Mindcrime borders on bombast in places. But in retrospect, this album isn't quite as bad as it originally seemed to me. One of the things that helped Queensryche stand out was Geoff Tate's unique vocals. Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved.
They have done a much better job at incorporating LaTorre into the classic Queensryche sound on this album, at times you almost think you are listening to the classic band. This includes, in particular, the lead guitar work, shared by Michael Wilton and Chris DeGarmo, and the vocal performances by Geoff Tate. He was classically trained as a singer and had that operatic style. As always, your actual mileage may vary.
The band has a new vocalist since that time, Todd La Torre. Parker Lundgren has been with the band since and plays rhythm guitar and backing vocals. Looking back, I'm not sure what I could have expected, but whatever that was, the album didn't deliver. Its ambitious story covered government, religion, sex, drugs, and mental illness. You can hear a Sabbath influence, but with a bit of Alice in Chains in the harmonies.
It alternates atmospheric, gloomy, somber, melancholic, spacey, tortured and even slightly electronic passages. Tate did an excellent job with vocals and lyrics and left just enough time for guitars and other instruments to do their solos. It's an album much above average in terms of melody and vocal prowess from a band on top of their game. Mindcrime is self-important pomp - - and I suppose that's true. Truly progressive stuff, but not by the common approach of most prog metal bands.
It is at its best when LaTorre belts out the vocals with emotion. This album is better than I was expecting, quite honestly.
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Luckily, we have a testimony of high intelligence heavy rock with this album that reminds us that for a few short years, Queensryche was the best band in world. There is time for great development here, real er trial with great vocals that sound like early Queensryche and also great guitar and progressive passages.
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In particular, the album is mixed well, especially given that on most songs, there's more going on than one part each from a singer and four instrumentalists. He will become part of a secret revolutionary organization, led by a political and religious leader nicknamed Doctor X. How does all this musically translate?
Either way, even given the ambitious album concept, the production and arrangements are themselves ambitious, and Collins proved up to the task. Oh well, we have here a savvy blend of Pink Floyd's melody and wits matched with a tamer form of metal, compared with today's at least. Why they aren't more praised is beyond my comprehension, considering Limb Bizkit sold millions of records without getting out of the gutter. It's a bona-fide concept album with a storyline and distinct characters, although it takes a few listens to figure this out. Undoubtedly the highlight of the disc!
But it's the kind of near-bombast I enjoy, especially as part of a self-contained work. However, is this comparison really justified? Expect an album with a bit more keyboards than what they gave us later, and I think it's a shame they didn't continue with that element. Highly recommended to prog metal fans! So, how is the new album then?
The last two songs are unfortunately not the best part of the record. It's a decent balance though, and it works.
The second half is bit darker. Mindcrime to any fan of progressive rock music, even to listeners like me who don't ordinarily care for progressive metal. Finally, the rhythm section bassist Eddie Jackson and drummer Scott Rockenfield sounds fantastic throughout. Review by Warthur Prog Reviewer. It goes for a much heavier and progressive sound.
The proggiest song of the record is undoubtedly the title track, tortured and depressive. Recommended to metal or even to alternative hard rock fans! No doubt the band will go on to release some classic albums, especially in their early years, so this is mainly a disc for the die-hard Queensryche fans if such a thing exists. It's a nice quieter track, but still with some muscle behind it, and also a great closer for the album.
And then there is the expansive use of backing and harmony vocals. His solo is just mesmerizing! DeGarmo left the band soon after, and Queensryche has had an up and down career. Mindcrime sounds symphonic because of him.
They don't really add anything to this release and are easily forgotten about. Don't you think it's a shame how it ended? Nonetheless, if you want something original and depressive, this album is what you need.
It's certainly not every day that you hear this jazz instrument on a metal disc. It would have better with even more development over extended time. Mindcrime would be an excellent work.
Indeed, the compositions are ambitious, elegant and refined. Queensryche has always been a band that relies a lot on their vocals. LaTorre gets to show off a bit more with some heaviness and emotional screaming, but nothing over the top. The guitar break is very nice as the heaviness actually abates a bit allowing it to sing out better. The performances are also very, very good.
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