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!