QUEENSRŸCHE — Rage For Order

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QUEENSRŸCHE - Rage For Order cover
3.87 | 70 ratings | 7 reviews
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Album · 1986

Filed under Heavy Metal


1. Walk In The Shadows (3:34)
2. I Dream In Infrared (4:18)
3. The Whisper (3:36)
4. Gonna Get Close To You (4:37)
5. The Killing Words (3:56)
6. Surgical Strike (3:23)
7. Neue Regel (4:55)
8. Chemical Youth (We Are Rebellion) (4:15)
9. London (5:06)
10. Screaming In Digital (3:37)
11. I Will Remember (4:25)

Total Time 45:47


- Chris DeGarmo / guitars
- Eddie Jackson / bass
- Scott Rockenfield / percussion
- Geoff Tate / lead vocals, keyboards
- Michael Wilton / guitars

- Bradley Doyle / Emulator computer programming
- Nell Kernon / additional keyboards

About this release

Release date: June 20, 1986
Label: EMI America Records

Reissued in 2003 with the following bonus tracks:

12. Gonna Get Close To You (12" version) (5:46)
13. The Killing Words (live) (4:10)
14. I Dream In Infrared (acoustic remix, 1991) (4:02)
15. Walk In The Shadows (live) (3:39)

Thanks to colt, Pekka, Lynx33, adg211288, diamondblack, Unitron for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

"Rage For Order" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US, Washington based power/progressive metal act Queensrÿche. The album was released through EMI Records in July 1986. It´s the successor to "The Warning" from 1984 and features the same lineup as the debut album. Queensrÿche achieved moderate commercial success with "The Warning (1984)" and scored the support slot as the opening act for Kiss on their "Animalize (1984)" tour. Something which further enhanced their profile. EMI Records smelled the potential for greatness and started interfering, demanding that the band employ a more glam oriented image, hence the change of wardrobe and hairstyle since the more sinister and dark leather clad look of the band on the debut album.

Stylistically quite a few things have happened too, but despite the change of image, "Rage For Order" doesn´t have anything to do with glam metal. Instead the band´s US power/heavy metal style has taken a progressive direction and keyboards have been given a prominent role in the soundscape. There´s even some programming featured on the album, and the keyboards and the programming effects provide "Rage For Order" with a futuristic almost sci-fi tinged sound. The basis of the music is still US power/heavy metal though. Melodic lead guitars, beautiful clean/acoustic guitar sections, hard rocking riffs and rhythms, and Geoff Tate´s strong high pitched vocals in front.

The material on the 11 track, 45:47 minutes long album is generally well written, but not all tracks stand out equally much. The album opens strong enough with "Walk In The Shadows" and especially "I Dream In Infrared". "The Whisper" and the Dalbello cover "Gonna Get Close To You" (from her 1984 album "Whomanfoursays") work pretty well too (the latter is quite mainstream oriented, but Queensrÿche put their own spin on the song), but it´s like the album fades a bit after that. Here and there a memorable vocal line, guitar lead, or rhythm pattern appear, but even after years of listening to the album I still can´t remember what each track sound like, when I look at the tracklist. Some tracks are simply that unremarkable.

One of the strongest assets of "Rage For Order" is the strong musicianship. The instrumental part of the album is very well played with intricate layers of keyboards, guitars, bass, and drums, but it´s the incredibly powerful vocals by Geoff Tate, which elevates the album to a higher level. "Rage For Order" features a detailed, but not that powerful sounding production. Especially the rhythm guitars lack a bit of punch, but it´s an overall issue, that the music sounds a bit too polished and not raw enough. So "Rage For Order" is an album which leaves me a bit biased. A 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is deserved.
Rage for Order is where I and the critical consensus around Queensryche part ways - whilst many consider it a substantial improvement over The Warning and an important stepping stone on the way to fan favourite album Operation: Mindcrime. I agree to the extent that this is a transitional album between the sound of their debut and Operation: Mindcrime; my basic disagreement is that I do not consider this an improvement. Whereas The Warning left me energised, Rage For Order leaves me cold, not quite feeling progressive enough to scratch the progressive metal itch and feeling a little too calculated to be an enjoyable bit of melodic metal. Plus I find that at this point Geoff Tate's singing style starts to lurch into self-parody.
siLLy puPPy
RAGE FOR ORDER is the third release (counting the debut EP) from QUEENSRYCHE and the point in their discography where they decided to break away from the blatant NWOBHM influences and started to incorporate many progressive elements to their music. These elements include liberal use of keyboards and more social and political lyrics with an overall futuristic feel to the album. Very cutting edge for a metal band in 1986. Looking at the photo of the band in the liner notes they look like a typical glam metal band of the era but they were anything but.

