and his hunger for revenge.

    The entire focus of the album is its lack of focus , illustrated by drastic, and sometimes very effective, stylistic shifts. One moment, a heavy, driving rhythms, the next a sparse keyboard-laden contemplative piece. All these aspects certainly take away from the coherence of the album. At the same time, though, they serve to make OM II unpredictable, daring, and fresh.

    Although they are radically different albums, I can’t resist closing with a comparison of OM II with its predecessor. In my view, OM I’s brilliance lies in its incredible melodies, brillaint instrumentation, and remarkable consistency. OM II, on the other hand, focus is so successful in focusing on the unravelling of Nikki’s mind that the music itself sounds chaotic and unravelled in places. This chaos seems to help the album almost as often as it hurts it, however, resulting in a very emotional and somewhat disturbing musical experience.

    In short, OM II will never be the classic that OM I was, but its undeniable originality shows that this band still has still has a few pieces of musical brilliance to contribute to the sonic landscape.

  • Wild Child

    Dont get too excited over Operation Mindcrime 2 folks, believe me when I was 17 and Mindcrime 1 came out it was the most important thing in my life…the soundtrack to high school. Then Empire came out and we were treated to such assinine tracks as “Best I Can.” After that Queensryche lost focus and Geoff Tate lost his voice. Promised Land was a half hearted attempt at grunge, Hear in the Now Frontier tried to be a radio band and the duo of Q2K and the horrendous Tribe tried to be….words cant explain Tribe. However thats what Mindcrime 2 is, Tribe with the lyrics of Operation Mindcrime. Nice try with the duo with Ronnie James Dio to cover up the horrendous music guys! Face it, Queensryche lost it after the first Mindcrime so they had 3 and a half great albums, the rest were ok to crap. After hearing Mindcrime 2 I thought it would wipe away the Tribe sound but it didnt so I simply took all my Queensryche CDs and sold them to FYE for store credit. The Ryche should take some lessons from Judas Priest and Iron Maiden about returning to their roots. Operation Mindcrime 2 is a dud folks.

  • Guppusmaximus

    AMEN… Wild Child!!
    Too many people on this website mistaken slick production for a brilliant album!! Queensryche hasn’t been metal since O/M:1… Sure, whatever…If you like the album,that’s great but don’t try to feed me this crap that they didn’t try to capture the 1st one. They just couldn’t!! DeGarmo was missing and “Metal” musicians in this country(US)don’t have a F*cking clue anymore!! So, they will give praise to Queensryche’s effort just because they are Queensryche. I’ve listened to the album 3x myself,I’m 31 and have been a fan since “Queen of the Reich”….

    This Album Sux Ass!!

    Ps-I can’t say that Empire sucks because it didn’t. Maybe because I was a Lizzy Borden fan as well,so I like the Drama…

  • Wild Child

    Queensryche cant make great albums because they arent a great band. They caught lightining in a bottle with OM1 and their “evolution” is an excuse at their failure to follow up with another album of OM1’s quality. Lets have a look at the career of Queensryche shall we?

    Queen of the Reich EP: Excellent flawless metal. Smooth and easy to listen to.

    The Warning: Just like Queen of the Reich but with more diversified writing. Roads to Madness probably is their best song.

    Rage For Order: In come the synthesizers and effects. As for their new “look” they look like a cross between Motley Crue and rejects from Star Wars. Musically though a good album.

    Operation Mindcrime: Their shining hour. The greatest concept album in metal and their best work.

    Empire: The holes begin to show. Good songs like Silent Lucidity are mixed with laughable songs like Best I Can. Commercially they are red hot but their skills are declining a bit.

    Promised Land: Ambitious effort but they waited too long to release it and the metal crowd dissappoints with poor album sales. Tried somehow to fit in the grunge category but just couldnt refind their niche. The Mindcrime days are clearly over.

    Hear In The Now Frontier: Tried even harder than Empire to be commercial. You is a good song but its clear theyre geared this disc for radioplay. You have to like this the same way KISS fans like Dynasty. Their best disc since Mindcrime but again in a catchy commercial way…very unlike Queensryche.

    Q2K: The end is here. Bad songwriting is rewarded with poor crowd response while opening for Iron Maiden and poor sales. This is just a bad album folks and that cant be disputed.

    Tribe: Queensryche is done once and for all. Horrendous writing mixed with Geoff Tates lost voice and an “easy rock” type feel to it. Has the feel of a Phil Collins album. Terrible.

    Operation Mindcrime 2: Tribe + OM1 Lyrics = Operation Mindcrime 2.Its that simple.

    So you see they have 3 great albums and bit and pieces in their other work. A great band? Nah, not even close. They didnt progress either guys, Rush and Iron Maiden progressed Queensryche just lost it and made a mess of their career. The loss of Chris Degarmo was clear. Should have broken up after he left and maybe they could still be looked upon with some dignity.

  • I Am I

    Isn’t it nice to see once more how humans feeds on negativity, more than positivity.
    Ofcourse negative opinions are facts, and positive opinions are subjective crap! I allways tend to forget that…

    So to anyone who is willing to accept the fact that Queensryche’s music could be great, even if it’s not metal (reading all the forums I’m under the impression that it has to be metal, or otherwise they’re not allowed to release it):
    you just might not be disapointed by Operation Mindcrime II. I tried to put this in a negative way… maybe you’ll believe me then…

    But anyway, I am only I, so why even bother to go and buy it, listen to it and… maybe even love it…

  • Wild Child

    Perhaps Mindcrime 2 is getting such negative reviews is simply because the music is poorly written and unimaginative I Am I. People are indeed allowed to listen to it and love it but on the flip side people are allowed to listen to it and not like it. I think judging from this blog the reviews are 50/50 anyway with some metal fans liking it and some not. Personally I think it sucks and thats that. If you like Mindcrime 2 then more power to ya.

  • Sidsel_Roine

    I had a bad feeling as soon as I got in the store and saw the cover. Yikes.

    It’s 2006 and I’m not expecting them to try and copy the original Mindcrime musically. I’m twenty years older and ready for a new journey. Ryche is trying to relieve the glory days. Same art style, same lettering, same colors. Did the record company talk them into this project in an attempt to cash in on their most well-known work?

    And musically…not only does it not hold up to the original album (what could?) but it doesn’t even offer a bold new sound for 2006. It never feels like it gets out of middle gear. Where are the great choruses?

    Tate’s still-great voice will only take you so far. The music on here is muddled from a songwriting standpoint. Decent drumwork and bass, but the guitars and vocal melodies just aren’t getting it done.

    I would have enjoyed a new Ryche album more if it had been a fresh idea (like Tribe), even if the music was average. Putting the “Mindcrime” label on this mess is a…reach.

  • Chimalpopoca

    I remember back when OM1 was released, when I heard it for the first time I did not like all of the songs… I had to listen to it for several weeks… by then I thought it was a masterpiece.

    The problem with OM2 is that we expected too much of it BUT there are 2 enormous factors. We are older…. These are other times… I have listened OM2 8 times now since yesterday and it is begining to settle in.. I agree with most of you folks that OM2 will never be quite as good as OM1 (what album is?) but, I personally think that OM2 is an excellent album better than Tribe, better than Q2K, better than HITNF, better than PL…. for me Empire is set aside (due to nostalgic reasons) but give OM2 a try and wait a couple of days or even weeks to make an objective review.

