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.