Devil Music A-Z: Queensryche

I’ve spoken quite a few times about Queensryche in the past few years and it’s never been positive (they made my top 5 worst for last year). So for this installment of A-Z I’d like to forget the past 15 years existed and talk about the band I enjoyed. The first song I ever heard from Queensryche was ‘Queen of the Reich’ of the self titled E.P. What an epic song and few could match the vocal style of Geoff Tate.

Nice introduction to the band eh? Heavily influenced by the NWOBHM but hailing from Seattle when everyone else was from across the pond or in L.A. was a bit of an anomaly. The next song I heard was ‘The Lady Wore Black’ from the same EP and it was a great ballad that still produces chills to this day.



I didn’t actively pursue picking that album up though for whatever reason even when they had released their first full length ‘The Warning’ and the first track I had heard was ‘Take Hold of the Flame’.

I remember seeing the next album ‘Rage for Order’ on the shelves a couple of years ago and couldn’t figure out what the band was doing. Were they turning glam or new wave? I think this was the first album to really be progressive metal and I remember the controversy that there was supposedly subliminal messaging embedded though I never heard it and believe it was debunked. It took me a few years to come back and really listen to that album and it is pretty good even though there is some electronic music involved. Check out my favorite track.

About the time I was graduating high school Queensryche had gone full prog metal with their first concept album in ‘Operation Mindcrime’. I wasn’t nearly as into prog stuff as I became in later years but I remember digging this song.

And then came Queensryche’s “Black Album”. I’m of course referring to Empire and how it was their greatest success and the beginning of the end of the band as us old timers knew them. No concepts, no real progressive parts, no fantasy settings. Just a collection of songs that appealed to a mass audience. Silent Lucidity went off the charts and probably half the album had videos made. Let’s play a song that wasn’t overplayed.

Promised Land wasn’t a bad album and actually had some good tracks but from there the inspiration seemed to be gone from the band. Which is too bad, because they had potential to maintain their respectability in the rock and metal scene along side Rush and Dream Theater to this day. Still, 6 albums worth of material is pretty good for most bands so again, this is one of the rare times I’m one of those guys that would rather live in the past and enjoy what was.

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3 responses to “Devil Music A-Z: Queensryche

  1. I guess sometimes it’s all relative to when you discover things, or sometimes it might be age-related.

    “Empire” was the first thing of theirs I heard, when I was in high school, and I thought the entire thing was great. But I also remember some of my older friends talking about “Mindcrime”. I’ve always meant to go back and check that one out, but guess I never got around to it.

    I did pick up “Promised Land” when that came out, and even then I remember thinking that, while I did enjoy it, it sort of seemed like they were trying to make another “Empire”…

    I lost track of the band after those two albums, but the concensus (from everything I’ve ever seen since then) seems to be that I haven’t missed much.

    • Pretty much from the time Degarmo left the band it’s been all down hill. While his guitar playing was good it was the songwriting and concepts that were his strong suits. Tate and Wilton, to their credit, are trying to be original and creative and if they were in another band it would be I guess. Though Dedicated to Chaos was really terrible regardless.

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