    Songs I Really Like
    – Im American (Spreading the disease-ish)
    – Hostage
    – The Hands (Intro reminded me of Breaking the silence)
    – Re
    – The Chase
    – A Murderer (Great chorus)
    – An International Confrontation
    – A Junkie’s Blues
    – Fear City Slide

    Heck, I can tell you I like all the songs.

    I read other post that said it sounds old… (heard AC/DC Lately???). Don’t be dissapointed so early.

    Enter DeGarmo, probably you might thing he is the reason OM2 might not be an excellent album… but what about the past 4 albums he was involved in???? his inspiration days are gone…. something must have happened in his personal life to start lacking creativity. Said that, I think we have a good album on our hands, but it is another day and age to be compared to OM1.

    Regards Folks!!!

  • andy

    Just listened to the CD and thought I’d post my opinion while it’s fresh.

    OM2 is a disappointment, simply because OM1 was so great.

    It’s still a fine album, but the lack of DeGarmo has really hurt the sound.

    Geoff Tate still sounds amazing, and the storyline is still what makes it special – but it’s a long way short of OM1.

    Queensryche are still a great band, and OM2 is not a “bad” recording at all – it’s just not as good as OM1.

  • I think it’s important to note that MANY critics didn’t get the 1st mindcrime album when it was originally released. Most GREAT albums are initially critically misunderstood. And now, nearly two decades after its release, it’s hailed as innovative, revolutionary, and of course classic. . .Now, given all the so-called “rock-labeled” crap that fans are basically forced to buy, (since record companies and radio stations alike are geared toward shoddy “garage-sounding” punk garbage, that IS ANYTHING BUT ROCK N‘ROLL, and lacking attitude and spirits thereof,) I think Mindcrime II is a breath of fresh air. Sure, Tate’s vocal ability has declined some. . .Many aging people themselves unable to capture, or do things they once accomplished easily. . .That doesn’t mean they should quit trying. That doesn’t mean they should throw in the towel. But, overall, I think the spirit is there; the vibe is there; the same kind of middle finger” kind of mentality is there. . Overall, I think Mindcrime II is a delightful and appropriate follow-up to its predecessor. . .You buy Slipknot. I’ll stick with Queensryche. You buy System Of A Down. I’ll take Mindcrime II over such rock trickery any day of the week.

  • Chimalpopoca

    AMEN Dean!!!

  • TheAnalogKid

    LOVE to hear all these “Ryche” fans condemning the band! Thats pathetic. Especially the guy that sold his QR library to FYE…good move pal! Thats a “fan” right there. Ive bought every Ryche disc since Promised Land on the day they’ve come out. This band is still very good. You guys have to understand a few things. When a band reaches its Pinnacle, its very hard to match that with each effort following. Metallica – Black, Pearl Jam – 10, and so on. Granted, Ryche put out a goldmine with Mindcrime. However, I agree with whoever said it wasnt a Gem when it first hit. It took a while for people to get used to. To sit there and say QR has 3 and a half good albums is ridiculous. Rage for Order is arguably the bands best, most creative and diverse album. Chris DeGarmo has said that before so that statement is valid. Empire is bad???? Unreal. Where do you critics come from? A few of you even wrote “The Warning” was better than Empire/Promised Land? Thats comical! I would be willing to bet that all those who said that PUMP Empire in their bedrooms non-stop. That album is great. Great riffs, great lyrics, great energy. There is NOTHING wrong with that album. From 1988 to 1994 Queensryche put out albums that you could listen to from start to finish. Personally, Im also baffled by those who say Promised Land was terrible! That kills me. Promised Land is my favorite album of theirs. Its dark, enigmatic, different (for them at that time) Also, its a story. We’ve all agreed Geoff Tate/DeGarmo were at their best when writing “stories” instead of individual songs. I WILL agree that Queensryche has taken a step back over the years. HITNF was NOT a good album. Someone said thats their best effort since Empire/Mindcrime (cant remember)??? You people cannot be MUSIC fans, let alone Ryche fans. A few good songs on that disc, nothing more. Do I have it? Yes. Im a ryche fan, of course I do. Then we have the departure of DeGarmo with Q2K to follow. This album is also not that great, but has one of my favorite Ryche songs on it (Right Side…) They still have to innate ability to catch you like that. Thats why they are so good. Tribe features the return of DeGarmo (creatively) and includes another one of my fav’s (Great Divide) Still, not a great album at all. So how do you folks back up the comments of “DeGarmo leaving the band hurt them”?? He’s an awesome guitar player, that goes without saying. The lyrics and overall composing of songs from Tate/DeGarmo were steadily decreasing though. Mindcrime 2 is a nice comeback. The band wrote this album to finish a story. Do I feel they played off Mindcrime 1 to make an attempt to sell records? Yeah, a little. But who am I to say they cant? Load/Reload. Use Your Illusion 1, 2, Mezmorize/Hypnotize. Dont listen to this record in hopes of it meeting the criteria of 1. Listen to it with a clean slate. Where are the chorus’ you ask? Mindcrime 1 is not filled with chorus’ either. Very short and to the point with lots of music. This one goes in that same direction. Queensryche is at their best when writing in that fashion.This album is NOT Tribe + Mindcrime 1 lyrics. I think all you nay-sayers should go back and really listen to (Im American, Hostage, The Hands, All Signs Say Go, ReArrange You, Fear City Slide, etc) the album. These songs are excellent in comparison to the Ryche’s overall efforts from 1997 onward. I cant wait to see the back 2 back screenplay of Mindcrime 1/2. Should be awesome, and will further stamp Geoff Tate’s legendary ability on the stick. No rock singer ever can handle what this guy can.

  • What a fantastic album with highlights such as Murderer?, The Hands, Fear City Slide and The Hostage. This is queensryche at their majestic best. Despite what many critics might say, I thought that their last album ‘Tribe’ was a triumph – OM2 even surpasses that. Subtle references to OM such as ‘Breaking The Silence’ in ‘The Hands’ are also appealing. Absolutely stunning.

  • WhetherHead

    Great post TheAnalogKid. People have different tastes, but I’m really surprised at how many people are knocking Promised Land. It’s their greatest album in my opinion. I could understand it not being other QR fans fav., but the sheer distain is staggering.

    As for O:mc II, I’ve listened to this album alot since I bought it. It’s really standing out in my opinion. Not my fav., but there are a lot of songs that are getting stuck in my head (i.e. Fear City Slide).

  • Northwestlawn

    Wow, so many compliments and criticisms, I never expected this album to be a “love it or hate it” among QR fans. Since most of what can be said about OM2 has been said, let me offer this perspective:

    It seems as though most of the critics are die hard fans of the “old” QR, and of old school rock/metal in general. If this means you, then I understand why you wouldn’t like this album, or any of the last three (four?).

    Some of you may be more like me; I am a music connoiseur. I appreciate talented music in almost any form. While I thought Hear in the Now Frontier was overall a poor album, I love Q2K and Tribe. I love Geoff Tate’s solo album even better. He is, in my opinion, the best male vocalist, period. I will follow his efforts wherever they may lead, so long as he has the talent to make them.