This band was strong from the start always writing well crafted songs with adrenoline soaked energy to drive them hard and heavy. Geoff Tate's vox box is still the star with the chugging riffs (still of NWOBHM influence) but the unorthodox sound effects and keyboards take a greater role in the ideas and song structures. Although I wouldn't call this full-fledged progressive metal I would call it a sort of proto-prog metal where the band was in transition from their earlier sound to that which would be more developed on OPERATION: MINDCRIME. Still for me this is a solid release where despite seeming like it hasn't developed its full potential I still find almost every track memorable.
There are a few times in my life when I can recall hearing something so unlike anything I had heard before that I was instantly amazed and hooked: Judas Priest's "Screaming for Vengeance" (quite a change from AC/DC and Van Halen), Metallica's "Ride the Lightning" (my first Metallica album), Nine Inch Nail's "Further Down the Spiral" (hadn't heard The Downward Spiral yet), Bathory's "The Return...". And this album: Queensryche, "Rage for Order" (inspired by deplorably slow service at a roadside diner perhaps?)

I had been a heavy metal fan for four or five years. I was 15 years old and I tried to learn as much as I could about this form of music that I had embraced, from the poppier non-metal stuff like Boston and Bon Jovi to the extreme stuff like Celtic Frost and Bathory. I picked up Queensryche's debut ep the moment I heard about it, eager to hear this new band, and I loved it so much I wrote a short essay in grade 8 English class why I thought Queensryche were a top-class metal band. Though not as heavy, "The Warning" stretched out the soundscape more with the long tune "No Sanctuary" and the futuristic "NM 156". While other metal bands were all about leather, spikes, chains and - in the case of W.A.S.P - saw blades on the crotch, Queensryche were more sophisticated and intellectual it seemed. No thrusting pelvic saw blades at the female members of the audience for these guys!

When "Rage for Order" came out, I was excited - a new Queensryche album!. But nothing could prepare me for what this recording held on its magnetic tape or the photos on the inlay card. What the heck was this? The band was in leather but long leather coats, high fashion leather boots, and decked out in leather gloves. Their hair was long but styled in a way that made them look like heavy metal corporate wizzos from the far future - say the year 2,000. I wasn't sure if I liked this new level of sophistication or what it meant. Did they look a bit too... womanly? Was this sophisticated glam?

The first track, "Walk in the Shadows" totally rocked, opening with bombast. "I Dream in Infra Red" had some beautiful acoustic guitar and a powerful chorus with music that built up through the guitar solo and climaxed with the following chorus. And what lyrics! "As you woke this morning and opened up your eyes / Did you notice the tear stains lining your face were mine?" Had he been crying on her face that night? Weird.

But it was the fourth track that really left me reeling. The creepy stalker song "Gonna Get Close to You" was minimalistic musically with a steady solid drum beat and simple bass line, rapidly scratched high tone guitar and some synthesizer, with some heavy bits thrown in at the appropriate places. It was not metal. It was not techno either though it sounded more like it than it did metal. It was the most unusual thing I had heard on any metal album and I liked it. Somehow this sound made my music collection different from the AC/DC-Motley Crue rockers at school. My musical tastes were becoming more... sophisticated.

The rest of the album includes some other enjoyable and intriguing tunes like "London" and the acoustic ballad "I Will Remember" ("An orbit survey finds your mind"); however, it was the futuristic rocker "Screaming in Digital", with its voices and sound effects that painted a haunting picture of life in the future where computer minds feel a longing for connection with their human users and the disconnection from their masters that slavery brings. ("Am I the son that you've always been wanting? " "Oh, Father, no. Please don't keep me from dreaming.")

