Queensryche - albums

Queensryche - concerts

Rage for Order

Queensryche's music and lyrics reflect an Orwellian scenario, especially in their zenith album Operation: Mindcrime. This style is seen in Rage for Order as well, especially in songs such as Screaming in Digital and Chemical Youth.

"Show me - the wave of eighties is #3.
 Praise me - our religion is technology.
 Change me - alterations for the stigmatised.
 Help me - for the caus. Would you cross the line?

 We are rebellion!
 Chemical youth scream
 `we are rebellion!'"
                   ---Queensryche, Chemical Youth

Operation: Mindcrime

One of the greatest albums ever! The album chronicles the tale of a killer for hire (with a conscience to boot) caught in an Orwellian web of his own making.

When I initially heard the album (way back in the late eighties), I thought it was more like a 1984 scenario, where "big brother" had brainwashed someone and this person (the progatonist) was rebelling against them. A lot of the lyrics make sense in this light and I get a kick out of them, but it's actually an anti-anarchist message that is brought out in Operation: Mindcrime: i.e. how someone idealistic like our hero (as depicted in Revolution Calling) could be duped by people with their own agenda to fulfil.

It was actually a bit disappointing for me to figure it all out. I think both the music and the lyrics falter at the end (what really happens in the end---does our hero kill Doctor X? How exactly does Mary die?). I think it could be made into a great movie (à la The Wall).

Except for the bit about the end I mention above, the music in general is intense, energetic, and soaring, complementing the concept. There are plenty of spoken word bits (à la Pink Floyd) that enhance the entangled and claustrophobic nature of the web weaved by the protagonist. Queensryche are at their best and they've never reached this level again in future albums. This is one of those albums that has had a powerful impact one me, on the music I make (even though what I make is a completely different kind of music), and words cannot describe how incredible this release is. It's pure genius. The political aspect to the lyrics combined with the powerful music make Operation: Mindcrime so intense and still relevant even today.

"Got no love for politicians or the crazy in DC,
 it's just a power mad town.
 But the time is ripe for changes, there's a growing feeling
 that taking a chance on new kind of vision is due.

 I used to trust the media to tell me the truth, tell us the truth.
 But now I've seen the payoffs, everwhere I look:
 who do you trust when everyone's a crook?"
           ---Queensryche, Revolution Calling
"Religion and sex are powerplays.
 Manipulate the people for the money they pay.
 Selling skin, selling God,
 the numbers look the same on their credit cards.
 Politicians say no to drugs,
 while we pay for wars in South America.
 Fighting fire with empty words,
 while the banks get fat,
 and the poor stay poor,
 and the rich get rich,
 and the cops get paid to look away,
 as the one percent rules America."
            --Queensryche, Spreading the Disease

Music ramblings || Ram Samudrala || me@ram.org