QUEENSRŸCHE — Operation: Mindcrime (review)

QUEENSRŸCHE — Operation: Mindcrime album cover Album · 1988 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
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.
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