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(22 Reviews)

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  • Isn’t it cool how a 4-song demo recorded at Scott Rockenfield’s parents’ home basement back in 1982 has led to all of this–the birth of one of the greatest and most influential bands of all times? What makes me even happier is that they have finally decided to remix this debut EP with a great production that shines from beginning to end. The self-titled EP was understandably overshadowed by the band’s following releases, however now with the addition of live tracks and a top notch mix, everything sounds much better. Considering Queensryche’s current musical direction, I think I’ve done a great choice picking this reissue up. It was like going back to the old days when Queensryche was the best and most important prog metal band of the 80’s along with Fates Warning and the not so popular Crimson Glory. Vocalist Geoff Tate was considered a true hero and vocal god and paved the way for thousands of other singers who were more than eager to follow his footsteps.

    I lack words to describe the joy in explaining how great it feels to hear songs like “Queen of the Reich”, “Blinded”, and “The Lady Wore Black” again, with flawless production quality. With the exception of “The Lady…” the other three songs on this EP never got the attention they deserved. It’s hard to be noticed when a band constantly puts out quality material like The Warning, Rage for Order, and the masterpiece Operation: Mindcrime. Nevertheless I happen to think that this is a truely majestic debut EP with a lot of potential. Its only weak point was the production which now sounds lightyears better. The drums have a great punch to them and the guitar and bass work complement each other perfectly. Geoff Tate’s vocals contain a lot power, energy, and emotion. Chris DeGarmo, to this day, is one of my favourite songwriters ever. His emphasis on melody and the articulation he puts behind his playing is beyond this world. The solo on “Blinded” is particularly to my liking. The dual attacks accompanied by the drums is very moving.

    Queensryche weren’t really “prog” when they released this, but it clearly hinted that they were onto something here and would become one of the pioneers of the genre in the upcoming years and decaded. Which they successfully did. Needless to say, this is very highly recommended. One of the best reissues that you must own if you like Queensryche. The extra tracks are worth it as well.

    Posted on December 16, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • In the original version, the self-titled EP would have rated 3 stars, to me. In some ways, after all, it was typical of that era (1982/83), as there were some Iron Maiden and Judas Priest inspired moments in the songs. Yet, in others not so typical. The band’s musical brashness and intensity shone through. And of course since it led to greater works later on, this EP is a significant testament. When you think of it, these guys were in their late teens then, and though most had played extensively in other bands, Queensryche began, primarily, in a basement and recorded an EP before they had ever played live as a band. Back then, that was something.It is admittedly my own fault that I am jaded these days towards, Queen Of The Reich, and, The Lady Wore Black. Over the years I have played the songs to death. Queen Of The Reich, comes off kind of cheese-y lyrically, these days, but, The Lady Wore Black, still stands up lyrically, being an especially high-quality song-writing moment for an EP from a band just starting.What makes this remaster of the EP worth getting, is the number of extra tracks that have been added to the package, which are taken from the “Live In Tokyo” VHS (not otherwise released). Songs such as, Nightrider, and, Blinded, are seldom played in more recent years. Nightrider, is especially cool to hear as a live track with the volume cranked. One recalls lines of dialogue from Mad Max while listening. The live version of, Prophecy, is also quite good, as well as, Road To Madness, in classic form with the original lyrics.Even if you are a Queensryche fan who has the initial version of the EP on CD, you have to get this anyway. The live tracks include all four EP tracks, Prophecy, and most tracks from The Warning.

    Posted on December 16, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This disc is a remastered collection of Queensryche’s first EP (tracks 1-4) and Queensryche: Live In Tokyo (tracks 5-14) which was previously only available on video. Tracks one through four include songs “Queen of the Reich” and “The Lady Wore Black”; both classic, hard-hitting Queensryche tunes from the early days of American metal. “Queen of the Reich” depicts the band’s true influences of English metal, with a thunderous sound that will leave no doubt in your mind that these lads were listening to the likes of Priest and Maiden just like the rest of us were. “The Lady Wore Black” is track four on the disc, and already begins to display the quintessential sound of Queensryche that many would not be introduced to until later in the 1980’s. Both of these tracks reappear in the latter part of the disc as live tracks taken from a Tokyo show in August of ‘84.

    Tracks five through fourteen are from the band’s live performance in Tokyo around the time the “Warning” album was released. The tracks include all the songs from the EP as well as tracks from the “Warning” album such as “En Force”, and one of my favorites “Take Hold of the Flame”. The live segment ends with the song “Queen of the Reich” in all of it’s thunder and glory. Tate’s voice is insane, as is the rest of the band’s fury, especially Scott Rockenfield’s drums. This track alone makes the entire disc worth it in my opinion.

    The remastering of this collection is second to none. The live tracks are so good that it’s like you have the classic 1984 line up live in your living room playing before you. I am usually big on original recordings, because often the sound which is so much the identity of the band, can get lost or mis-translated during the course of a remastering session, but that is not the case here. This collection sounds incredible, and you can’t beat the price. Just make sure you have a good understanding of your local noise ordinances prior to inserting this disc in your cd player, because this collection will undoubtly have you looking for the highest volume setting. “Queensryche” (remastered) is a must for any 1980’s fan of pure Heavy Metal.

