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Context Music / Queensryche

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1[[quoteright:320:]]˛[[caption-width-right:320:I AM I!]]˛˛A ProgressiveMetal band from Seattle, Washington, best remembered for their epic RockOpera ''Music/OperationMindcrime'' and its follow up, ''Empire'', which contained the Top 10 hit "Silent Lucidity".˛˛Starting out as something of an Music/IronMaiden-esque Euro-metal band, Queensrÿche has experimented with many different sounds and styles over the course of their career. For example, for their second album ''Rage for Order'' they utilized highly industrialized orchestrations, various production trickery and ominous synthesizers (dubbed "techno-metal"); and ''Hear in the Now Frontier'' featured a raw, stripped-back sound with little to no audio effects other than natural overdrive for the guitars. Albums such as ''The Warning'', ''Mindcrime'', ''Empire'' and ''Promised Land'', meanwhile, featured comparatively straightforward ProgressiveMetal with multiple time signatures, complicated structures, twin guitar solos by Wilton and [=DeGarmo=], plus the aforementioned experimentation with synthesizers and sound effects.˛˛Like most hard rock bands from TheEighties, Queensrÿche's popularity waned in TheNineties with the rise of grunge (which, ironically, has its roots in Queensrÿche's hometown of Seattle). Nonetheless, Queensrÿche continues to record and tour, although founding member Chris [=DeGarmo=] left the band in 1998 to pursue personal interests. His place was filled by Kelly Gray on ''[=Q2K=]'', Mike Stone on ''Tribe'', ''Operation: Mindcrime II'' and ''Take Cover'', and finally Parker Lundgren on ''Dedicated to Chaos''.˛˛In June 2012, Wilton, Rockenfield, and Jackson kicked Geoff Tate out of the band. Todd La Torre of the band Crimson Glory was chosen as Tate's replacement, and the previously-hired Parker Lundgren was retained on guitars. Tate continued to tour under the Queensrÿche name with past Queensrÿche member Kelly Gray. On the 28th of April 2014, a statement was released that confirmed that Tate had lost the Queensrÿche brand to Wilton, Rockenfield, and Jackson who will be carrying on as the sole version of the band while Tate was given the rights to perform ''Operation: Mindcrime'' and ''Operation: Mindcrime II'' in their entirety for unique performances.˛˛----˛˛!!Current Line-Up:˛* Michael Wilton - lead and rhythm guitars (1982-present)˛* Eddie Jackson - bass, backing vocals (1982-present)˛* Mike Stone - rhythm and lead guitars, backing vocals (2002–2009, 2018, 2021-present)˛* Todd La Torre - lead vocals (2012-present); drums (2018)˛* Casey Grillo - drums (2017-present)˛˛!!Former Members:˛* Geoff Tate - lead vocals, keyboards, saxophone (1982–2012)˛* Chris [=DeGarmo=] - lead and rhythm guitars, keyboards, backing vocals (1982–1997, 2003)˛* Kelly Gray - lead and rhythm guitars, backing vocals (1997–2002)˛* Parker Lundgren - rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2009-2021)˛* Scott Rockenfield - drums, keyboards (1982-2017)˛˛----˛˛!!Discography:˛* 1983: ''Queensrÿche'' (EP)˛* 1984: ''The Warning''˛* 1986: ''Rage for Order''˛* 1988: ''Music/OperationMindcrime''˛* 1990: ''Empire''˛* 1994: ''Promised Land''˛* 1997: ''Hear in the Now Frontier''˛* 1999: ''[=Q2K=]''˛* 2003: ''Tribe''˛* 2006: ''Operation: Mindcrime II''˛* 2007: ''Take Cover''˛* 2009: ''American Soldier''˛* 2011: ''Dedicated to Chaos''˛* 2013: ''Queensrÿche'' (full length album)˛* Additionally, before he lost the rights to the name, Geoff Tate released ''Frequency Unknown'' as a Queensrÿche album in 2013.˛* 2015: ''Condition Hüman''˛* 2019: ''The Verdict''˛˛-----˛!!Queensrÿche provides examples of:˛˛* AuthorTract: Some segments of both ''Mindcrime'' albums can get this way.˛* BuffySpeak: The answering machine message at the beginning of the song "Empire".˛-->''It's starting to hit me like a, um... um... two-ton... [[ShapedLikeItself heavy thing]].''