QUEENSRŸCHE — Operation: Mindcrime

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QUEENSRŸCHE - Operation: Mindcrime cover
4.42 | 178 ratings | 17 reviews
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Album · 1988


1. I Remember Now (1:18)
2. Anarchy-X (1:27)
3. Revolution Calling (4:39)
4. Operation: Mindcrime (4:45)
5. Speak (3:42)
6. Spreading The Disease (4:07)
7. The Mission (5:46)
8. Suite Sister Mary (10:41)
9. The Needle Lies (3:08)
10. Electric Requiem (1:22)
11. Breaking The Silence (4:34)
12. I Don't Believe In Love (4:23)
13. Waiting For 22 (1:07)
14. My Empty Room (1:30)
15. Eyes Of A Stranger (6:38)

Total Time 59:14


- Geoff Tate / voicals, keyboards
- Chris De Garmo / guitars
- Michael Wilton / guitars
- Eddie Jackson / bass guitars
- Scott Rockenfield / drums & keyboards

- Pamela Moore / guest Vocals
- Michael Kamen / Orchestration

About this release

Release date: May 2, 1988
Label: Manhattan Records

Reissued in 2003 with the following bonus tracks:

1. The Mission (live at The Hammersmith Odeon, London, 1990) (6:11)
2. My Empty Room (live at The Astoria Theatre, London, 1994) (2:43)

Reissued in 2006 with a bonus disc recorded live at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, England on November 15, 1990 with the following tracklist:

1. I Remember Now (1:12)
2. Anarchy-X (1:28)
3. Revolution Calling (4:51)
4. Operation: Mindcrime (4:16)
5. Speak (3:47)
6. Spreading The Disease (5:13)
7. The Mission (5:50)
8. Suite Sister Mary (12:04)
9. The Needle Lies (3:27)
10. Electric Requiem (1:16)
11. Breaking The Silence (4:34)
12. I Don't Believe In Love (4:29)
13. Waiting For 22 (1:12)
14. My Empty Room (1:27)
15. Eyes Of A Stranger (7:53)

Total Time 62:58

Thanks to negoba, colt, Lynx33, Unitron, diamondblack for the updates


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I remember… My first expectations of this album, before having heard anything, were that I wouldn’t love it, or at least, not as much as Rage for Order. The reasoning is simple; I loved Rage for Order because despite being an 80’s Prog Metal album, it was built on incredibly emotive songs centering on the passionate vocals of Geoff Tate. The music was awesome, but the song structures were very straightforward and filled with explosive, anthemic choruses, and so it served the mood and the song rather than showing off technical prowess or wankery.

There are two reasons I was afraid this might change on Operation: Mindcrime. Firstly is the fact that it’s much more readily labeled Progressive Metal, while Rage for Order seems to be considered more (un)traditional Heavy Metal with some prog elements, so I was afraid the songs might leave their simple yet catchy structures behind in favor of showing off how good they are. Secondly, I was fairly certain the album was politically based. I don’t dislike political lyrics, but the problem is, I like music that makes me feel something. Political lyrics don’t make me feel anything (other than frustration, either because the message is sadly true, or because it isn’t true at all). I can appreciate sharp political commentary, but I can’t fall in love with it or feel my chest tighten due to it. I feared Queensryche would abandon their emotive cheese in favor of a more educated and sophisticated lyrical direction.

I was so wrong.

YES this album is centered around politics and social issues, and it nails them unabashedly with an unforgiving edge, taking hits at capitalism, religion, the culture of pay offs and the tyranny of the one percent in America. But the album is not politically driven. It is character driven, and that is why it succeeds in terms of both storytelling and delivering powerful, emotive songs. Without spoiling anything major, the album is a very clear conceptual story of a man who becomes disillusioned with American society (highlighting the political and social issues). He ends up joining an underground revolution, experiencing crime, addiction, love, loss, insanity, and making all these things extremely personal (this is how the album holds you and doesn’t let go). Lyrically, it remains incredibly passionate and evocative, a fantastically emotional tale that takes stabs at the big evils but never lets you forget about the individuals and their important experience.