    Posted on December 16, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Coming out of the still nascent Seattle scene (Heart being the first to bust out from there) This EP was recorded in 1982 and didn’t get released until late 1983 by EMI. I first heard “Queen Of The Reich” on the late-night “Metal Shop” program aired from WIYY-98Rock, and I was immediately in shock and awe! I heard the best of JP, Maiden, and the Scorpions all rolled into one (Queensryche)! I bought the EP as soon as I saw it on the record rack and played it for my friends, who were all blown away by the awsomeness of the Queensryche sound! I saw them open for Judas Priest during their tour for the “Warning” album and they were FANTASTIC! Here are my reviews of the songs based out of 5 *****:
    “Queen Of The Reich” – Cymbals and a quick drum thump lead into a scorching guitar melody and a Geoff Tate piercing howl. A heavy, thumping bass and galloping guitars. Fantastic drumming from Scott Rockenfield (a true metal drummer’s last name!) as well as scorching guitar solos from DeGarmo and Wilton. Geoff sounds terrific! A fast-paced metal onslaught that grabs you by the throut and shreds your vocal chords. Some of the highest pitched screams ever put on vinyl. This is the song that brought the band worldwide attention and shook the metal genre up. A CLASSIC! Rating – *****
    “Nightrider” – Sounds alot like Judas Priest’s “Dissident Aggressor” (actually the opening IS “Dissident Aggressor”!). Another furiously paced tune with very heavy drumming and bass lines. Very heavy song. A combination of Diano Iron Maiden and early Judas Priest. Doing Judas Priest BETTER than JP was at the time! A GREAT song! Rating – *****
    “Blinded” – - Opens with very heavy drum and bass with power chord guitaring. Man can Scott Rockenfield f’n slam those drum skins! Some fine bass playing from Eddie Jackson as well. Has a repetitive melody “the voices keep calling….” to end the song. Another very heavy hitting, hard rocking piece of sonic art! The gems keep on being mined! Rating – *****
    “the Lady Wore Black” – The only song on the EP penned by Tate. Opens with an eerie sounding electronic wind, ala Def Leppard’s “Too Late For Love”. Soft guitar and ballad like tempo to open the tune. Some heartfelt singing by Tate. The tempo really picks up for the chorus and then returns to the opening ballad form. Guitar solo sounds alot like the Scorpions “Still Loving You”. This song got the most airplay off of the EP, and deservedly so because this song ROCKS! The future sound of Queensryche is heard on this song as the band would lean towards the more melodic Tate songs. Rating – ****
    The icing on the cake here is the bonus live concert from 8/5/84 in Japan. The band not only does the whole EP, but what makes this truly special is that they are playing a PREVIEW of thier forthcoming album “The Warning”! That’s right, the album hadn’t been released, and the band was practicing these new songs for the forthcoming tour in support of this new album! The concert sounds fantastic! The band is as tight as a drum and as solid as steel! The liner notes say this was taken from a video/laser disc and transferred to CD. WHERE CAN I GET A COPY OF THE VIDEO? Why hasn’t this been released on DVD? This needs to be put on the market NOW! Anyway, this EP destroyed most of the other metal/rock albums that were released in ‘83. This is a true classic that deserves to be recognized as one of the best rock debuts ever! If you are a true music lover that appreciates musicianship, BUY THIS NOW! You will not be disappointed!

    Posted on December 16, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • In 1983, Queensryche exploded onto the metal scene with this EP. A little known band from Bellevue, WA, it was by pure chance that KERRANG! Magazine got their hands on this EP and wrote an article heralding it as the future of metal. The world would never be the same.

    22 years later, this EP has aged extremely well. The music takes hold of you once you hear Geoff Tate’s amazing scream in the beginning of the title track, and it never lets you go. If someone were to hear this music for the first time in the present day, they may not think much of it, but for 1983, it was a groundbreaking release. Backing up Tate are the band’s two most important songwriters, lead guitarists Chris DeGarmo and Michael Wilton, as well as Eddie Jackson (bass) and Scott Rockenfield (drums). This lineup would remain the same for the next fifteen years. Geoff Tate, in my opinion, is the greatest rock/metal vocalist of all time. I have seen this band live many times, and his range and power are just as perfect in person, even in the year 2005.

    The title track, ‘Nightrider,’ ‘Blinded,’ and ‘The Lady Wore Black’ are all metal classics that can be listened to thousands of times. In addition to Tate’s vocals, both DeGarmo and Wilton were already writing and playing some of the most well constructed and creative solos on this record. They were in their late teens/early 20’s, but their solos were totally flawless. When this album was re-released in 1986, the bonus track ‘Prophecy’ was added. I have always felt this track was a hidden gem in the Queensryche catalog and I would even say it’s better than the rest of the tracks on this EP. The solos are full of tremolo action, finger tapping, hammer-on’s, pull-off’s, and arpeggios. One of my favorite aspects of DeGarmo’s and Wilton’s solos is there’s always a healthy balance between technique and feeling. I always felt this was missing in most other metal from the early 80’s.

    If you’re new to Queensryche, I would buy this EP along with THE WARNING and RAGE FOR ORDER. After you listen to all three albums about one hundred times, and you start to believe the music just couldn’t get any better, go out and buy OPERATION MINDCRIME to be truly blown away!!!

    Posted on December 15, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now