Musically, the album is very cohesive. It has excellent metal guitar and riffs, excellent solos, Geoff Tate's operatic vocals, acoustic guitar, and some cool drum parts, as well as sound effects. But it was the use of synthesizer and perhaps guitar and bass synthesizer that really challenged me to like this album. I was dead against synthesizer, preferring the classic two-guitar (or one guitar), bass, drums, vocals bands I heard from 1982 to 84. Then Van Halen came out with "Jump" and "1984" and Def Leppard used synthesizers. Ugh! That's why thrash metal was so successful as a backlash against this new heavy metal with keyboards. But on this Queensryche album, synthesizers were used mostly for atmosphere or effects, and when they were an integral part of the music as a rhythm instrument, it actually sounded good. It worked!

I just listened to this album from start to finish for the first time in probably 15 to 20 years and in the context of a progressive metal album I could really sense that these guys were trying to introduce us to something new. They had a vision of heavy metal some ten years or more into the future and tried to tell us about it in 1986. I don't think any of their other albums captured an atmosphere of something so fresh and new as well as "Rage for Order" did.

There might be a couple of fillers on here but even the songs I previously passed by have parts that stand out for their musical ingenuity. I unquestionably consider it a landmark album. What others were only just figuring out, Queensryche took and made intelligent and advanced. From me, 5 stars.
Rage For Order was the second full-length studio album by the Seattle based Progressive Metal band Queensrÿche. It was released 1986 and is quite a curious album that is both hailed by some fans as a masterpiece and condemned by other fans as a forgettable transitional period.

Initially it may take quite a few listens to really familiarize yourself with and grow accustomed to. If you only heard one or two Queensrÿche tracks before buying this it may be pretty confusing, unexpected and hard to absorb at first.

When the album came out a lot of Metal bands were incorporating synths into their sound, and indeed a lot of lighter more pop orientated metal bands were coming out and getting radio success yet this synth filled late eighties metal album doesn't really sound anything like either of the aforementioned styles. Additionally, it also came out just before the real first wave of Prog Metal bands had gained momentum and doesn't share many sonic similarities there either.

The actual music has gotten fairly far away from anything that a conventional Metal band would write at this point, yet isn't glam and isn't stereotypically Prog Metal either, in the sense of long songs with long shredding guitar solos. The album that the band released after this, Operation Mindcrime, actually had songs on it like `Speak' `Spreading The Disease' and `The Needle Lies' that were much closer to the traditional spirit of metal than anything on Rage For Order.

Stylistically, the music on this record is relatively dark, brief and quiet restrained in parts. There are moments of hard metal riffs and blazing guitar solos but they are very few and far between. It incorporates a lot of artificial sounds and synth work but in a completely different way to how the likes of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden did at the time and is more unique in its implementation of the controversial instrument.

Rage For Order delivers its dystopian themed messages of paranoia and societal-breakdown in an atmospheric and for the most part vocal-led way, that almost recalls Marillion and the solo career of Roger Waters in as much as the vocal and lyrical content takes center stage quite often and a lot of import is placed on Geoff Tate's diction and emphasis.

Luckily however, Geoff Tate is a remarkably diverse and talented singer with the skill and range to carry off such an album well. The more you get into the nuances of his performance and the polyrhythmic interplay between him and all the other band members, the more the album opens itself up to you as a listener.

Highlights include `Chemical Youth (We Are The Rebellion)' `Screaming In Digital' and `Surgical Strike.'

In summary, this isn't an album that really fits in neatly into one little box, and in that sense it embodies the true spirit of progressive music. No one had made an album like this before; it was music that literally nothing else sounded like. The evocative, melodic and richly textured music can take a good few listens to really "get," but it sure is worth giving it that chance.
Time Signature
We are rebellion...

Genre: progressive metal

While more original and more QR than "The Warning", "Rage for Order" is a much more shaky affair, and it seems that the band are struggling to find the equilibrium between catchiness and progressiveness which is masterfully achieved on "Operation: Mindcrime" and "Empire".