˛* CanonDiscontinuity: May happen to ''Frequency Unknown''. It was released by Tate's version of the band prior to him losing the band name and comments from the now-official line-up at the time indicate that they would not have considered it a Queensrÿche album due to it having nothing in common with what Queensrÿche stood for. [[FanonDiscontinuity Not that most fans would complain too much if it were to be stricken from the band's canon...]]˛* CallingTheOldManOut: "Bridge" from ''Promised Land'', in which the speaker calls out his estranged father for trying to make up for lost time when he never made that connection in the first place.˛-->''You say, "Son, let's forget the past,''˛-->''I want another chance, gonna make it last."''˛-->''You're begging me for a brand new start,''˛-->''trying to mend a bridge that's been blown apart,''˛-->''but you know... you never built it dad.''˛* ConceptAlbum: ''Promised Land'' (1994) is a song cycle dealing with a man's life in general, and the theme of "be careful what you wish for" in particular. ''American Soldier'' (2009) is a collection of songs written from the point of view of U.S. military veterans and their experiences. There's also the ''Mindcrime'' saga.˛** Concepts can also be interpreted in ''The Warning'' (1984) about a mad prophet's ramblings, ''Rage for Order'' (1986) about a stalker and an underground revolution, and ''Empire'' (1990) about scenes possibly connected in the same neighborhood, as some songs fade into each other and have similar lyrics.˛* CorruptPolitician: Referenced in "Sign of the Times":˛-->''On the Senate floor they congregate''˛-->''Many pockets lined with green,''˛-->''From those behind the scenes, yeah they take the bribe (it's on the side)''˛* CoverAlbum: ''Take Cover''.˛* CoverVersion: Lisa Dalbello's "Gonna Get Close to You" (''Rage for Order'') and Music/SimonAndGarfunkel's "Scarborough Fair" (bonus track on the reissue of ''Empire'').˛* DareToBeBadass: "Sliver", the opening track of ''American Soldier'', is about this.˛-->''It's time to sack up and let go of your mothers!''˛* DarkerAndEdgier: ˛** ''Operation: Mindcrime'' has a much poppier sound than the previous three (especially "Revolution Calling" and the title track), but lyrically it's much darker, dealing with a recovering junkie who is brainwashed into an assassin, as well as prostitution, suicide, and insanity.˛** ''Promised Land'' is a very deep, moody, introspective album, dealing with the drawbacks of fame and success.˛** ''Operation: Mindcrime II'' returns to the Mindcrime story, and ends with [[spoiler: the protagonist committing suicide]].˛** ''American Soldier'' is a very sad, depressing album about war and experiences of it.˛** Their self-titled 2013 album, actively promoted as being their heaviest album in years, continuing with ''Condition Hüman''.˛* {{Determinator}}: The protagonist of "A Dead Man's Words", a soldier stranded in the desert (presumably in Iraq) hoping against hope that he will be rescued. [[spoiler:He is]].˛-->''I will not die!''˛* DisappearedDad: A temporary disappearance in "Home Again", a duet in which Geoff and his daughter Emily play the role of a soldier away on duty and his daughter respectively.˛-->'''Daughter:''' And I'll be there to shine a light, so you can find your way to me...˛* DressRehearsalVideo: "Nightrider" and "Breaking the Silence".˛* DrugsAreBad: It's highly unlikely anyone who listens to the lyrics of ''Music/OperationMindcrime'' will have any desire to try heroin after that.˛* EpicRocking: "The Lady Wore Black", "No Sanctuary", "Roads to Madness", "Suite Sister Mary", "Eyes of a Stranger", "Della Brown", "One and Only", "Anybody Listening?", "Promised Land", "The Right Side of My Mind", "A Dead Man's Words", "At the Edge", "Big Noize", "Just Us", "Condition Human".