Queensrÿche: Operation Mindcrime (Review)

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

17 thoughts on “Queensrÿche: Operation Mindcrime (Review)

  1. I think this is the best thing Queensryche ever did and by far my favorite of their albums and one of my all time favorite albums. I love the storyline and I felt the songs did great at weaving the story in to the songs. For me, nothing about it was remotely boring. DeGarmo’s guitar sound was immense and Tate’s vocals were at the top of his game. I hate you didn’t like it, but I guess it isn’t for everybody.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Most of the new stuff I listen to is the Meat challenge, though certain songs I like usually get extra listens. But that won’t matter here because it’s not the mostly mediocre music that I dislike, it’s the concept album filler.

      The score might go up by half a point with a relisten, but that’s about it.

      Liked by 1 person

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