  • Longtime ‘Ryche Fan

    I can’t get enough of Queensryche, Tate’s vocals, their frenetic guitar fury or pounding percussion. That being said, my anticipation for OM2 was the highest of any of their releases. I’ve already listened to it several times, and am already in love with it. I love Queensryche for their dynamics and versatility, and thank goodness none of their albums are redos of their other work. It’s always new, fresh and invigorating. Other musicians’ works do not fill my musical inventory because most of their follow ups sound the same. I knew going in that this new album would not be the same as the original, so I was ready and open for the continuation of the story. The stark musical changes throughout the album punctuate well the mental struggle Nikki goes through, and I have to say that the way that the guitar strikes those notes in The Chase charges the excitement factor of the whole work at the climax of the album. I can say that in this work less is more, and on subsequent listenings I am just more and more amazed at their artfully creative abilities. I wish all bands could do what Queensryche does. But plain and simple, they don’t and therefore I only have this album or that from them. I’m proud to proclaim that I have all of Queensryche’s work, and will follow them until they fall off the face of the earth. I just wonder how they’re going to follow up with this fantastic piece. Take hold!

  • older than all of you

    this album is a testament to the staying power of the greatest band to come out of that awful time called the 80’s. motley crue, poison, ratt, all the other drivel that came from the 80’s had nothing on the original seattle band. queensryche has continued to put out albums that are at least worth listening to. om:1 was one of the 3 best records ever put out. the other 2 being soundgardens superunknown and alice in chains dirt, what these 3 have in common is that from track 1 till the end is an endless kick in your ass. om:2 does not have the asskicking quality of these but from beginning to end is a very enjoyable album to listen to. i did not want a copy of om:1. if i had gotten that i would have been disappointed. i am 39 and enjoy all kinds of music but queensryche has continually surprised me sonically. promised land is very underrated and empire is overrated. the warning is my second fave to om:1. those of you that hate this record are trying to relive the past. stop it and enjoy the album for what it is. a band making a very loud statement that they have lasted longer than their cohorts and have done it better than most of them.

  • Guppusmaximus

    If you lack the knowledge about the genre then you shouldn’t complain about people knocking a shitty album…When you use examples like Poison and SlipKnot, it really shows you are ignorant about this style of music. Let it go people, Queensryche haven’t released a true Metal album since OM1 and when this mess is swept underneath the perverbial rug, then Queensryche will go into retirement.

  • the eyes of a stranger

    Guppusmaximus and Wild Child- brilliant comments-

    Let me add this, the biggest fault with this album is-it came out 16 years to late. Now, here’s where the original Mindcrime had it’s magic- Use Eyes of a Stranger as an example, that song can actually make you see the story. You can see Nikki in the asylum, during the solo, you can practically picture him pacing around a room with candles, etc. Make sense? After I listened to this album I felt like taking a shower, besides that the idea of this album is an insult to fans who know it so well that they can sing it in their sleep. We already knew what happened to Mary, Mr. Tate. You know what I would like to know though, if anyone knows this, what does Chris DeGarmo think of all this?

  • Northwestlawn

    I don’t know whether to laugh or be frustrated over some of these comments. I assume that if you have a comment about QR, you’re old enough to approach the subject in a rational, mature manner.

    While there are some well written criticisms of the album here, some of them look like they were written by a 16 year old kid who thinks that a rock album is so important that it’s worth getting angry over.

    If you don’t like OM2, fine, it’s not for everybody. But QR is not going to sweep it under the rug, they’re not going into retirement over it, and they’ll do just fine as they have for years, with or without your approval. Lighten up, folks.

  • Axofire

    Its very easy to explain….picture OM1 in 5.1 dolby and OM2 in regular stereo….its missing that sound! A few years back i got to see them perfom OM1 in its completed form live, it was awesome. i don’t feel that this one actually captures the same feel as the first one. like watching a dvd then halfway through the movie you have to watch B/W…….7 out of 10 for this big time Queenryches fan…….

  • Before the storm

    All I have to say is short and sweet. Long time fan since eighty-three. I have stood in line for every curve ball release this quintet has created
    EVERY RYCHE ALBUM GROWS ON YOU! Give it time it will. TRUST ME. ?? Does Niki kill the bastard??

  • I’m proud to own every CD ever made by Queensryche and I wouldn’t trade my QR set for that of any other band… metal or otherwise. I don’t see why people knock their work since OM1. And so what if OM2 isn’t as good as OM1… it’s still much better that all the other mumbo-jumbo floating around out there. As long as Queensryche keeps making CDs, I’ll keep buying them… because they have not yet produced anything that is short of excellent. Sure, it would be nice if Chris DeGarmo was still with the band… he is a great composer/artist, but that doesn’t change the fact that QR still creates great tunes. They are still a solid group.

    Anyway, my favorite songs on OM:2 are “Hostage” and “The Hands”.

    Happy listening. QR keep rockin!

  • USFbobFL

    I’m 47… 2 weeks younger than Geoff Tate. Some of you people may be right… maybe Queensryche is not a metal band… and for me that’s good, because metal tends to give me a headache. With Queensryche I can crank it up and still enjoy the sound. You head bangers go bang your heads up against a wall… I’ll keep listening to the good stuff.

  • This has to be Queensryche’s best album to date. OM1 is a great album but somewhat one dimensional. OM2 on the other hand is a multi layered masterpiece. Many of the tracks on the album remind me of the ‘Rage For Order’ period, which prior to this album was my favourite. ‘Murderer?’ is possibly the greatest Queensryche track of all time. The range and power in Geoff Tate’s voice is truly incredible. I am also a big Dio fan, so to have two of the best vocalists of all time exchanging blows is a treat.

  • Swede

    I love QR and got all the albums,I enjoy the wonderful melodic phrases and passages on the older stuff,but it’s all gone on OM2.Sadly a great told story but no melodies you can remember. I wonder how it will sound live?

  • John

    This disc is [The Wall] for the twenty-first century!
    Become influenced by your chemical of choice and sit down and really listen. Take a ride on that fear city slide!

  • Brandon

    This album is definitely not up to level of greatness as O:M. I’m only 15 and I’ve listened to Mindcrme for a couple of years and it’s probably my favorite album of all time. This new one is a decent album, but a definite disappointment. It lacks the power and drive of Mindcrime, it’s not as heavy, and Tate’s singing was amazing on Mindcrime, this time time, it’s… just not nearly as good. He can’t hit his rediculously high notes anymore. About the only song I like on this album is the one w/ Dio. The story is good though.


    Even if OM2 isn’t great we still get a great concert with OM1 and OM2!

  • GrimV

    Those of you complaining that Mindcrime II isn’t a “metal” album seem to have forgotten that Queensryche isn’t a “metal” band — well, not in the traditional sense.

    There’s a reason they’re classified as “progressive”. Queesnryche (for good or ill) is one of those bands who like to “experiment”. And, generally speaking, they’ve been able to pull it off.

    Sure, they’ve had their dogs — I admit, “Tribe” was complete POS. But like another poster mentioned earlier, their albums tend to grow on you. I loathed “Rage For Order” when I first heard it, but over the years I’ve warmed up to it. Now it ranks up there with “Empire” (which I didn’t exactly like when it first came out…)

    As for Mindcrime II, it’s, well, startin’ to grow on me. Granted, it wasn’t exactly what I expected. I mean, when I finally heard the much anticipated duet with Dio I kept thinkin’ “So when are the Sharks and Jets gonna ‘rumble’?”

    But again, the song’s startin’ to grow on me. Sure it’s a little over-the-top and a bit melodramatic, but seriously — have you ever BEEN to a Dio concert? What’d you expect?

