EP · 1983 · Traditional heavy metal
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4/5 ·
Not very progressive yet, but already rocks!

Before offering progressive albums like "Operation Mindcrime" and "Promised Land", QUEENSRYCHE started as a straight heavy metal worthy of all classic bands of its time. But instead of copying their neighbors who were writing the evolution of the genre, gathered between IRON MAIDEN and JUDAS PRIEST, they manage to bring something new to the heavy metal of the 80s', with a theatrical feel. This EP features their first efforts.

The main element which brings novelty here is undoubtedly the high-pitched screaming voice of Geoff Tate, clear and sticking perfectly to the music. The other elements are inclusion of many changes of musical directions inside relatively short tracks. The record starts with the hardly-title song "Queen of the Reich", which can be considered as the debut spearhead song from the band. Agressive powerful heavy guitars riffs fighting the frightening vocals of Geoff... Apocalyptic! "Night Rider" could have well escaped from MAIDEN's first album. Energetic angry guitars with epic melody... While listening you can really imagine yourself as a knight riding his horse in a heroic-fantasy tale! The next song, "Blinded", is a little bit less epic, but quite dark, catchy and doomy. The EP ends with the track containing the seeds of QUEENSRYCHE's later progressive acts, "The Lady Wore Black". This tune has some echoes with DREAM THEATER's "Killing Hands" and alternates melancholic and heavy epic passages. We want more...

The band really impresses on this first EP, shows their differences and announces future great albums. Highly recommended for 80's heavy metal fans! Geoff's voice is unbeatable.
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