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Operation: mindcrime II

Year: 2006
Format: CD
Label: Rhino/Warner
Genre: [Progressive Rock]
Overall Rating: 7.0
Music: 7.0
Production: 7.0

This has to be one of the most anticipated releases of 2006 among progrock enthusiasts. Namely Queensr˙che's Operation: mindcrime (released back in 1988) is regarded as a classic in the progressive music field, and understandably everyone hopes the sequel to be of the same caliber as well. I actually had my fingers crossed regarding this release - I assumed it would most certainly suck, though I wished otherwise. So impatiently I inserted the disc into my player rightaway after receiving it...

The album starts with a two-track-intro, after which the real album opener "I'm American" unfolds - and strikes the listener with disenchantment. "I'm American" is plainly a real letdown. It's a song r˙che should have never released (after all, the nu-metal influences don't suit them... if this song would be performed by Disturbed it might rock ten times more, who knows?!?). Fortunately enough the second "proper" song, "One Foot in Hell" already manages to show slight improvement, and with "Hostage" Queensr˙che gets back on track again. Actually it's rather evident that the album improves towards the end - though there are no "hits". Thus, it feels as if something is missing... there are some good ideas here and there, but still the songs don't manage to make a strong, long-lasting impression. Songs are mainly average run-of-the-mill material that haven't been honed all the way. This applies to all the material on this album, which is quite a saddening fact. I guess I could point out one highlight, which is "Re-arrange You" - that is perhaps the only song that one will look back to after listening the album... at least it was in my case.

Perhaps one of the "kick in the teeth" factors of this album is also the production, since most of the sounds on this record are passé - seemingly Queensr˙che has strived for nostalgia of their youth years, and have underproduced their album (though in a way it's really overproduced too, depends on the viewpoint). The mastering has been taken to limits by squeezing those extra decibels in. In any event, Queensr˙che's Operation: mindcrime II is only a moderate progrock theme album. It's one of those albums that's nice to have in one's record collection, but doesn't get a lot of playing time. Well, I reckon I can give the guys plaudits for doing something different for a while, but unfortunately this record doesn't have the feel of a classic.

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- MAGE (April 23rd, 2006)

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Tate, Geoff: Vocals
Jackson, Ed: Bass
Rockenfield, Scott: Drums
Wilton, Michael: Guitar
Stone, Mike: Guitar

Hakik, Ashif: Orchestral Arrangements

with Following Guest Vocalists

Moor, Pamela as Sister Mary
Tate, Miranda as Nikki
Dio, Ronnie James as Dr. X
Producer: Slater, Jason
Mixing by: Slater, Jason
Mastering by: Greenham, John
Queensr˙che - Operation: mindcrime II  CD  Cover Image
01. Freiheit Ouvertüre
02. Convict
03. I'm American
04. One Foot in Hell
05. Hostage
06. The Hands
07. Speed of Light
08. Signs Say Go
09. Re-arrange You
10. The Chase
11. Murderer?
12. Circles
13. If I could Change It All
14. An Intentional Confrontation
15. A Junkie's Blues
16. Fear City Slide
17. All the Promises

Length: 59:08
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