    And there’s some other hidden gems. “Murderer” is a nice cut, “I’m American” has an MCI feel to it, and “Speed of Light” is actually a very good song (I’m sure I’m gonna get lashed for that one).

    Point is, any follow-up to the original Mindcrime was destined to to fall short. It’s flat out one of the best albums ever made (“metal” or not), so the comparison (while natural) isn’t exactly fair.

    Still — I’m startin’ to like it. If I had one major beef, though, it’s the finale. Honestly, they could’ve ended with a better song…

  • Guppusmaximus

    OK… Yeah, Queen of the Reich wasn’t Metal? That’s probably why you didn’t like Rage for Order…It was METAL!!
    When did Queensryche become Prog? They don’t sound anything like Dream Theater, Watchtower or Cynic. Progressive Metal has to do with fusing styles, NOT experimenting. OM1 was a great “Concept” album but it wasn’t prog because they don’t navigate any other style than METAL!! HELLO!! With your explanation, King Diamond’s “Them” would be a Prog Metal Epiphony.
    The reason why the Metalheads on this board hate OM2 is because it isn’t metal!! It lacks everything that made OM1 Brilliant… Empire was a weak album with a few metal tunes and that was the beginning to their dismal fall from grace. OM2 should be looked at as a “Comeback” album and in this manner it fails hopelessly just like most of the people on BC trying to explain that any great Metal album should be listened to 5x before you can appreciate it!!


  • GrimV

    Note To Guppusmaximus:

    You’re missing the point. Yes, “Queen of the Reich” is most assuredly “metal”. And honestly, it’s still one of my favorite Queensryche songs, but you gotta admit — at that time the group was basically a Priest clone.

    And if you’ll note, I said I’ve grown to appreciate “Rage for Order”. But back in ’86, the reigning kings of true Metal were Metallica (“Master of Puppets”) Slayer (“Reign in Blood”)and Iron Maiden (um, did they come out with an album in ’86? nevermind…).

    The point is, Queensryche has a habit of changing their sound. No two albums are exactly alike. And they’ve softened a bit over the years, so in a technical sense, they’re not really a true “metal” band anymore. And, in my opinion, they haven’t been since the original Mindcrime.

  • Guppusmaximus

    How did I miss the point? You claim they aren’t a “Traditional” Metal band when in fact they haven’t released any kind of Metal album since OM1. Then you state they are Progressive since they change their sound from release to release and I concluded that Progressive Metal isn’t experimental it’s a fusion of styles and I listed the Major contributors to that genre.I also named a pinnacle “Conceptual” work from an artist that pioneered the Metal Community because concept albums don’t equal Prog. I don’t think they sound like Judas Priest but that’s my opinion.

    You start naming “reigning” metal bands from ’86, What for?? In fact “Master…” came out in 1985. I believe Iron Maiden released “PowerSlave” in ’86… It’s got nothing to do with my reply…

    Saying a band changes their sound and then claiming them as progressive aren’t conducive to your argument. You made my point for me by stating they have softened over the years and that is clearly evident in OM2..So you are correct in the aspect that aren’t Metal anymore which is why us ‘Ryche fans have been displeased for quite some time….

    Again, OM2 should be looked at as a “Comeback” album and in this manner it fails hopelessly!!

  • zingzing

    shouldn’t progressive metal be experimental? fusion is fusion, not progression. prog is fusion, mostly. it doesn’t really stand for progression anymore, just “prog.”

  • Guppusmaximus

    A Progression into genres.Yes. A Fusion of genres.Yes. An experiment of genres?? I don’t think so…
    So what does “prog” stand for?

  • TheAnalogKid

    Wait, why should we look at this as a “comeback” album? Hopefully, not because you’re simply telling us to. Here are the facts, 45-50 year olds are simply not going to make “metal” music anymore. Its just too much. You come find me when Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall, and God Forbid are all 46 years old and see if they are still putting out “metalcore” music. Metallica “defined” metal for our generation and one could argue that they havent put out a metal album since …And Justice For All. There are so many facets to Heavy Metal. Christ, POISON, WARRANT, and RATT were considered “heavy metal” by the industry in the 80’s. Then in the 90’s metal went back to its basic true form with bands like Pantera, Metallica, Slayer, Sepultera, etc. Queensryche decided to branch out. They decided to experiment. I dont like the term “Progressive Rock”, Im not even sure what that means, technically. Although, my 2 favorite bands of all time, RUSH + QUEENSRYCHE are the poster children of the “genre” What it basically means is these bands have the talent/ability to change with the times so they dont get passed by. Albeit, Rush has done a better job at this than Queensryche. Still, Im taking NOTHING away from QR. For the most part, Ive enjoyed everything they’ve put out since their fall from “popularity” (which would be since Promised Land) For the guy who’s writing that he’s mad at QR for not giving him a Metal album since Mindcrime I….dude, get over it! That album was 18 years ago. Are you still waiting??? Damn. News flash…your QR metal album isnt, nor will it ever be on its way! They are a versatile band, not limited to 1 specific genre. Like I said before, there are PLENTY of straight metal bands out there, and GREAT ones at that. Ive just named 3. Listen to them for “metal” QR has been called the thinking mans band. They are indeed just that. Dynamic, diverse, intelligent, genious!

    P.S. Murderer? is an AMAZING track! This whole CD is very good. The only people I see attacking this album are the guys living in caves waiting for QR Metal Albums. AND AGAIN, WE’RE NOT COMPARING I and II. THEREFORE, EVERYONE ELSE SHOULD STOP AS WELL. You cant compare the 2. End of story. Still, this albums is VERY good (oh yeah, w/out DeGarmo) You want to know what DeGarmo thinks of this album? Tell him to listen to THIS CD, THEN listen to HITNF and Tribe! Then I’ll anxiously await his response.

  • zingzing

    prog means 70’s prog rock. like yes. or genesis.

    “progressive metal” usually, for me, brings up the idea of purposefully experimental metal, which may or may not include some fusion… i don’t know.

    is progressive metal an accepted term? does it denote a specific style of music, which, like you say, is characterised by fusion?

    i just think “prog” is a terrible term… for terrible music. and that it should be left that way. “prog metal” just sounds like a bunch of guys with long hair and capes making albums about vikings who wander the earth in search of a mystical sword or something with full orchestras and harps underneath the soloing wankery of some blonde guy named leslie who wears a cod peice and during the high point of the solo walks over to the vocalist and sings, lips to lips, some harmonized prayer to thor for guidance to the sword of destiny. or is that spear?