Musically, they sacrificed absolutely nothing. The songs are still very catchy and hell-bent on creating melodies that will kick your ass, make your heart ache, or at the very least ingrain themselves in your head forever. And once again, Geoff Tate’s vocals steal the show. The amount of harmonizing he does with himself here is insane, with just about every song featuring a chorus that could go down on any all time best vocal lines ever laid down. His voice is crystal clear, he enunciates well so following the story is easy, and his range is killer. The production for everything sounds amazing, especially standing out as an 80’s album that hasn’t aged a bit.

Another thing? There are no flaws. Not every song is perfect, but they are never doing anything wrong. Nothing remotely mediocre on this 15 track epic. Even the segues are cool, providing key story bits and often having some killer music to them, which is usually where concept albums can fall apart. One of the greatest albums of all time.
"Operation: Mindcrime" is the 3rd full-length studio album by US power/heavy/progressive metal act Queensrÿche. The album was released through EMI Records in May 1988. It´s the successor to "Rage For Order" from 1986 and as something new in the band´s repetoire at the time, it´s a concept album/rock opera, telling the story of the recovering drug addict/political activist turned brainwashed hitman Nikki, who becomes involved in a revolutionary group lead by the mysterious Dr. X. It´s a story of questionable morality, political corruption, abuse of religious authority, exploitation of the weak, love and murder. While Queensrÿche were already relatively successful before "Operation: Mindcrime", this was the album which turned them into a highly commercially successful act too...

...and it´s obvious why that is when listening to the material on the 15 track, 59:14 minutes long album. There´s so much quality in all departments of "Operation: Mindcrime", that had the album, and the band, not achieved the high degree of the success that it did, it would have been a near crime.

Stylistically the music is US power/heavy metal with the occasional progressive leanings. It´s predominantly the 10:41 minutes long and highly impressive "Suite Sister Mary" (featuring female vocal contributions from Pamela Moore, a choir, and orchestration), which can be applied the progressive metal label, but there are other sporadic moments throughout the album, where that label also apply. Mostly this is US power/heavy metal though, featuring hard rocking riffs, melodic lead guitar work, a powerful and tight playing rhythm section, and one of the most powerful and skilled vocalists of the era in front. There are no words big enough to describe Geoff Tate´s vocal contributions on the album. Not only does he possess a powerful and distinct sounding voice, he is also an incredibly pathos filled singer. His delivery is commanding and every word of the lyrics are performed with conviction and great passion. He is also quite the versatile singer in the respect that he can sing both deep and really high notes with a natural ease.

The album is structured so there are short interlude samples, effects, or narrative attached to many of the "regular" length tracks, and there are also a couple of shorter atmospheric interludes/intros, which function as individual tracks. "Operation: Mindcrime" features many great rockers like "Revolution Calling", "Speak", "Spreading The Disease", and "The Needle Lies", epic tracks like "The Mission" and "Suite Sister Mary", but also more melodic and accessible material like "Breaking the Silence" and "I Don´t Believe in Love". The heavy title track also deserves a mention as one of the highlights of the album. So the material is relatively varied, although there is a clear stylistic thread throughout the album.

"Operation: Mindcrime" was produced by Peter Collins who had recently produced the two Rush albums "Power Windows (1985)" and "Hold Your Fire (1987)", and he has put his audible mark on the sound of the album (especially the drums feature a very characteristic sound). The sound production is powerful and detailed, and considering that it was recorded in 1987 and released in 1988, this is a very well sounding heavy metal release.

So upon conclusion this is a perfect release by Queensrÿche (and to my ears the peak of their career). The concept story works, the songwriting and the tracklist order are varied and keep the listener intrigued throughout, the musicianship is outstanding, and the sound production is professional and brings out the best in the material. There´s not a single sub par moment on the album and a 5 star (100%) rating is deserved.
Operation: Progmetal

What an evolution since "The Warning", released only four years before! Initially considered as an IRON MAIDEN rip-off, QUEENSRŸCHE has simply offered to the world one of the very first metal concept album. Later, vocalist Bruce Dickinson himself will admit that MAIDEN's most progressive album of the 80's - the very good "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son" - was not as elaborated as this opus. Furthermore, people often even assimilate "Operation: Mindcrime" to a heavier version of PINK FLOYD's "The Wall". Indeed, the compositions are ambitious, elegant and refined. However, is this comparison really justified?