˛* FiveManBand:˛** TheLeader: Michael˛** TheLancer: Eddie˛** TheSmartGuy: Parker˛** TheBigGuy: Todd˛** [[SixthRanger Fifth Ranger]]: Casey˛* GreatBallsOfFire: The stage set for performing the ''Mindcrime'' albums, including twin wall-sized TV screens.˛* GreenAesop: "Resistance", from the ''Empire'' album, is about the evils of industrial pollution and deforestation. [[MoodWhiplash Complete with corny '80s-style gang vocals]].˛* GriefSong: "I Don't Believe in Love" from the original ''Mindcrime'' is about the protagonist Nikki mourning the death of his lover Mary. "If I Were King", from ''American Soldier'', is about a Marine who cannot get over the death of his friend in battle. "A World Without", from the 2013 ''Queensrÿche'', is about a man whose wife dies in childbirth, leaving him alone with their newborn baby.˛* HeavyMithril: Their first full-length album, ''The Warning'', is music to play [=RPGs=] to.˛* IAmTheBand: Geoff Tate tried to do this after Chris DeGarmo left, and during the legal disputes after 2012. The courts didn't agree and awarded the other band members the full rights to the Queensryche name.˛* IntercourseWithYou: "Sacred Ground", "Anytime/Anywhere", "Got It Bad".˛* JumpScare: A couple standouts that can also qualify as a BigWordShout:˛** [[Music/OperationMindcrime REVOLUTION!!!!]] ("Eyes of a Stranger"--much of ''Mindcrime'' has this)˛** ''ON YOUR FEET!'' ("Sliver", ''American Soldier'')˛** ''WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY AM I?!'' ("Promised Land", ''Promised Land'')˛** The sudden door slam at the end of "Anybody Listening?". To put it in context, the song itself fades gently into the soft sounds of waves washing on shore, which plays for about 30 or 40 seconds and then [[LastNoteNightmare SLAM]]!˛* KidsRock: Geoff Tate's daughter Emily performs additional vocals on "Home Again", from ''American Soldier''. During the lawsuits surrounding Tate's ejection from the band, Wilton criticized her performance in his testimony, describing it as off-key and stating that even after producer Kelly Gray time-stretched and {{Auto Tune}}d it, "you can tell that it is definitely in its own key".˛* LighterAndSofter:˛** ''Empire'', a mainstream pop-rock album, with the darker lyrics of ''Mindcrime'' giving way to straightforward songs about romance and other lighter themes, though dark songs still appear, like the TitleTrack.˛** The trilogy of ''Hear in the Now Frontier'', ''Q2K'' and ''Tribe'', which go for an alt-rock sound˛* LongestSongGoesLast:˛** ''The Warning'' closes with "Roads to Madness" (9:54).˛** ''Empire'' closes with "Anybody Listening?" (7:41).˛** ''[=Q2K=]'' closes with "The Right Side of My Mind" (5:52).˛** ''Music/OperationMindcrime II'' closes with "All The Promises" (5:10).˛** ''Condition Hüman'' closes with its TitleTrack (7:46).˛* MetalScream: Early in their career, this was a frequent tool (as befitting an Music/IronMaiden clone); but it pretty much fell off after ''Operation: Mindcrime''.˛** Temporarily regenerated for parts of ''Operation: Mindcrime II'', unsurprisingly.˛* MilitaryBrat: Geoff Tate's father was a career soldier. Talking to his father about his experiences serving in World War II and Korea led to the making of ''An American Soldier''.˛* MinisculeRocking: Most of the songs on their self-titled 2013 album are very short. The album itself finishes at 35 minutes and 3 seconds. Wilton stated that the band was surprised when they realized this at the mastering sessions, comparing its length to an old Music/VanHalen record, but that it wasn't possible to do more because the album was recorded in a hectic situation due to a combination of the band's touring, producer James Barton's busy schedule, and the record company's insistence on the album being finished by a strict deadline.˛* MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness: Depends on the album. The EP is mostly a 7, with "Nightrider" and "Blinded" in particular close to an 8. ''Warning'' and ''Rage for Order'' are around a 5-6, ''Operation: Mindcrime'' is usually a 5-6, but with a few 7s ("Spreading the Disease", "Speak") their '90s albums as well as "Tribe" are usually around a 4-5, and a return to 6-7 from ''Operation Mindcrime II'' on.