  • UPA_Smitten

    Just getting through my first listen, and so far so good, I probably would have liked for the Anarchy-x theme from mindcrime to be at the beginning again(as opposed to buried at the end of junkie’s blues) but that may change as I listen further. I see a lot of people seem to be debating the “metalness” of QR. It seems to me that if you look at past interviews, they were mostly embarassed by some of the things they did early in their career(the video for Queen of the Reich as a prime Example) but with every album, they PROGRESSED! The Idea of making the same album over and over sounds hellish. for all those who call mindcrime the last “METAL” album they made, what the hell was “gonna get close to you”? That was the biggest single on Rage for Order, and if you called that metal when I was a teen, you’d get your ass kicked!LOL

    The greatest thing about QR is just that which the so-called “metalheads” don’t get; they change, they experiment, they try different things. What I’ve always admired about QR is that as I’ve grown, grown up, gotten married, had kids etc… My outlook on things has changed. Things may still piss me off, but the days of blind rage are gone, so is my longing for swords and sorcerors, (although up until seventh son, The Irons had me pretty strong.)I’ve grown, and this band has as well, they have many things to say, and there’s many ways to say it. If you hadn’t figured out by RAGE FOR ORDER that this wasn’t just a metal band, you weren’t paying very close attention, and musically some of their best stuff was definitely not metal( my top 3 OTMC are Della Brown, Empire and All I Want, for all those who think hear in the now frontier sucked, one of my faves, was just what I wanted to hear when it came out) no one is saying that having a differing opinion is wrong, but calling Queensryche a metal band is like calling the pope a satanist, it’s not true and if you base your argument on a FALSE proposition, your doomed to fail. As a professional musician(Thats how I make a living) I may love to crank out Revalations for a hoot with the guys once in a blue moon, but as I’ve grown up each and every year, i change, and this band is one of the few who’ve done so consistently, and unless you’ve been living under a rock since 88, you should have seen that as well.

  • Guppusmaximus

    Whatever…I’m arguing with ignorant wannabe MetalHeads, it’s just like teaching. I’m a musician not a teacher. If I wanted to teach I would’ve went to Berkley!! Here’s some bands/Artists:

    Dream Theater
    Iron Maiden
    Defiance(Metal not Punk)
    Ankgor Wat
    Napalm Death
    King Diamond

    So what if QR is still together!! Go do some f*cking research!! Then tell me why this album blows donkey nuts….

  • UPA_Smitten

    First off, to say poser and yet trot out utter Bullshit like King Diamond( I own Abigail but really? gets a little tired after a while!) Your comment typify’s the utter ignorance of SO CALLED metal fans who can’t see past the nose on their face. If you even bothered to read what I wrote, You’d see I DID NOT say that the new album was great, a masterpiece or any such nonsense. I didn’t expect it be. I really haven’t made up my mind yet, however there are some strong tracks( I think I could do without the dio cameo though, a couple more listens to decide). I love metal, however, it’s not the 80’s anymore, and I don’t live in my parents basement listening to megadeth and bitching that they never shoulda thrown dave out of metallica!LOL I’ve moved on, I still listen to practice what you preach at least once a year, but I also get a kick out of Atreyu and As I Lay Dying, but they aren’t regular playlist bands, I’m much more apt to have Metric or Death Cab For Cutie cued up at the moment, but my tastes tend to vary and as an Example Coheed and Cambria are my current favorite! My point was that QR was never Truly a “Metal” band and if your trying to show off by listing bands who have little or nothing in common with Queensryche, you’ve only helped make my point for me.

    I’m all up for intelligent conversation, But for God’s sake, make a Decent argument, don’t just chant “metal rulz” and make the sign of the goat!LMAO If you’d like to start over, perhaps telling everyone the basis for your belief that queensryche was a metal band in the first place, and simply trotting out queen of the riech doesn’t cut it, start maybe with the first label release, but compare it with the other REAL METAL bands at that time, and do a song by song review, then do the same for the next release till you get mindcrime, comparing with all the others at the same time, and if you can HONESTLY say that Queensryche was a metal band, then there’s a poser around here for sure, but it sure as hell isn’t me.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll trot out some old Merciful Fate on vinyl, all this metal talk has me thinking of Golden Showers!LOL

  • UPA_Smitten

    Sorry, I mistook “ignorant wannabe MetalHeads” for poser, or did I sum it up? probably just semantics.

  • Guppusmaximus

    My reply wasn’t just to you,Man…
    With the commercial sh!t you’ve just mentioned, I can see why you would like QR’s OM2.Ya know, Not even the fact that they are mainstream but all those bands you listed just plain out SUCK! Why should I have an intelligent discussion when people on this board are calling Queensyche “prog”? HUH?
    Then other people don’t have a clue as to what progessive metal is… Giveme a break! And, Just because it isn’t the 80’s anymore doesn’t mean there aren’t killer bands out that still play great F*cking Metal.(except for Queensryche) What do I currently listen to?? Let’s see:

    Demons & Wizards “Crimson King”
    Opeth “Ghost Reveries”
    Darkane”Layer of Lies”
    Attention Deficit( Alot of Michael Manring’s work)
    Dream Theater”Octavarium”

    As of recent, though, my fix for industrial hasn’t been quenched and I can’t stand NIN because Reznor’s work sounds like f*cking disco. So what do I do? I can’t find any “true” Industrial bands…Anyways,expand your audible senses…There is so much cool sh!t that fly’s under the radar especially MYV’s Radar.

  • zingzing

    you and your labels. damn. don’t you find it strange how you argue constantly, even with your fellow METALHEADZZZZ? raw!

    what’s “true” industrial then?

    einsturzende? wolf eyes?

  • Guppusmaximus

    Sure… Labels help define genres of music. They help musicians classify their influences. It’s kinda hard to tell someone what your band sounds like when you have no idea about styles of music.
    This thread has been a great example of how not labeling music gets people confused. I am very passionate about music and I feel that the media has already destroyed metal history with their ability to pigeonhole bands from the 80’s. Again this thread has shown that,i.e; POISON as a metal band?? LOL!!
    True “industrial” to me is like Ministry’s Psalm 69,ya know, something that isn’t f*cking techno. Something with a steady rock/metal beat filled with machine samples and some raunchy guitars with speed picking, but I am not well versed in any of the underground stuff and it’s been awhile since Ministry has released anything worth listening to…though, I may look into Wolf Eyes…Thanks

  • zingzing

    try einsturzende neubaten (spelling?) first. if you want “real” industrial, their early stuff isn’t filled with metal riffs and samples (what could be more post-industrial?), but with scraping guitars, some german guy yelling things and the sound of them beating on metal and tearing apart disused buildings… like highway overpasses and watermains.

  • zingzing

    oh. godflesh. you’d probably like them. slow, slow metal with industrial touches all over it. nasty stuff.

  • Guppusmaximus

    Oh yeah…I think I saw Godflesh(was the album titled ,”Streetcleaner”?) back in 1991 when they opened for Napalm Death or was it Lawnmower Death(Drum Machine & 2 guitars) I’m not sure…

  • Guppusmaximus

    One of my fav’s is “Theives” from Ministry…that’s a little more what I like.

  • GrimV

    Guppusmaximus Wrote: “How did I miss the point? You claim they aren’t a “Traditional” Metal band when in fact they haven’t released any kind of Metal album since OM1.”

    WTF? Didn’t I just say that?

    I believe I did. In fact, let’s review: “And they’ve softened a bit over the years, so in a technical sense, they’re not really a true ‘metal’ band anymore. And, in my opinion, they haven’t been since the original Mindcrime.”

    Guppusmaximus Wrote: “Then you state they are Progressive since they change their sound from release to release and I concluded that Progressive Metal isn’t experimental it’s a fusion of styles and I listed the Major contributors to that genre.”

    Then call it whatever the hell you want. Honestly, I don’t give a sh!t. But most people associate “progressive” music with “experimentation”. That’s why folks tend to hang the “progressive” label on Queensryche.

    Guppusmaximus Wrote: I also named a pinnacle “Conceptual” work from an artist that pioneered the Metal Community because concept albums don’t equal Prog.”

    I never said it did.

    Guppusmaximus Wrote: “I don’t think they sound like Judas Priest but that’s my opinion.”

    Okay, like you said, that’s your opinion.

