Here it is, Queensrÿche have returned, 18 years later, to the scene of their greatest triumph commercially and critically, Operation: Mindcrime, with a sequel, appropriately monikered Operation: Mindcrime II.
Queensrÿche still retains four of its five original members -- vocalist Geoff Tate, guitarist Michael Wilton, bassist Eddie Jackson, and drummer Scott Rockenfeld (guitarist Mike Stone joined as a permanent member in 2005).
There are fine arguments on both sides of an issue like this -- messing with a bona fide rock classic by recording a sequel -- all of them are basically irrelevant once the project has been realized; but in this case, the debate will rage regardless.
First there's the story: It picks up with junkie hitman Nikki, recently released from prison, haunted constantly by the death and memory of his lover, Mary, a former teenage prostitute turned nun, and this shadowy presence of Dr.
X, Nikki's employer.
The story of Operation: Mindcrime ended with "Who Killed Mary?" The story picks up with the identity of the killer revealed and Nikki's obsession with revenge on Operation: Mindcrime II.
Cool eh? Maybe, maybe not; it depends on your point of view.
In any case the most startling thing about II is its sound: pure 1980s heavy metal.
The band went back to exploring the kinds of technology used on the first segment and basically revisited it, retuned the guitars to A., and let it rip.
Shockingly, it doesn't sound cheesy at all.
In fact, it's so balls-out crunchy and stacked -- especially the way those duplicate lead guitars sound on "The Hands" -- it sort of feels as if the records were recorded back to back; the intent and objective here has definitely been achieved.
The argument is why you would want to create a second chapter of something and have it sound so much like the first.
Okay, there's the music and the story.
Tate and company are to be credited here; the story is seamless, though it's 20 years later.
Tate looks at the current political and social landscape and can only say that "everything moves faster now/living at the speed of light," other than that, it's the same -- which is why a sequel was predicated in the first place.
The band were still under the first Bush regime when the original was released.
And despite eight years of Clinton, they find themselves under a Bush regime once more -- a regime perhaps more Draconian and certainly far more secretive than its predecessors.
In any case, the historical reality reflects the aesthetic one for the purposes of Tate and company.
|Queensrÿche||Play||00:08||0 MB||0 MB|
|Queensrÿche||Play||02:53||6 MB||0 MB|
One Foot in Hell
|Queensrÿche||Play||04:12||9 MB||0 MB|
|Queensrÿche||Play||04:29||10 MB||0 MB|
|Queensrÿche||Play||04:36||10 MB||0 MB|
Speed of Light
|Queensrÿche||Play||03:12||7 MB||0 MB|
Signs Say Go
|Queensrÿche||Play||03:16||7 MB||0 MB|
|Queensrÿche||Play||03:11||7 MB||0 MB|
|Queensrÿche||Play||03:08||7 MB||0 MB|
|Queensrÿche||Play||04:33||10 MB||0 MB|
|Queensrÿche||Play||02:58||6 MB||0 MB|
If I Could Change It All
|Queensrÿche||Play||04:27||10 MB||0 MB|
A Junkie's Blues
|Queensrÿche||Play||03:41||8 MB||0 MB|
Fear City Slide
|Queensrÿche||Play||04:58||11 MB||0 MB|
All the Promises
|Queensrÿche||Play||05:10||11 MB||0 MB|
|Queensrÿche||Play||01:35||3 MB||0 MB|
An International Confrontation
|Queensrÿche||Play||02:32||5 MB||0 MB|
|59 mins||135 MB|
|0 mins||0 MB|
Ronnie James Dio
|Guest Artist, Vocals|
|Assistant, Orchestral Arrangements|
|Audio Production, Engineer, Mixing, Producer|
|Composer, Leader, Story, Vocals|
|Standard||MP3||320kps 44.1kHz||MP3 is an audio coding format which uses a form of lossy data compression. The highest bitrate of this format is 320kbps (kbit/s). MP3 Digital audio takes less amount of space (up to 90% reduction in size) and the quality is not as good as the original one.|