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Queensrÿche - Operation: Mindcrime
Review: Heavy metal is the music of abandoned sanity, or what happens when society goes dystopic and embeds itself in illusion and no one stands up for the raw factors of the actual calculus of reality, including death, warfare, disease and destruction/nothingness. Queensrÿche take this cynical realism a step further with a concept album about social illusions and personal responsibility.
Working within what is properly a hybrid between American glam metal and NWOBHM, Operation: Mindcrime follows the story of a drug addicted felon who gets involved in a revolutionary movement, then watches his illusions systematically dismantled. As a result, this album has two parts: a descent into an inextricable situation, represented by more progressive-rock and industrial-influenced material, and a rage at the betrayal, portrayed by music that shows the influence of Queensrÿche's primary influence, Iron Maiden.
Although the concept is simple, and many of the songs are obvious appeals to emotion, as a whole this remains an interesting work and the best from Queensrÿche. Use of harmony, dynamics and both vocal and guitar melodies make a fine mesh of musical delights which work with this story to highlight its intensity. As a result, Queensrÿche made one of the few late 1980s albums that could transport the listener entirely away from reality much like the progressive rock that influenced it.