    Guppusmaximus Wrote: “You start naming “reigning” metal bands from ’86, What for??”

    To show that “Rage” was not a traditional metal album. That’s not to say it was a bad album…

    Guppusmaximus Wrote: “In fact “Master…” came out in 1985. I believe Iron Maiden released “PowerSlave” in ’86… It’s got nothing to do with my reply…”

    Okay, I got my years mixed up. Gimme a break, I’m gettin’ old.

    And I used those bands as a comparison.

    Guppusmaximus Wrote: “Saying a band changes their sound and then claiming them as progressive aren’t conducive to your argument.”

    Again, a lot of people associate “progressive” with “experimentation”. But if it makes you feel better, call it whatever the f-ck you want…

    Guppusmaximus Wrote: “You made my point for me by stating they have softened over the years and that is clearly evident in OM2..”

    Made your point? Show me anyone who’s denied that Queensryche has softened their sound over the years. Any moron with a working pair of ears can tell you that…

    Guppusmaximus Wrote: “So you are correct in the aspect that aren’t Metal anymore which is why us ‘Ryche fans have been displeased for quite some time….”

    Dude, that’s a long time to be pissed off. You should probably accept the fact that they’re never gonna return to the “metal” years and try to get on with your life….

    Guppusmaximus Wrote: “Again, OM2 should be looked at as a “Comeback” album and in this manner it fails hopelessly!!”

    Or it could be looked at as the second act of “mindcrime”.

  • zingzing

    yeah, streetcleaner was their first album i think. wolf eyes are much more experimental than godflesh, ministry, that stuff. they are pure evil. actually very hard to get through more than 20-30 minutes of their stuff in one sitting. ahh… “thieves.” try some skinny puppy. late 80’s puppy.

  • Guppusmaximus

    Hey Grim V…. BLAH,Blah,BLAH!! You can quote me all day if ya want. The fact of the matter is that I haven’t missed a point you’ve stated, it’s that they don’t make sense. You obviously don’t have a clue about music and you’re talking out your a$$. Come on, what was so “traditional” about Slayer, Metallica or Iron Maiden?? HUH?? NOTHING!! They were all different from each other and NOONE was playing at their level. Practically every f*cking band that was on the Metal Massacre compilations weren’t traditional.
    Testament,King Diamond,Metal Church,Megadeth,Coroner…Were all non-“traditional”. Face it, “Rage for Order” had an original sound but so did every other band in the 80’s but they were still METAL!! NOT Progressive… “Experimentation” as you put it was being done by bands like Watchtower,IronChrist,Dream Theater… So, Finally..I disagree with your POV and OM2 proved to me that they won’t return to metal but maybe they shouldn’t have tried to accomplish a sequel to the best album in their discography. I guess I just felt that if Bands like Iron Maiden can “Comeback” why couldn’t they??

  • TheAnalogKid

    So basically, Guppus is saying that QR isnt metal, hasnt been since OM1? Ok! He has berated the band for leaving the metal community, softening their sound, failing at a comeback, losing a pivitol songwriter, etc? Ok! Guppus also says that QR has left all the metalheads pissed since 88? Then I just have 1 question….why are you still buying Queensryche albums??????? Did you buy the new album just to bash it like the other recent releases?? If Im not mistaken, you said you bought Empire, Promised Land, Hear in the Now Frontier, Q2K, Tribe, and now your bashing OM2 (which would make one believe you have it) JUST NOW, you are going to sell your entire QR catalog to FYE? What took you so long man? Funny how it took about 6 albums, and a sequel to Operation Mindcrime for you to throw your hands up in the air and say “Thats it! Im done with Queensryche!” They must have done SOMETHING right for you to hang on THIS long. For my money, anything that had a hard rock sound in the 80’s was considered Heavy Metal. Heavy Metal was such a loose term back then. Now its more concentrated. If I knew THEN what I know NOW, I would have NEVER said Queensryche was metal. They’re not. By the way, all those crazy metal bands you just named…..what are they doing now? You claim Iron Maiden made a “comeback”???? Are you SURE? Ask Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne if Iron Maiden made a “comeback” and ALSO ask them if Maiden is any good!! See, me personally, I LOVE it when people like you give up on bands. Especially the ones that I think are great. It makes it easier for me to get tickets. Queensryche will make a lot of money on this tour. For everybody that attends, it will be one of the greatest theatrical shows they’ve ever seen. People will realize how hard this band works, and gain a true, sincere appreciation for Geoff Tate live. Best part is, its NOT a comeback. Over the years, they’ve just cut the fat in their fanbase and have basically gotten it down to the cult following they had in the early, early 80’s. Please give me a rave review on the next Napalm Death show you go see. With all the bands you’ve listed, I dont even know how you got INTO Queensryche! Which, again, says they did SOMETHING right over the years. Those are some crazy death metal bands you’re diggin over there guy. Still, Id take Queensryche (pure talent wise) over any one of those bands listed above.

  • M.A.D.

    Queensryche is the most talented, under-rated groups of all time.One of the things I always admired about them is the fact that you can’t label them as metal or progressive or anything. They have a sound all their own. They never did what everybody else was doing. No lyrically predictable anthems about drugs, sex and rock&roll. While I agree that Tribe wasn’t a very strong disc, OMC-II is the best i’ve heard from them in a while. The first play thru, nothing jumped at me, then I had a chance to sit and read the lyrics while playing it again and again. As with all Ryche discs, you MUST read the lyrics. It only enhances the experience. Anyone who saw the last tour can picture the theatrics and eye-candy that will accompany the upcoming tour. I can’t wait. It was also good to hear Pamela Moor (mary) on multiple tracks this time. She is a powerhouse vocalist, and not bad to look at live either.
    To anyone who didn’t like OMC-II, you either don’t like Ryche to begin with, or you only did the first play-thru and didn’t read the lyrics when listening. Do yourself a favor and take an hour to listen and read. I think you’ll find it growing on you.

  • GrimV

    Guppusmaximus Said: “Hey Grim V…. BLAH,Blah,BLAH!!”

    I’m sorry, I don’t speak Spanish.

    Guppusmaximus Said: “You can quote me all day if ya want. The fact of the matter is that I haven’t missed a point you’ve stated, it’s that they don’t make sense.”

    Why am I not surprised…

    Guppusmaximus Said: “You obviously don’t have a clue about music and you’re talking out your a$$.”

    Why? Because I said Queensryche isn’t a “traditional” metal band and have a tendency to change their sound?

    Yeah, dude — I’m talkin’ out my ass…

    Guppusmaximus Said: “Come on, what was so “traditional” about Slayer, Metallica or Iron Maiden??”

    They’re bands who typically maintain their specific “sound”. They don’t deviate from it and they don’t “experiment”. Whereas, Queensryche does. Which, in case you didn’t know, is the reason for the “progressive” label.

    Guppusmaximus Said: “HUH?? NOTHING!!”

    Whoa — gearin’ up for a fight there, big guy?

    I’m sorry, how old are you again?

    Guppusmaximus Said: “They were all different from each other and NOONE was playing at their level. Practically every f*cking band that was on the Metal Massacre compilations weren’t traditional.
    Testament,King Diamond,Metal Church,Megadeth,Coroner…Were all non-“traditional”.”

    Well, yeah — for the most part they did play different from each other. With the exception of Queensryche…who sounded a lot like Priest.