The lyrics narrate the story of Nikki, a former junkie frustrated with contemporary society. He will become part of a secret revolutionary organization, led by a political and religious leader nicknamed Doctor X. This mysterious demagogue manipulates Nikki with his heroin addiction and brainwashing for a political murdering operation called 'Mindcrime'. How does all this musically translate?

After the short spoken introduction "I Remember Now" comes "Anarchy-X", a powerful instrumental opening. "Revolution Calling" is a great heavy metal achievement with its uncommon drumming and beautiful guitar solo. The title track is an enjoyable mid tempo 80's hard metal with a cool bass line, whereas the aggressive and complex "Speak" is just a prog metal little gem of and features numerous changes. Then arrives "Spreading The Disease", both threatening and epic, followed by "The Mission". I'm not a big fan of this song which I find rather average.

The second half is bit darker. Longest and most progressive track, the 11 minutes theatrical "Suite Sister Mary" alternates dark and haunting atmospheres. Undoubtedly the highlight of the disc! The band's initial IRON MAIDEN roots are still slightly perceptible with the energetic "The Needle Lies". After the short ambient sung transition "Electric Requiem", "Breaking The Silence" is heroic and touching, due Geoff Tate's typical plaintive singing. "I Don't Believe In Love" is also pleasant, while the short interludes "Waiting For 22" and "My Empty Room" are calm, pretty and floating. The record concludes on a sinister and pessimistic tone with "Eyes Of A Stranger".

"Operation: Mindcrime" is just one of the most important albums of the progressive metal genre. Although a little pompous at times and still sounding very eighties, it provides sophisticated compositions, rhythm changes, and the inspiration is overall constant. Is this an "heavy metal opera"? Maybe... If so, this deserves to be transcribed in a movie, like "The Wall". Maybe this will be already the case when you'll read this review...

Now that we talk about it, how does this disc finally compare to PINK FLOYD's well-known double opus? Well, here the music only borrows 70's progressive elements, as the palette of instruments and ambiances are not as wide and varied. The short interludes and tracks complexity can remind "The Wall" in the spirit, but I find the general comparison a little too exaggerated.

Neither similar to FATES WARNING's dark tortured style nor to DREAM THEATER's, "Operation: Mindcrime" still remains QUEENSRŸCHE's summit and a major influence of the genre. Highly recommended to prog metal fans!
siLLy puPPy
A milestone in the progession of metal! By successfully combining their NWOBHM influenced traditional metal with the asthetic atmospherics of Pink Floyd, QUEENSRYCHE created a metal masterpiece of the sort that combined all the drama of an opera with a storyline about a disillusioned recovering drug addict named Nikki who joins a revelutionary group and all the twists and turns that such dramatic events involve.

The storyline is succint and to the point and doesn't get off on any tangents. What impresses me more than the storyline is the music itself. The tightness of the band and the perfection of Geoff Tate's vocals make this album feel like one continuous track. Every moment seems like it fits the mood and the added cast characters, choir and sound effects make this one of the best albums of all the 80s if not of all time. The one thing that bugged me for the longest time is that the last track “Eyes Of A Stranger” begins sounding almost identical to the progressions in “Welcome To The Machine” on Pink Floyd's WISH YOU WERE HERE. I have come to terms with it realizing it to be a simultaneous nod to both the band and the theme of a song since both convey healthy doses of paranoia. It only lasts until the band begins to play so I got over it and it does sound really well done.

The argument of whether this is progressive or not doesn't matter to me. This is great music. I would call this for the most part melodic traditional metal with some clearly progressive tracks (“Suite Sister Mary” being the most so). One of the best concept albums ever to emerge in any genre.
Operation: Mindcrime was the third full-length studio album by the Progressive Metal band Queensrÿche. The multi-platinum album is the band's most famous work, it is considered a must-own and is constantly appearing in magazine and fan countdowns of best-ever-metal-albums. If you haven't heard it already but think it might be up your street, then I advise taking a shot on it, it'll more than likely pay off.

