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Album Reviews : Queensrÿche – Operation: Mindcrime

By on April 17, 2010

Queensryche-Operation_Mindcrime240I awoke on impact, under surveillance from the camera eye, searching high and low.

These are the first lyrics I ever heard from a band that I would have a lifelong love affair with. Queensrÿche to me are the greatest and one of the most innovative bands I have ever heard. The song of course was I Don’t Believe In Love and I was hooked the very first time I heard it, or should I say, saw the video clip. Because if I remember rightly it was on MTV late on a Friday night, back in the days when MTV was just a 2 hour show, and not a whole channel. The very next day I pooled all my pocket money and bought the album Operation Mindcrime, on cassette of course!!

The year was 1988 and I was only 16 years old. At the time this was the heaviest thing I had ever heard, a concept album as well, which was something I had certainly never heard of before. “Telephone Doctor Davis, Telephone please” is the first thing you hear as the story unfolds. The whole album is the tale of a young man by the name of Nikki who is mixed up on the wrong side of the law. Each song goes through the trials and tribulations of Nikki remembering his past life as a drug addict and being dependant on Dr X and his love for a prostitute turned nun by the name of Mary.

Each song on this album is well crafted and stand alone quite well, but all together makes arguably one of the most ambitious and most successful Metal concept albums ever recorded. Musically, Queensrÿche have always been described as a prog band, but this album had more of a metal sound than the bands previous three releases. The musicianship is second to none and set quite a high standard for the era. Geoff Tate’s vocals are one in a million with his awesome range and delivery. Michael Wilton and Chris DeGarmo’s guitar work was awe inspiring and they still are two of my favorite guitarists to this day. It is so hard to pick out the best tracks as each one leads into the next perfectly to tell the complete story. I Don’t Believe In Love, Eyes Of A Stranger, Revolution Calling, Operation Mindcrime, and Breaking The Silence would be the pick of the cd but in saying that you would be doing yourself an injustice to not listen to the whole album.

This album is where Prog Metal started, or at least where it finally broke through to the mainstream. This was Queensrÿche’s break through album and of course they went onto bigger and better things, including albums such as 1990’s Empire and in 2006 after 18 long years released Operation Mindcrime II, the much anticipated sequel.

This album sits nicely at the top of my all time top 10 album list, although that list is yet to be finalized. So if you are unfamiliar with Queensrÿche and would like to find out more about the band that brought Prog Metal to the fold then this album is definitely the one to start with.

Band: Queensrÿche
Album: Operation: Mindcrime
Year: 1988
Genre: Heavy/Power/Progressive Metal
Label: EMI
Origin: Washington, USA

Track Listing:
1. I Remember Now
2. Anarchy-X
3. Revolution Calling
4. Operation: Mindcrime
5. Speak
6. Spreading the Disease
7. The Mission
8. Suite Sister Mary
9. The Needle Lies
10. Electric Requiem
11. Breaking the Silence
12. I Don’t Believe in Love
13. Waiting For 22
14. My Empty Room
15. Eyes of a Stranger


Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.