    Guppusmaximus Said: “Face it, “Rage for Order” had an original sound but so did every other band in the 80’s but they were still METAL!! NOT Progressive…”

    Okay, clearly you missed the part where I said I’ve grown to like “Rage for Order”, but nevermind…if you wanna try to understand my point about “Warning” v. “Rage”, compare Rush’s “2112” with “Farewell to Kings”.

    Guppusmaximus Said: “Experimentation” as you put it was being done by bands like Watchtower,IronChrist,Dream Theater…”

    You mean “Rage for Order” wasn’t a departure from their usual fare?

    Could’ve sworn that album sounded a wee bit different from the other two…(but apparently on your homeworld experimenting with a different sound doesn’t equal “experimentation”. go figure)

    Guppusmaximus Said: “So, Finally..I disagree with your POV and OM2 proved to me that they won’t return to metal but maybe they shouldn’t have tried to accomplish a sequel to the best album in their discography. I guess I just felt that if Bands like Iron Maiden can “Comeback” why couldn’t they??”

    Why did you think they’d return to metal? They haven’t been a “metal band” for almost 20 years….

  • USFbobFL

    I like Queensryche’s style because of their thought provoking lyrics and advanced melodic composition. The fact that it takes more than one listen to fully appreciate speaks volumes for their creativity and aversion to commercialism. The fact that Geoff Tate has one of the best male singing voices of all-time doesn’t hurt either. Speaking of great voices, what ever happened to Skid Row’s Sebastian Bach? “Quicksand Jesus” is one of the best songs of all time.

  • Todd Goscha

    I can’t make a complete review at this time because I’m only halfway through the record, but I will say this. I am very excited about this newest release from Queensryche. I have been a QR fan since the 7th grade and I am now 29. I have bought every QR release to ever come out and have probably seen them live over 20 times. Anyway, How lucky is a QR fan when you think about it. How few bands in history have kept going on and on like they have? Even though some albums of late haven’t pleased everybody, I find myself extremely lucky to love the music of a band that it seems will never quit. There is always the next album and tour to look forward too. In my opinion QR are real class acts and always will be.
    Yes I wish Chris Degarmo was still in the band for sentimental sake, but who cares really. I’m just glad they are still around and kickin. And who cares what musical catagory you or the next guy places QR in? They are a joy to listen to and that’s all that matters. As for operation mindcrime 2, I am finished listening to it now and i think it’s a great thing. I can’t wait to listen to it again and submerse myself in it. I consider myself very lucky to be a fan of such a long lasting wonderful rock band.

  • kid coulson

    Its growing on me!I said its not as good as mc1,
    but I find myself playing it just about every night.They did it to me again!!!

  • I’m with Hostage 13. I’ve listened to this album probably 15 times now and I have to say that it rocks. It,s like having “The Wall” and missing side 2. I think it’s that good. So heres to everyone who thinks it sucks——-you’re not real fans.


    QR was my absolute favorite band forever ago. OMC II was kind of a light of hope for me but, unfortunately, the songwriting has very steadily turned south (IMHO) since ‘Empire’.

    Also, Geoff’s voice is sounding weak lately. It’s almost as though he’s lost some of his register, or is afraid to really belt it out like he was so known for. I am very disappointed.

    Best albums:
    Queensryche EP
    The Warning
    Rage for Order
    Operation Mindcrime

    So, so albums:
    Promised Land
    Hear in the Now Frontier

    Pure crap:
    Operation Mindcrime II

  • Here is good website!!! I will introduce it to my friends… Please, introduce my site to your friends 🙂

  • Keith

    I just got this album (OM2) last week. It took a few days to figure out what was going on, but I love it now. It is weird because the climax comes in Track 10 and 11. Not Track 17, the end track. But as great as OM1 was and OM2 is, I also love Promised Land. I hate to say it (because I grew up loving Mindcrime), but that (Promised Land) is my favorite QR album. Lyrics and the music on every song are just so great. I would say give it a careful listen again…

  • windy robinson

    I been a QR fan for 20 years. They are a socially conscience band. We need more bands concerned about the world than how “RICH” they are. I saw OMI&II preformed live, best 38 dollars I spent in a long time, what a show it was . Tate voice was on target, how may singer sound that good at a live preformance? Not many. If anyone think Ozzy still rock they’re crazy at least the band has aged well.

  • I’m a musician and I honestly cannot believe some of the comments on this page. If anything, Geoff Tate’s voice sounds better than on earlier releases: it’s richer and has more warm tones rather than the one level, show-piece ear-piercing in some early releases. The trademark layered multiple harmonies are still there and sound smoother than ever. Musically, the tracks are very sophisticated in terms of intlerlacing melodies and interesting time signatures. It seems to me that a lot of people just want things to sound like they did in the eighties. The very same people probably did’t think much of Operation Mindcrime until it became fashionable to like it. Queensryche have never been a typical band and the very narrow-minded criticisms of some people here underline their niche appeal and reputation as a band who make “thinking man’s music”. If you don’t like it, stick to Iron Maiden and Priest who I personally enjoy but have nevertheless released the same album for twenty years. Operation Mindcrime 2 is a fantastic album which is only slightly overshaddowed by a legendary musical masterpiece. That’s a success in my book.

  • Wild Child- Wow! The more I read it gets even more puzzling…”Promised Land was a half hearted attempt at grunge”….WHAT? Exactly which tracks??? I am I? Mary Jane? Society? Bridge? Promised Land? Please explain to me which ones were grunge?
    I’m glad you don’t like Queensryche anymore. I’d hate to think I liked something you did.

  • azryche

    I just saw the live show of OMCI & OMCII on oct 2nd here in Phoenix, Holy sh*t was it great! True geoff’s voice is not what it was in the 80’s but some 20 odd years later, who thinks it would be. His voice has matured with his age. I would not want to see a 40 year old man trying to sound like a 20 some year old. He sounded OUTSATNDING! I have been reading a lot of reviews of both the show and the new album to mixed reviews and it seems as if you really loved them or really hated them. I myself loved every minute of the show and and am very pleased with OMCII. true, i get a bit bored after murderer but understand the flow of the concept. Those who keep insisting that QR is no longer a metal band must have never been fans to begine with or fully understood this band. As mentioned above QR were never a metel band just lumped into that catagory due to the times.

    Thank you Geoff and boys for not disapointing!!


  • I saw it performed live and I like the rest of the crowd went crazy for it. I’ve never seen a reaction to an older rock band like that. The got a 10 minute standing ovation. I ran out and bought the album immediately. There are a bunch of great songs on here. All my friends were stunned by the new album. It does help to hear and see it live. Listening to the album is like watching a movie with only sound. Example: when Nikki (Geoff) shoots Dr. X in the head.
    Example 2: Some of the lyrics were stressed on the video screen, also, just the way that Geoff stressed the lyrics live. To be honest, I just want to see everyone love this album as much as me. I was so proud of those guys. They are truely a class act. They gave us a 3 hour show and Geoff hit alot of the very highest notes live. I’ve never heard him sound better. Anyone reading this blog and are true fans of the band should really listen to this album in the manner that new guitarist Mike Stone suggests of thier website. He says, “If you listen to it a bunch of times, it will sink in.”
    By the ways with all the mean spirits?
    Some of you guys don’t even seem like fans at all.
    I think you should listen to it more than a few times before saying such negativity.
    People might listen to you and not give this album a chance.
    You’re comparing it to the greatest album ever made. Compare it to the Fall out boys and even the people who hate it will see my point.haha.