The album, which was released in 1988, mixes classic metal influenced by the likes of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest with the scope and scale of Progressive Rock bands like Genesis, Pink Floyd and Rush. The band use the lyrics to create a narrative that runs throughout the album, assisted by additional sound effects and voice overs from actors.

The story tells the tale of a shady figure named Doctor X who exploits drug addicts into committing crimes that further his political agenda so as to get what he wants without implicating himself, and is told from the perspective of one such helpless youth. The lyrics primarily deal with his conflicting emotions and the consequences of his actions in a surprising and interesting way.

Operation: Mindcrime is an example of the rock opera format done right. The story isn't too basic to be uninteresting but nor is it needlessly convoluted, there are non-musical voice overs and sound effects thrown in to drive the story but they do not take over the album or get in the way of the music and most importantly of all it is a good album anyway; there is no filler, everything flows well together and the album doesn't tail off in quality towards the end.

It could be argued that Operation: Mindcrime is one of the best concept albums anyone has released to date for those reasons, it is tight, concise and free of needless excess.

Overall, Operation: Mindcrime is an entertaining and expertly crafted album that mixes the attitude of prog with the sound of metal in a brilliant and flab-free way. If you usually like concept albums and rock operas then this is an album that you should consider checking out, if you usually like classic heavy metal then you should seriously consider checking it out and if you usually like Queensrÿche themselves then you really ought to own it already and should get yourself a copy as soon as you can.
After the rather transitional and forgettable Rage For Order, Queensryche went the full-on concept album route with Operation: Mindcrime, which is much-acclaimed in progressive metal circles but in its earlier CD versions fell rather flat with me. I can find that on the 2003 remaster (and with speakers/headphones with better bass) I can better appreciate some aspects of the music, particularly Eddie Jackson's bass playing, which manages to be progressive and complex without being flashy or stealing the scene.

Like Pink Floyd's The Wall, the band weave in sound effects and snippets of dialogue at points to create the impression of a narrative, but it's best not to try and concentrate on it too much and concentrate on the music. This rather more straight-ahead fare than the band's self-titled EP or The Warning, but there's some undeniably catchy stuff on here.

That said, I still think an issue with this album is that it's one of the first metal concept albums to have taken advantage of the longer running times available on CDs, which made it possible to produce longer albums without going to the expense of making a double album. In this instance, I feel like some of the album ends up being a bit slack. Had this been a 40-minute album, perhaps it could have sustained my interest better, but as it is the ideas presented seem rather thin on the ground (and the political angle to the story is really quite laughable, on the level of a bad Steven Seagal movie). I think I get the appeal of this one more than I used to (and have revised my rating up accordingly), but I don't think it quite deserves the classic status often attributed to it.
Time Signature
Revolutions calling...

Genre: progressive metal

After a couple of good releases in the form of the "Queensrÿche" EP and the "Warning" and "Rage for Order", Queensrÿche release the concept album "Operation: Mindcrime", which is heralded by many as the band's masterpiece. And I think that the 'masterpiece' predicate is fully deserved.

The music is progressive, modern and different, yet with an accessible and recognizable sound and lots of rocking energy. There is an overall catchiness to the riffs on this album and many of the vocals melodies are of the sort that just stick to one's brain forever. Geoff Tate's performance is no less than impressive on this album, as he shows off his incredible vocal range, going from a deep booming voice to soaring high vocals (just check 'Speak).

Apart from the fillers, there are no weak tracks on this album, and tracks like 'Revolution Calling', 'Operation: Mindcrime', 'Speak', 'Suite Sister Mary' and 'I Don't Believe in Love' are outstanding.

This is a classic conspiracy-themed rock album recommended to any thinking person with a weakness for rock 'n' roll.
Conor Fynes
'Operation: Mindcrime' - Queensryche (9/10)

Here we have it, one of the most critically acclaimed progressive metal albums of all time. This is the album that brought Queensryche from being a very underground, relatively unknown band to one of the most intriguing and innovative bands in metal.

It's not hard to see why.

'Operation: Mindcrime' is a brilliantly written conceptual piece dealing with pleasant and cheerful topics such as cults, assasination, political radicals, prostitution and crack addicts. Not exactly an album you would buy for Mother's Day, but all family holidays aside, it comes together to forge a dark and psychological saga that by the end of the story, actually has you feeling sympathy and pathos for the characters, as if 'Mindcrime' was a very well-written book. There are very few rock operas that can evoke that sort of reaction, and it really works to the album's favour.

