Friday, January 12, 2007

Queensryche - Operation: Mindcrime II

When Queensryche announced their plans to return to 'Operation: Mindcimre' the reaction was mixed. Fans were wondering if the band could pull off such a maneuver without one of the primary songwriters of the original, ex guitarist Chris DeGarmo. After a brief tour featuring the entire first 'Mindcrime' and a couple tracks the band were working on, Queensryche once again went into the studio to create rock 'n roll history.

The opening track "Freheit Ouverture" immediately puts to rest the worries of the bands ability to craft a worthy follow up to one of the greatest concept albums of all time. The playing is tight and the music is just as good as anything from it's predecessor. The lead off cut to the story "I'm American" (played as a work in progress on the tour) is a balls to the wall rocker with some of the best vocal work seen from Tate in a long time.

The lyrics, inspired by the current political climate in the United States, are centered around Nikki's revenge and redemption. Many asked/unasked questions are answered in the nearly one hour story (although at times the story may be slightly unbelievable). Musically, this is the album that Queensryche fans have been waiting for. The crunch of the original re-appears, while the experience of these seasoned musicians shines throughout the album.

Reprising her role as Sister Mary, Pamela Moore returns to the story as a ghost of her memory in Nikki's head. One of the most surprising guest roles is Ronnie James Dio as the evil Doctor X.

Although the disc is not as good as the original 'Mindcrime' (what could be?!?), this sequel is not only a worthy addition to the already vastly impressive Queensryche discography, but it's more than worthy of the 'Mindcrime' title.


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