  • Tracey Wright

    Saw the show last night in SLC. I adore Queensryche and saw them many times in several states in my younger days (I’m 36). I was thrilled to hear OMI but sorely disappointed to not hear favorites from Queen of the Reich, The Warning, or Promised Land (and only 2 from Empire). I feel their later albums pale in comparison to their earlier work, and I really expected them to play the songs that generated so many devoted fans like me. I’ll admit that Tate’s voice is not quite what it used to be, but his still impressive range and powerful performance reminded me why I fell in love with their music so many years ago. I went into the concert feeling very nostalgic and hoping the music would let me relive the good ol’ days, if only for a while. The first set (OM1) did just that. OMII just didn’t work for me, so I spent most of the second set praying that at least their encore would be early stuff. They redeemed themselves by closing with Empire. I’m always eager to hear new stuff, but I hope that when they tour in the future, they will perhaps give more thought to how they generated such an amazing following, and it was largely through their earlier albums. That being said, I will forever remain a fan of this band, whose sound and style will never be matched!

  • to many comments and differing views, so i’ll just state my own with respect to everyone else; older or younger than me (28).

    OM2,which i’m listening to right now, is amazing on a level that 95% of bands will never, ever reach. boo-hoo, degarmo’s gone; his choice, not ours, and i wish him the best in life. i’m younger than many, but Rage was one of the first CDs i’ve owned, and QR have always been my favorite “heavier” rock band. it was talentless idiots like Cobain and Nirvana that ruined the climate for such quality music as QR put out. i got Mindcrime 1 when i was 10 years old. at first i didn’t like it. a couple years later i pulled it off the shelf and really listened to it. we all agree MC1 is mindblowing and one of the best concept albums ever.

    Now MC2 is here. Thank the Lord. for me, it feels as if the band took a 15 minute break from the studio, then slammed this hammer of a storyline home. some complain about the differences or similarities of the songs’ “sound”, and again i blame Nirvana and their Collective Soul ilk for ruining most music that’s been released since “come as you are” hit radio. i shudder to think of pearl jam and STP (same band, right?).

    QR was cast into the “fish out of water” category for a few years because of the ugly shift in music, which now seems to have some hope and a few bright shining stars of hope. OM2 is all and more than i ever expected from Queensryche. i feel it is the best “sequel” to OP1 they could have possibly made, despite no degarmo. it was/is also so incredibly refreshing to hear more intelligent-rock again…it’s been so long. Rock has truly sucked for the most part since at least ’91/’92. the fact that (planned, plotted or just streaming fresh) QR are fully and utterly capable of bringing back all of the best aspects of the “older” rock/metal sound and do it as Grand Masters, not sounding silly or scraping for crumbs for a moment. all other “80’s hair bands” are touring county fairs at best, and *wishing* they’d made music as intelligent and powerful as QR has- with OP2 likely the final nail in several coffins. other metal/rock was just hairspray, sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll. no other band reached beyond the thin hedonism of “80’s metal” as much as QR. through their transitions, they’ve always been a band with a far greater vision, message, and delivery than their contemporaries, hands down.

    OM2 is an album that makes my hair stand on end. it is within a half-blink of perfection, daunted only by OP1. the fact they could return to this story, this sound and update it while retaining the core aspects after 18ish years screams “brilliance and dedication”.

    final thoughts: i loved the art and it’s coherence to the original; i wouldn’t have it any other way at all, despite other posters’ views. Yes, it’s more than tricky to pull off a successful musical sequal (remember the PATHETIC Metallica’s “enter sandman…2” holy horse barf), but Queensryche did it with Master Jedi skills. i couldn’t tear OM2 out of my car’s player for several weeks after purchase, and it’s still in heavy rotation. THEY were real rock, the rest (whitesnake, poison, def lep, motley crue, any other “80’s rock/metal/hair” bands never really meant anything. no message, no intelligence, and meager skill at best). QR was the only rocking band that devoted themselves to deeper issues, self-awareness, social/political climates, love, loss and other real human concerns. if you prefer pure escapist-rock that ponders nothing more than how many women you can be with or how many drugs you use (who ever gave G’n R a contract? PLEASE), then you won’t like Queensryche very much. if you prefer music that rocks and slams even with an 18 year gap in sequels, QR are the one and only place to go. heck, most metal band members couldn’t even spell their name, let alone realize the meaning in their music.

  • Good review, valid points… but definitely a disappointment for me. And for others too, apparently. When I saw them in Cleveland this last time (OM1/2 “Entirety Tour”), there was a huge exodus of folks who left the House of Blues after OM was done. And frankly, having seen that masterwork done in part in 1988 (opening for Metallica) and in full in 1991 on the Empire tour, I think even the original OM was weak and bloated this time around… not to mention obvious that without Pamela on backing vox, Tate was struggling. Band is just not the same without DeGarmo… I admit as a longtime QR fan that I had to leave after “I’m American.” Just couldn’t take it. I went and spend my t-shirt money on a couple of tasty beverages and went home. Anyway, nice work, Chris. As usual. Way to represent the 216.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Wow… it’s great to see this thread last over a year. I posted my comment not too long after reading this article and I have to stick with my original intuition.

    “[OM2] is amazing on a level that 95% of bands will never, ever reach.”

    This statement is not only hysterical but rather inaccurate.

  • Bill

    Why is everybody knocking Tribe? I loved Tribe. Tribe had a mystical quality to it. HINF and Q2K are the only 2 QR discs that truly sucked. Anyway, on to OM2. I thought QR did an admirable job. The production was solid. Stone did a much better job on the lead then I thought he would. I’m American is an ok song but, it’s a little too commercial sounding for me. One Foot In Hell, Hostage, The Hands, and Fear City Slide are the best songs on this disc. I’d give it 7 out of 10. Everybody talks of how DeGarmo leaving the band killed them, simply not true. DeGarmo had a good sound, but his overall talent is average at best. And Tate is a better song writer so everybody crying over DeGarmo not being there needs to get over it, the band has. Wilton, Jackson, and Rockenfeld’s drums are the backbone of this band. Those 3 ARE Queensryche in my opinion. But yet everybody only talks about Tate and DeGarmo. Like others have commented, there was no way they were going to outdo OM1, not even if a guitar legend like Jimmy Page or Joe Satriani did the guitar work. Actually, I think the disc might have been great with Satch doing the guitar work. To sum up OM2, the disc sounded like straight up 80’s hard rock to me (not the glam metal crap). I liked it. OM1, in my opinion, is the greatest rock disc in history. It can’t be duplicated nor should it ever be attempted. Geoff Tate(even though his voice is only half as good as it used to be) is still the greatest rock vocalist in history, far better then even Robert Plant.

  • Adam

    I went to the Cleveland show of MC1 and 2 and I have no idea what the one review is talking about. Pamela Moore was there so I don’t get the comment about Tate struggling because she wasn’t there. It was a great show. Tate did lower most of the high notes from MC1 but it still sounded good. I understand he isn’t 22 anymore. I’m 28 and I doubt I’ll sound he same in 15 years. That’s just life. I think MC 2 is a decent album, best by them in a long time, but MC1 is a masterpiece that would be almost impossible to best. With the rock music scene being pretty dull, I’m glad QR is still making music. There worst is better than a lot of bands best these days.

  • Fernando