"Operation: Mindcrime II", by Queensryche

I had my doubts about this CD. "Operation: Mindcrime" was an awesome rock CD. All the songs fit together. They told a great story. They were hard to listen to. The guitars were harsh. The songs were dark and moody. I loved it. So while I know Queensyrche's last 3 CDs have sucked rocks, I had some hope that they could turn it around with this CD.

Well, they didn't.

I'll give 'em credit for trying. Geoff sounds really good on most of the songs. He does some really odd, cool things in a couple of songs. The material is heavier than anything they've done in a while. But...it just doesn't cut the mustard. The story line is a lot less cohesive than "OM". Frankly, after a while I was saying, "OK! I get it, it's about revenge! Yawn..." The drum mix is awful - way too hot and weak at the same time. That's one of the biggest disappointments with the CD - if I was Rockenfield I'd be pissed as hell. The mix makes him sound pathetic at times, and I don't think he's that bad. The guitar sound is hit and miss - sometimes it's OK, and sometimes it's really bad, like someone plugged in a cheap Fender knock-off into a crappy 5 watt amplifier and turned it up really loud, hoping to get any distortion. The songs themselves are hit-and-miss as well. I really like "The Chase", "I'm American", and "Murderer" (especially "Murderer" - that song is great). But then there's shit like "Speed of Light" that makes me gag. And "The Hands" is uneven - some of it's good, but the verse sections are blah. I like Ronnie James Dio on "The Chase" - I've always loved his voice and it fits well in the song.

So, unless you're a die-hard Queensryche fan, don't bother. It's just not good enough. And I don't know if I'll ever buy something from them again. They just can't seem to get it together and do stuff that's good anymore across the board. I appreciate taking risks and trying different things, but...damnit, make sure it sounds good!

* Posted at 04.12.2006 09:44:33 PM CST | Link *

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