Every song on this is fantastic to listen to, and each could be considered a 'highlight' in their own right. However, the cream of this crop (for me, at least) would be the heart wrenching 'The Mission' and the grim epic 'Suite: Sister Mary,' which clocks in at almost 11 minutes long.

While I'm not going to say this is a super-progressive album (despite the epic) I will say that the music is intelligent and effective all the way through. As opposed to a focus on complex, polyrhythmic arrangements, Queensryche steers clear and instead focuses on a more melodic based brand of prog. There are elements of prog, but the magic can always be traced back to the excellent core of songwriting.

This is the best work by one of the best progressive metal bands. It's in the top three prog metal albums of all time, up there with my other two contenders, 'Metropolis Part II: Scenes From A Memory' by Dream Theater and 'Remedy Lane' from Pain of Salvation (all three being concept albums, coincidentally.)

Powerful and moving; everything that music should be. An essential masterpiece.
This is a bonafide masterpiece.

I first heard Queensryche online and methodically and systematically collected all their albums after this introduction. Nothing else QR have done can touch this absolutely brilliant concept album. The concert experience on DVD is even better as you can really understand the concept as you watch the visual animation. Geof Tate's vocals are amazing, he has to be one of the most powerful, accomplished vocalists on the planet. Every track on this album is part of the whole but it is possible to enjoy them individually. Here's some quick thoughts on my favourites:

I Remember Now, Anarchy-X and Revolution Calling - what a way to begin an album, with a nurse visiting a patient with vindictive attitude. The guitars crash out of the speakers until we get to the melodic, metal 'Revolution Calling'. It has such a catchy chorus it is impossible to forget. Operation: Mindcrime - simply a great song that sums up the main themes of the album. Speak - my favourite track, once heard, never forgotten, and Tate is brilliant on this, he performs so well in concert too as if he is the victim and is reliving the storyline. Spreading The Disease - another very good track with high powered vocals and great lead breaks. A concert favourite I noticed too. Suite Sister Mary - I love the way it changes time signature and the female vocals are very well executed, in particular the performance on stage is a sight to behold. The Needle Lies - a classic track that is once again a popular concert track. Breaking The Silence - has a Def Leppard feel, as its radio friendly, but it still has powerful guitars from Chris De Garmo.

I Don't Believe In Love - the single from the album ready for radio airplay. Very catchy and the lyrics are powerful. You will find it on the QR compilations.

Eyes Of A Stranger - an excellent way to end the concept album. Very memorable and wonderful musicianship.

I will not waste any time with this review. If you do not have this. Get to the CD store now and grab it. It knocked me out when I first heard it and it is comparable to other great prog concept albums such as PF's The Wall. The second part to this OM concept was recently released and is great but does not hold a candle to this.

I say it again, 'Operation Mindcrime' is simply a masterpiece.
This is another one of those albums that is incredibly acclaimed and maybe a little too hyped. But to be honest, it deserves it.

This is one of those very perfect albums that have no flaws, every song is memorable and you can tell that a lot of work and effort went into making the music.

This album is also a massive landmark for putting Progressive Metal as a serious and respected genre.

The concept is also quite good, with the teenage outcast fighting for revolution and drugs, but later failing in his dreams, e.g. the death of his only love, Mary. Every time I hear the name Dr. X, it reminds me of Action Men.

1. I Remember Now - An interesting narrative. The bit where the nurse curses makes me laugh every time.

2. Anarchy-X - Chanting and a whole load of hoopla.

3. Revolution Calling - An amazing song to start the album with amazing catchy verses and chorus. Geoff Tate can hit some amazing notes. 4. Operation: Mindcrime - Again, a very catchy song and the lyrics story like mode is very interesting. If you're not singing any of these songs at the end of listening, then there is something wrong with you.

5. Speak - I love the baritone vocals in the chorus. Again, some great lyrics. I love the juxtaposition between drugs and religion.

6. Spreading The Disease - I have a feeling this song also may be about AIDS. Some profanity used and also dark Christian imagery. Great song.

