Rage For Order(1986). Queensryche’s second studio album.Around the mid-80s, glam metal was starting to take over as the popular form of metal music. As tuneful and catchy as it was, glam was often very simple and pompous, sometimes to the point of being just plain silly. However, there were a few groups who cared more about creating interesting music rather than party anthems and songs about rock ‘n roll. Queensryche was one of those bands. 1986 was a turbulent year when it came to metal bands. Many of them either went all out with the thrash sound (Metallica, Slayer), or employed keyboards and synthesizers into the mix (Judas Priest, Iron Maiden). Queensryche fell under the latter. Its sound is very time period oriented, complete with all kinds of synths and studio effects. RFO is more polished than Iron Maiden’s ‘Somewhere In Time’ album, but not quite to the extent of Judas Priest’s ‘Turbo’. However slick the production may be, underneath it all are solid songs. Here’s a look at RFO track by track:1) Walk In The Shadows- A phenomenal straight ahead rocker with a main emphasis on the vocals. Great opener. *****2) I Dream In Infrared- A slower melodic track with plenty of guitars as well as backing keyboards. Very excellent. *****3) Whisper- This track is a steady psuedo rocker showing off on the guitars, and my favorite track on the album. I love the synth effects used here. *****4) Gonna Get Close To You- Although this song is very un-metal-like, it’s a haunting stalker number which will be sure to stick in your head long after you’ve listened to it. *****5) The Killing Words- A synth-heavy gloom ballad of sorts. One of the best that Queensryche has ever written. Should have been released as a single. *****6) Surgical Strike- Sounds almost like a few of the tracks off the next album Operation: Mindcrime(1988). Very fastpaced and contains some incredible moments with the guitars. *****7) Neue Regel- A slow anthemic rocker in which the vocals take front stage. Pretty good. ****8) Chemical Youth (We Are Rebellion)- Fast rocker which serves as a foretelling of the next album’s story. Good but musically it doesn’t stand out. Still, Queensryche shows a great lyrical sophistication here not found on any other rock group. The whole album displays this really well, but here is a prime example of excellent storytelling within a song. ****9) London- Starts out slow and melodic and builds into a vocally strengthened rocker. Later on, it bears a resemblance to Rush’s ‘Tom Sawyer’. *****10) Screaming In Digital- As the name implies, there are quite an abundance of synth effects used here, but it is properly backed up with a haunting and powerful vocal performance. At this point I’m beginning to wonder if the vocals are better on this album or the next. Both show incredible talent. ****11) I Will Remember- The album closes with a quiet accoustic ballad, quite unlike the rest of the album, but very well done nonetheless. Another winner. *****There are also four extra tracks in this remastered edition: An alternate version of ‘Gonna Get Close To You’, an accoustic remix of ‘I Dream In Infrared’, and live tracks of ‘The Killing Words’ and ‘Walk In The Shadows’.Even though Operation: Mindcrime is probably the most recognized album by all the fans, Rage For Order is no less brilliant. It may not contain a well crafted concept story throughout, but RFO serves as a strong set of individual songs each dealing with their own psychological themes. 5 stars for perfect musicianship, production, and songwriting. I’m having a tough time deciding which of the two albums is better. Mindcrime is more technical and brilliant, but Rage is my personal favorite one and probably the best album to come out in 1986. Fans of Queensryche and rock in general should find this underrated masterpiece to be a fitting addition to their rock collection. RECOMMENDED TO ALL FANS.