˛* MyspeldRokband: In addition to the HeavyMetalUmlaut (over the misplaced "y"), the band is named for one of its earliest songs, "Queen of the Reich".˛* NewSoundAlbum: ''Rage for Order'' perhaps most obviously, ''Hear in the Now Frontier'' as a shift to a more "alternative" sound, and ''Dedicated to Chaos'', later, but not in a good way. Frankly, it could be argued that they pulled this every few albums or so: power metal (EP, "The Warning") to progressive (''Rage for Order'' and ''Mindcrime I'') to mainstream pop-metal (''Empire'') to conceptual hard rock (''Promised Land'') to an alternative rock sound (''Hear'', ''[=Q2K=]'', ''Tribe'') and finally back to progressive sounds (''Mindcrime II'' and ''American Soldier'') whatever '''Dedicated to Chaos'' is supposed to be, and a return to their '80s sound (''Queensryche'', ''Condition Human'')˛* PunctuatedForEmphasis: They do it often.˛** Take! Hold! ("Take Hold of the Flame" from ''The Warning'')˛** I! Can! Hear! The! Chimes!/ I! Can! See! Your! Eyes!/I! Can! Feel! It's! Time! ("Neue Regel" from ''Rage for Order'')˛** We! Are! Rebellion! ("Chemical Youth (We Are Rebellion)" from ''Rage for Order'')˛** Don't! Ever! Trust! ("The Needle Lies" from ''Operation: Mindcrime'')˛** And a few more...˛* RetailTherapy: Invoked in their song of the same name. It's about a character who's only happy when he's buying new electronic gadgets or apps.˛* RecordProducer: They've self-produced or co-produced a few of their albums (the self-titled EP and album, ''[=Q2K=]'', ''Tribe''), and worked with [[Music/PinkFloyd James Guthrie]] (''The Warning''), [[Music/{{Yes}} Neil Kernon]] (''Rage for Order''), [[Music/{{Rush}} Peter Collins]] (''Mindcrime'', ''Empire'', ''Hear in the Now Frontier''), James Barton (''Promised Land'', the SelfTitledAlbum), and Jason Slater (''Mindcrime II'', ''Take Cover'', ''American Soldier'', ''Dedicated to Chaos''--possibly the most disliked of all their producers), among others.˛* RockOpera: ''Music/OperationMindcrime'' and its sequel.˛* SignificantMonogram: After the split, Geoff Tate's version of the band released ''Frequency Unknown''--with the initials featured prominently on the cover.˛* SillyLoveSongs: "Hand On Heart" and "One and Only" from ''Empire'' both qualify as this.˛* StalkerWithACrush: "Gonna Get Close to You" and "Walk in the Shadows".˛* TakeThat: The lyrics to "Where Dreams Go to Die" and "Vindication" on their 2013 self-titled album could be considered a ''very'' thinly veiled "screw you" to Geoff Tate.˛* UnwillingRoboticisation: "Screaming in Digital".˛* WarIsHell: A few songs on ''American Soldier'' address this. The most poignant is "The Killer", about a Vietnam War veteran who hangs on for dear life in the battlefield, only to be spat on and greeted with shouts of "baby killer" when he returns home.˛* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Scott Rockenfield went on paternity leave from the band in 2017...and, as of August 2019, hasn't been heard from since. Todd La Torre revealed in an interview in Febuary 2019 that he hasn't spoke to him since late 2017 and said Scott may not even come back at all. Time will tell at this point. ˛* WhiteDwarfStarlet: "Della Brown" tells the story of a middle-aged homeless woman who was once a great beauty that had the world at her feet and her pick of men. Once her beauty faded, she was cast aside and had to live on the street because she had no other means of supporting herself other than with her looks. The song ends with her hoping for a man to come along and make her happy again.˛* YouAreNotAlone: "Beside You", from ''[=Q2K=]'', is this from the point of view of a father addressing his daughter.


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