It is also the one album from Queensrÿche's 80s era which interests me the least. I do think that tracks like "The Whisper", "Chemical Youth (We Are Rebellion)", "London" and "Walk in the Shadows" are very good tracks, but many of the remaining tracks strike me as being more filler material.

But all in all this is a good album (albeit slightly dated production-wise), and an important one in the history of the band; and there is a great live version of "The Killing Words" on the remastered edition (and a terrible version of "Gonna Get Close to you").
Prog Metal's First Dramatic Fire

Prior to Rage for Order, several bands, Queensryche chief among them, had been dabbling in adding progressive elements into metal. But the moment that prog metal truly arrived was 1986 upon turning this LP or cassette over for side 2. The first song on that side, Neue Regel, is pure prog. Combining syncopated time acoustics, seamless transitions between quite distinct sections, intense effected vocals, and composed riffs designed in conjunction with the song, this piece announced that the band was going to jump into a new sound head first.

The style of composition is something that Queensryche did better in the late 80's than virtually anyone in metal has ever done. Unlike the majority of metal (including most prog metal and this band's debut EP), the riffs did not come first, with vocals added over the top. The multiple parts of the song clearly evolved together, with melodic themes obviously in mind, and rhythmic interplay essential for the composition. While the rhythms are rarely in complex time signature, the members set up polyrhythms between their parts that are the heart of progressive playing. Tate had managed to do this once on the EP, a little more on Warning, but here is when the style blossoms. Guitarists Chris Degarmo and Michael Wilton's leads are also clearly composed for the song here, an element that becomes their signature, and something that has evolved from the trade-off improvisation punctuated by parallel harmony leads typical of NWOBHM.

Side 2 of Rage for Order also contains Screaming in Digital, which is a virtual prototype for Pain of Salvation's masterpiece The Perfect Element. While PoS again have evolved the complexity to some degree, Geoff Tate's unmatched voice pulls off the theatrics much better. Keyboards play a much larger role in this album, again courtesy of Tate. But instead of smoothing the rough edges as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest did around the same time period (Maiden as a nice addition to their stock sound on Somewhere in Time, Priest as a commerciality grab on Turbo) the keys add darkness, thickness, and a new layer of complexity to an already complex music.

Unlike Dream Theater, who draws more on the then very popular shredder movement (led by Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai and their gazillion imitators including John Pertucci), Queensryche based their evolution by incorporating Rush and Pink Floyd into their metal. Their progressiveness is, like Devin Townsend's, vertical / harmonic, deriving from layering and composition, rather than horizontal / melodic which defines the complexity of the majority of the Dream Theater school.

Rage for Order also fixed Queensryche's perennial problem of getting mired in mid-tempo, sometimes dragging, drama for way too long. Several songs here are driving, on top of the beat rockers which offset the slower sections extremely well. At the same time, side 2's slow burners "London" and "I Will Remember" (perhaps the best Queensryche ballad of all time) still move well displaying the bands much improved songwriting skills.

Two final elements must be mentioned and are sometimes ignored. The extreme importance of harmony vocals in Queensryche's music often gets forgotten because of the power of Tate's lead voice. And yet, without the vocal interaction (which on record is a combination of Tate and Degarmo but which Degarmo pulls off perfectly live) the songs would be missing an essential element. Also, the much improved and composed drumming of Scott Rockenfield is starting to demand attention on this album, and is absolutely essential on the following album of the decade, Operation: Mindcrime.

Side 1 contains more standard melodic power metal, though improved, that had been the basis for Queensryche's previous album the Warning. The opener, Walk in the Shadows, is straight ahead metal where Tate evokes Ronnie James Dio to good effect. The Whisper is a middle eastern tinged piece that is very much reminiscent of Maiden's Powerslave. At the same time, already the prog is finding its way in on the eerie cover Gonna Get Close to You which uses the mechanical rhythms introduced on Warning's NM 156 and also on display later on Rage for Order.

Rage for Order is, in my opinion, the first true prog metal album. That alone earns it high marks, but the great songwriting, stunning performances, and perfect pacing push it near the top. The fact the Queensryche bests this album on their next effort does not diminish from the fact that this is an excellent piece of prog metal.

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