7. The Mission - One of their most prog like moments, with some amazing twists and turns and an amazing vocal performance.

8. Suite Sister Mary - Very epic, the choir and the female vocals add to the mood. One of Geoff's best vocal moments. That girl in it is also amazing.

9. The Needle Lies - I love the layered vocals in this song. The key change at the end of the song, you would swear that's Bruce Dickinson singing.

10. Electric Requiem - The death of Mary basically.

11. Breaking The Silence -Maybe the most emotional song on the album. Very epic chorus.

12. I Don't Believe In Love - An amazing anti love song. Again an absolute belter of a chorus.

13. Waiting For 22 - Very ominous, wooo

14. My Empt y Room - Why do interludes come in 2's in this album. Again very ominous and the vocals add to the atmosphere.

15. Eyes Of A Stranger - What an amazing way to end an album. This song is very Iron Maiden and you can see the Bruce elements of Geoff's voice. The last few seconds do scare the hell out of me, especially when you're headphones are turned on to loud.

CONCLUSION: It's a landmark of modern music. That's all I really have to say.

Members reviews

Cylli Kat
This album set a new benchmark in the Progressive Metal canon.

I remember having the privilege of working in a music store as a guitar instructor when the manager came out with a "White Paper", Pre-Release of this album. I immediately grabbed a cassette and the first cut of the vinyl went onto my tape...

I'd already been very familiar with this Bellevue, Washington band from the first strains of The Warning, and was certainly a fan. But I was unprepared for how great this album turned out to be from concept to execution. I literally spent the summer of 1988 (much to the dismay of my girlfriend at the time and all my other friends, to boot) dissecting this album and learning every nuance of every note, the meaning behind every word. I even (correctly) figured out who killed Mary... (Go figure!)

I have adored this album from the first time I heard it, and am still overwhelmingly enamored of it. And, I believe I always will be...

An all-time classic, well deserving of a 5+ star rating.

As always, your actual mileage may vary.

Grace and peace, Cylli (Jim)

(Originally posted at Progarchives, edited slightly.)
Concept albums usually get a half or even full star more from me than the music of the album itself deserves. This is not true for Operation: Mindcrime. But the reason is not that I dislike the concept so much, though it took my some time to fully understand the plot.

The 15 songs show a wide scale of variety both in length and style. The only thing not represented is an acoustic ballad. That said, I'm be very curious how Operation: Mindcrime would sound unplugged. I guess it would be different, but not a great deal weaker. That said, the live album Operation: Livecrime gets the same rating as the original version, but that will be another review at another time. Apart from four particularly strong songs I especially like the way the story and album are built up. First two short tracks with some hospital noises and guitar sounds before the first real song gets the album going, a feature later repeated before the Grande Finale. The plot is then quite similar to the one of Dream Theater's Scenes From A Memory, but of course Geoff Tate can claim first spoils as Operation: Mindcrime was recorded and published several years before its counterpart from the other coast. Speaking of Geoff Tate, his voice and style have improved massively compared to the first Queensryche albums, as have the performances of all instrumentalists. But back to the songs, I have always liked little inserts of speech and action like the beginning of Suite Sister Mary. This longest track of the album is on my personal favourite's playlist, as are the title track and I Don't Believe In Love, but everything is overshadowed by Eyes of A Stranger, another personal Top 10 song.

To finish my introductory musings, Operation: Mindcrime would rate at 4.8 stars if it were a normal album. Since 5 is the highest rating, I can't award 5.8 stars, so it has to be perfect 5.0 stars.
(Originally written for Prog Archives by me)

In 1988, Queensrÿche released Operation: Mindcrime, a concept album widely praised as one of the best in prog metal, and Queensrÿche's best work. The story concerns a drug addicted young man named Nikki who is manipulated into joining a secret organization bent on revolution. Brainwashed by the leader of the society, Dr. X, Nikki is led to assassinate various political leaders in America. On to the music, Operation: Mindcrime has some of the catchiest songs I've heard in a long time. The many riffs are excellent, staying catchy and accessible while still being proggy. The album has a very nice sense of dynamics, and everything flows together smoothly. None of the songs overstay their welcome, all of them being just the right length to hold your attention. Geoff Tate is at his prime on this album, capable of some very strong and emotional singing. All in all, Operation: Mindcrime is very deserving of it's praise, and is certainly one of the most essential prog metal albums.

