Queensrÿche /ˈkwiːnzraɪk/ is an American heavy metal band. It formed in 1982 in Bellevue, Washington out of the local band the Mob. The band has released 14 studio albums, one EP, several DVDs, and continues to tour and record. The original lineup consisted of vocalist Geoff Tate, guitarists Chris DeGarmo and Michael Wilton, bassist Eddie Jackson and drummer Scott Rockenfield.
Walk In The Shadows—-Although I have been a career fan of the band Queensryche, this album and this tour remain forever in the forefront of my mind. I met the band, at an in=store record signing the day they opened for Ozzy in my hometown….I still have the signed album cover preserved in plastic for all time. I loved and still love this album. There were, back in the day…..few voices that could rival Tate’s…..and on this release it is on strong display. The power of the guitars on this track….the drums from Rockenfied and the vocal vibrato from Tate make this song a masterpiece. It still hold the test of time.
I Dream In Infrared—-One of my favorite tracks on this release, this song has everything. There is a nice mystic intensity to the song. The guitars shine bright and the you really notice the keyboard bits. The sound is layered but falls away to allow for the melancholy vocal from Tate. This is a beautiful…introspective track….it shows the fantastic guitars off….the drums are very present…and the soaring vocal from Tate is fantastic. When Tate hits some of those notes…I still get goosebumps.
The Whisper—-Melding from the previous track, Tate enters with his vocal that just soars. The song has an energy that is undeniable…..the vocal like never before. The guitars are crisp and clean….with the melody laying underneath the whole thing sucking you right in. The band has never sounded better.
Gonna Get Close To You—-A nice ode to stalkers, this was fantastic when played live. The powerful drums that open the track die away a bit to allow for the almost spoken vocal at the onset. The guitars even seem pushed to the back. Geoff sounds literally possessed at times with the character of the song. As the song progresses…..the melody line takes over…..even though the vocal almost leads the song till the second bridge. Never the best track on this album….it sounds really incredible today as I listen to it.
The Killing Words—-The songs that received the least amount of attention have remained my favorites from this release. This track is a prime example. It has a punch in your face delivery musically….the vocal is just incredible…some of the notes just fantastic. DeGarmo delivers a guitar solo that rises above the ceiling. This was a band at the apex of explosion. Just incredible.
Surgical Strike—-Another of those tracks I play over and over again when I pull out this masterpiece. Delivering metal like few bands were doing at the time, this is precise…..almost mechanical in sound and packing a futuristic punch that still makes me feel invigorated and hopeful about the future of music. This is a masterpiece.
Neue Regal—-Perhaps giving us a bit of insight as to the future sound of the band, this track is just incredible. Far before its time and lending sounds not often heard on a Metal record in the 80’s, this was the future indeed. Just look at Turbo from Priest!!!! And powering the entire thing is the lyrics and powerhouse vocals of Tate…an innovator and musical genius. DeGarmo lends a nice gentle guitar intro….and then the song becomes alive in futuristic sounds and themes!
Chemical Youth [We Are Rebellion]—-Almost defining the term ‘power metal’, this track really stands the test of time. The huge guitars and drums never let the vocal drown out. The entire band seems to lend to the chorus…and Tate gives that trademark scream that almost matches Queen Of The Reich intro. There are tons of effects on this track…..but the rock n’ roll element never disappears. This is fantastic.
London—-Without a doubt, my favorite track from this release. The very first time I heard it, I fell in love with it…and the magic re-occurs every time I re-listen to this album. There is a power and an emotional quality to the song that just seems to take me over. I love everything about this….the track ebbs and flows…allowing for Tate to tell a story and still allow the musicians the magic of metal. Th vocal is just incredible…the added effects astounding for the time…and the notes…..fantastic!
Screaming In Digital—-Continuing with mass effects and then just plain blistering Rock n’ Roll. the drums on this track are just incredible. The keyboard effects add a robotic feel to the song…but the guitars are never dismissed or missing. Even Tate delivers a vocal at times that seems robotic and mechanical…but when he hits some of those notes….there is no mistake who is in control. This is a fantastic…huge track.
I Will Remember—-Ending this proper release with a song that would have fit well on Mind-crime, Tate sounds mournful and sad and DeGarmo lends a guitar delivery that matches. Tate has a fantastic emotional quality to his voice that fits wonderfully well on slower tracks like this. Just Wonderful!
Gonna Get Close To You [12″ Version]—-Almost sacrilegious in the fact that they tried to turn this into a dance song, I accept the version only because of the memories associated with it. This was really not necessary….I would have like a live version or a demo out take as opposed to this. Next……
The Killing Words [Live]—-Sounding a bit under produced, this still plays live as well as it did on vinyl. The effects are a bit odd…and the vocal is very present in the song. The live voice of Tate is so powerful and incredible. This is a bit more acoustic than I would like….I miss the big breaks and the force of the band.
I Dream In Infrared [Acoustic 1991]—-Although billed as acoustic, this track is still full of force and power. The guitars are a bit more sedate and pushed to the back…but the vocal is incredible. Just to have this version was worth the cost of the remastered version of this release. Tate has a voice like no other.
Walk In The Shadows [Live]—-Sounding very ‘live’ the production is below standard…but the energy is just incredible. The chug chug of the guitar is remarkable…and Tate never misses a note. Just fantastic…..ahh….sweet memories.
***** out of 5