June 27, 1986 - 2021: 35 years of: Rage For Order.
The mob is fully raging.
Without any warning, QUEENSRCHE went from being another Euro-influenced generic heavymetal band, to one of the genre's most respected powerhouse. It all starts here, on album #2, the incendiary Rage For Order LP.
1986, in a sea of hairspray and spandex, the loud guitar unisons along Geoff Tate's gigantic screams from this unique unit, makes this one a must-hear-attraction in this new genre: the developing progressive side of traditional heavymetal.
The opening track "Walk In The Shadows" sets the pace with an upbeat pattern. The classy production courtesy of Neil Kernon is instant. The following melancholic and operatic dark-ballad "I Dream In Infrared" is a Titanic-template that will be used and re-used on future records.
The perfect incision of "Surgical Strike" is a mature metal-monster most bands only dream of. Another punch on "Chemical Youth (We Are Rebellion)" and the thunderous melodies of "London" and "Screaming In Digital" solidifies this band in a very, very select club.
Although an odd choice, the haunting Lisa Dal Bello "Gonna Get Close To You" newwave single-cover, is an audacious way to promote the band and infiltrate the saturated MTV.
Although still struggling to find a definitive identity, the boys would even try the goth image to match the album's ensemble. Don't let their dark looks fool you, as this is clever epic-rock. Tate + Wilton + DeGarmo, a trio that would soon change the game.
After the touring cycle, Tate would stay in Montreal, and on one cold winter evening he would meet a mysterious nameless men that would inspire him, change the face of the band and eventually the face of hardrock-music, forever. Stand by for nirvana, the RCHE is now set for 1988's stellar tour de force, the impeccable pristine perfection of: Operation Mindcrime.
Gonna Get Close To You = video
Rage For Order = full LP
Interview MTV in 1987
Live in Montreal in 1986
August 20, 1990 - 2020: 30 years of: Empire.
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Some metal bands are lucky to have sustained success in their career. In QUEENSRCHE's case, lightning stroke not one, not twice, but on three separate occasion. From Bellevue, a borough of Seattle, yes THE Seattle, comes the progressive-rock giants, the band that would forever push the idea of concept-albums into hardrock's glossary. Heavymetal-perfection arrived with 1986's Rage For Order LP and then exploring the full story-concept album with 1988's tour-de-force LP, the immortal: Operation Mindcrime.
Now smarter and wiser, the quintet would deliver another metal-perfect album. Tempted by the powerballad idea, this cut would pump this release and would eventually reach the RIAA-certified Platinum plateau 3 times. Keep in mind that back in the 1989-90 era, only arenarock and hardrock acts were part of this exclusive-club ...make way Sunset-boys, the Queen Of The Reich is here !
The ravaging opening in "Best I Can" is a strong statement, musically and vocally, courtesy of frontman Geoff Tate. The attack is imminent and the crystal-clear production elevate the experience into sonic boom. More loud rock is found on "The Thin Line", "Another Rainy Night (Without You)" and the MTV-favorite sing-along, the punchy "Jet City Woman". QUEENSRCHE are in the zone !
The powerful title-track, a heavy-stamina cut, displays solid rhythms and serious social views. Political-rock, could they be ? What started on Mindcrime was now fully matured to a tee. "Resistance" hooks you and doesn't let go, while "Hand On Heart" is another slick heavyrock number featuring the explosions of jazz-influenced drummer Scott Rockenfield.
And now, it's night-time.
The #1 symphonic-powerballad of 1990, one of the band's crowning achievement and one of hardrock's most beloved, both musically and surely commercially. The gentle 5:48sec flamenco-guitar driven melody finally brings the progressive-rock element into the then generic ballad-clichés. Miles away from the latter, the melodramatic "Silent Lucidity" is supported by a full blown orchestra with both violin and cello under-tones. Soft to the ear yet incisive spiritually, "Lucidity" would open a door for QUEENSRCHE into the mainstream audience and break-away from the heavymetal stigmata.
QUEENSRCHE are a musician's band, the high quality musicianship found within is next to none. The Wilton + DeGarmo lead-guitar duo is worthy of the Downing + Tipton and the Smith + Murray legendary line of melodic powermetal-duos. In the 1989-90 era, top melodicrock bands like QUEENSRCHE and SAVATAGE kept the spirit pure and the flame alive, far away from the spandex of L.A.
Boys listen to cockrock, men listen to QUEENSRCHE.
The successful Building Empire world-tour featured an Act II: the full Operation Mindcrime album in it's entirety. Ear-candy that would become a staple in the band's live legacy. The Mob got a taste of the mainstream, cherish it coz a flannel tidal-wave is commin' your way. Sadly Empire would also be the last mammoth release from them, has line-up changes and creative-direction would erode the fabric of this unique band.
Rock-fans unite and celebrate when QUEENSCHE were one of the greats: East-Side meets West-Side, downtown !
Best I Can = video
Empire = video
Jet City Woman = video
Silent Lucidity = video
Empire = full CD
MTV UK interview in 1990
Live at Rock In Rio II in 1991
Live at the MTV Awards in 1991
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