Key tracks: Anarchy-X/Revolution Calling, Operation: Mindcrime, Speak, Spreading the Disease, Suite Sister Mary, The Needle Lies, I Don't Believe in Love, Eyes of a Stranger
4th March 2011 I started listening to Queensryche as we had booked to go to High Voltage 2011 being fans of Dream Theater. I started with Empire which I loved immediately. Operation: Mindcrime is not as accessible but is ultimately more rewarding. They performed I Don’t Believe in Love and Eyes of a Stranger at the festival and they were amazing throughout their performance which I wish had been longer. This album is for those who take their prog concept albums seriously. This is definitely metal though and full of great melodies. All in all this is a great piece of work.
I saw this tour in 1988 and fell in love with band and have been a HUGE fan of them ever since. I will echo the statements of some many others here ... Conor, "Here we have it, one of the most critically acclaimed progressive metal albums of all time. This is the album that brought Queensryche from being a very underground, relatively unknown band to one of the most intriguing and innovative bands in metal." or Raff, ""Operation: Mindcrime" has often been hailed as one of the 'founding fathers, so to speak, of progressive metal - its intriguing concept and flawless realization more akin to vintage progressive rock than straightforward heavy metal. A dark, convoluted, positively dystopian tale out of Orwell's "1984", whose world view is best summed up by the chilling lyrics to "Spreading the Disease", it is also a strong, stark political statement that goes against the grain of Eighties hedonism and heedless faith in unbridled consumerism. " Every now and the an album hits when the moon and stars are aligned and it stands the test of time and this is one of those albums. If you do not have it in your collection, it is a MUST ADD and you will enjoy how it sucks you in with each additional listen. ENJOY !!!
"Operation: Mindcrime" has often been hailed as one of the 'founding fathers, so to speak, of progressive metal - its intriguing concept and flawless realization more akin to vintage progressive rock than straightforward heavy metal. A dark, convoluted, positively dystopian tale out of Orwell's "1984", whose world view is best summed up by the chilling lyrics to "Spreading the Disease", it is also a strong, stark political statement that goes against the grain of Eighties hedonism and heedless faith in unbridled consumerism.

In 1988, when the album came out, Queensryche were at the top of their game: an extremely tight outfit spearheaded by the immensely talented guitarist and composer Chris De Garmo and the exceptional pipes of Geoff Tate - one of the very few vocalists in the genre to prove himself much more than a simple screamer in the Rob Halford mould. Though their second full-length album, "Rage for Order", already pointed to a definitely more progressive direction for the band's music, but nothing could have prepared the audience for something like "Operation: Mindcrime". With this release, Queensryche showed the metal world they were not afraid of pushing the envelope by creating a record which flew in the face of most heavy metal stereotypes, with lyrics that made you think accompanied by powerful, brilliantly executed music - miles away from the nihilistic violence of many thrash metal outfits, or the empty posing of hair-metal bands.

The highlight of the album is also the one track which comes closer to 'traditional' prog, the 11-minute long, hauntingly beautiful "Suite Sister Mary", which also includes a choir and an orchestra (directed by Michael Kamen) performing Giuseppe Verdi's menacing "Dies Irae". The remaining tracks are more in a classic metal vein, aggressive and energetic, yet sharply intelligent - with special mentions for the rousing "Revolution Calling" (which opens the album with a bang), the above- mentioned "Spreading the Disease" with its disturbing, half-whispered middle section, and the two closing songs, "I Don't Believe in Love" and "Eyes of a Stranger". Needless to say, the performances of the individual band members are impeccable, with Geoff Tate proving himself as one of the greatest heavy metal singers of all time.

Such a masterpiece was hard to repeat, even for such a talented band as Queensryche - who, in the years that followed, never released anything as powerful or impressive (even if most of their later output is of more than respectable quality). However, "Operation: Mindcrime" is as close to perfection as any self-respecting metal fan can expect, and one of the undisputed landmark albums of the genre. An essential listen.

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