Some people dismiss this album as just mediocre at best. Out of my many metal albums, death metal to thrash, this definately holds a top spot. Geoff Tate’s vocals are so beautiful that he puts to shame most vocalists in his range (besides maybe Bruce Dickinson). The songs are so moving, particularly En Force and the epic brillance of Take Hold of the Flame. The songwriting is excellent, and the guitar work is pretty good as well. Anyone that likes classic metal with good vocals (Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Savatage, Armored Saint) will love this album. This was before Queensryche’s Operation:Mindcrime, back when they were just a classic metal band. Non-fans of classic metal might dismiss this as a mediocre album, however. I recommend you give this album a listen and see if it moves you the way it moved me.
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
This is another one that I bought on LP when it came out and I loved it then and I love it now !
The title track is very worthwhile, NM 156 is another gem along with No Sanctuary, En Force and Before the Storm.
Roads to Madness however, will leave you feeling pretty emotional – if it doesn’t bring a set of chills to your spine, then you should definitely consult your physician and TOSS your Prozac in the nearest receptical !
Tates pipes were/are among the best of all time – period !
and the rest of the band aren’t slouches either
When you first hear this album from the first song ‘Warning”, and you hear passages like, “The child of centuries, forgotten in time/You talk in circles of rhyme/Seer of places future and past/The warning you gave us is surely our last/…Warning!” You know this isn’t the newer Queensryche that a lot of people are used to from the mid-nineties on up, absolutely not…it’s far better!
Well, what can I say that most of the other people haven’t said? This particular Queensryche disc, will in my opinion, always be my favorite for the incredible range that Geoff’s vocals exude, and the abundant melodical guitar passages on this album. It has a very special meaning to me and many others that grew up with this incredible band back when they first came out of nowhere and opened up our minds to a whole new genre of metal! I don’t think I would’ve gotten into a band back then if it wasn’t for this album!
True, many people praise ‘Operation Mindcrime’ as their best work. I agree to only some extent, because it’s a different beast; “Mindcrime” is a concept album fueled by modern day atrosities in religion, politics, and greed. “The Warning” is also a concept album, which takes you on a futuristic journey detailing what happens to mankind in the future when he eventually realizes his own demise from the very machines he has created, essentially, the computer age. As evident in the song ‘N M 156′, “Uniform printout reads end of line/Protect code intact leaves little time/Erratic surveys, free thinking not allowed/My hands shake, my push buttons silence/The outside crowd/One world government has outlawed war among nations/Now social control requires population termination.”
Where did these hauntingly surreal lyrics come from? George Orwell’s book, 1984! This served as a catalyst for the mood and imagery on this album.
Moving on, I still get chills sometimes when I lay there and listen to ‘Roads To Madness’ (topping out at almost 10 minutes) in the way that it takes you through an incredible array of powerful and emotional vocals that make you wonder how Geoff Tate get’s enough energy to make it through this in live performances! After a little over 7 minutes into the song, it’s tempo takes off and shreds through about another 2 minutes to end leaving you feeling like you really were there in the story line. A song like this is a fine example of why he will always have a top position as one of the best rock vocalists in history.
But that’s only a couple songs out of many great tunes on this album! I think what really stands out on this album (besides Geoff Tate’s vocals of course) is the incredible emotions displayed by guitarist’s Chris DeGarmo and Michael Wilton, with their dual-lead guitar structures and beautiful melody lines along with Scott Rockenfield’s extremely fluent and solid percussion work you can’t ignore the incredible sonic journey it takes you through.
I’m very impressed with the new ‘24 bit Remastered’ version I just received! It is definately an improvement over the original disc! I’ve started re-collecting all of the new 24 bit remastered versions now because of the better quality.
So, in closing, if you really want to know where Queensryche started their journey (besides their first EP from 1983 which is great, but more raw sounding of course) and hear them before they changed into a more commercial sound, buy this and put the headphones on and prepare to experience the beginnings of the Progressive Metal era from one of the masters!
I bought “Operation: Mindcrime” on cassette when I was 13 and I remember being absolutely spellbound by it. So, a few months later while in a record store I eyed “The Warning” and immediately bought it with my hard-earned allowance money. Of course, I expected another Mindcrime…I was pleasantly mistaken. I’m 28 now and just picked up the remastered CD version of “The Warning” a few weeks ago. I am still surprised at the freshness and youthfulness of the music after all these years.
Geoff Tate has been one of my favorite metal vocalists for many years. Famed for his voice’s operatic texture and a range about a mile wide, he doesn’t disappoint here. My favorite aspect of “The Warning”’s vocals is the lyrical phrasing. The actual rythmn of the words takes you on a roller coaster-like journey through the album. Tate’s word choice on this album is also sharp and intelligent, using “50 cent words” without sounding melodramatic or overdone.
The guitars of Wilton and DeGarmo compliment each other well, both taking turns shredding on every track. I seem to notice Eddie Jackson’s bass more distinctively on this remastered edition (which is a plus). Rockenfield’s drumwork is practically flawless in keeping time and tends to throw the listener a few rythmic curves every once in a while (to see if you’re really paying attention!).
Without sounding too critical, “The Warning” is probably not what a neophyte Queensryche listener should start off with. This is due mainly to the fact that this album is not radio-friendly, even though I think I remember hearing “Take Hold of the Flame” on rock radio a few times. Try the two classics: “Operation Mindcrime” and “Empire”; then move to “Rage for Order” and “The Warning”.
Progressive metal fans will like this album because it sometimes has hints of early Fates Warning (John Arch era). Though “The Warning” is purely original, one can feel a strong Iron Maiden influence in the music.
Choice cuts are “Deliverance”, “Take Hold of the Flame”, “Before the Storm”, and the 9+ minute epic “Roads to Madness”. The extra tracks on the remastered edition are filler at best – I usually stop the CD after “Roads to Madness”.
P.S. The band’s photo for the album (on the inside cover of the remastered edition) is one of the coolest (and yes, cheesiest) photos in heavy metal. I’m diggin’ the all-black leather and eerie green mist motif!
I couldn’t wait to get the new remastered Queensryche CDs, with Warning being the one I most wanted to hear.Granted, Operation:Mindcrime is one of the best CDs ever recorded, and it put Queensryche on top of the metal world, but that isn’t the CD I most enjoy listening to from ‘Ryche. Warning is.The uniqeness of Queensryche was hinted at on their debut album (especially with the electrifying title track), but it was first realized on Warning — an album chock-full of richness, depth, and power.For example, Geoff Tate had one of the best voices in metal at the time Warning was recorded in 1984. He had power, expressiveness and an astounding range. (How he could hit those piercing high notes, I’ll never know.) I don’t think he ever sounded better than on Warning.Another selling point for Warning is the bottom-heavy way in which it was recorded. The guitar riffs are catchy, low-slung and plentiful, Rockenfield’s bass drum is prominent, and Eddie Jackson’s bass guitar rings out in a thunderous way.And then there are the songs…Wow.Standout tracks are Warning, En Force, Deliverance, Take Hold of the Flame, and Before the Storm.Finally, the remastering. In a word, breathtaking. Each instrument is clear and crisp — with Jackson’s bass and Tate’s vocals receiving the lion’s share of the benefits of the 24-bit digital treatment.The three Bonus Tracks are nice, but I would have purchased the remastered Warning without them.If you want to know what Queensryche is all about, Warning would be a great place to start your journey.