Hoo boy, this one is not going to go over well. After another very enjoyable episode of The Lebrain Train last Friday, it became quite apparent that this Operation Mindcrime album was kind of a big deal and I would do well to give it a listen. And the result? Well, as always, I am the contrarian.
The album is a really mixed bag for me. Even in a concept album, the music has to come before the story. It’s not an audiobook, and unfortunately for Operation Mindcrime, the story just bogs and mires the music. Good songs are straddled by big chunks of conceptual meh, like “Suite Sister Mary”. The title track rocks, and “Speak” and “Eyes of a Stranger” are pretty good too, but they’re just surrounded by middling songs that are just, well, boring. I’m probably the only person ever to say that Operation Mindcrime would have been better had it not been a concept album, but it just really didn’t do it for me.
I will give some credit to Geoff Tate’s vocals in particular though. He manages to hit some pretty stratospheric notes, but does so without killing my ears, like the ultra-shrill style Rob Halford employed prior to Defenders of the Faith did. I really do like Geoff Tate’s vocals here, but they’re not enough to save the album.
Iron Maiden’s Seventh Son of a Seventh Son might only have a third of the story that Operation Mindcrime does, it also happens to have eight songs that are total metal awesome. I definitely know which one of the two I’d listen to if given the choice. And as for Mindcrime?
The verdict- 2.75/5