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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Album
Already a huge fan of the original, i just had to get the sequel and to be honest on the first play i was disappointed, there were no stand out tracks and Tate's vocals seemed strained, after a few more listens i decided it would probably be one of those albums i would only play every so often unlike the original which has a heavy rotation in my cd player. The other day i...
Published on 30 April 2006 by Roxy

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Queensryche - Mindcrime II
The most anticipated conceptual metal album in years rises to the occasion.... Back in 1988, progressive metallers QUEENSRYCHE brought the rock world to its knees with the classic Operation Mindcrime. In the way of sonic hooks and the lyrical plot itself, Mindcrime remains the bona fide concept album benchmark - so how fascinating then, that the band have taken the...
Published on 17 May 2006 by James


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Queensryche - Mindcrime II, 17 May 2006
By 
This review is from: Operation: Mindcrime II (Audio CD)
The most anticipated conceptual metal album in years rises to the occasion.... Back in 1988, progressive metallers QUEENSRYCHE brought the rock world to its knees with the classic Operation Mindcrime. In the way of sonic hooks and the lyrical plot itself, Mindcrime remains the bona fide concept album benchmark - so how fascinating then, that the band have taken the massive task upon themselves of unleashing a follow up...

Track by track :

Freiheit Overture - Instrumental opener, classically orchestrated. Sets the scene respectably, but neither striking or melodic as Anarchy X (intro on Operation Mindcrime).

I'm An American - A rousing rocker, it's a fitting number to open the plot with. Marking his release from prison, I'm An American also features a shout-y, ANTHRAX style middle section.

One Foot In Hell - Awe inspiring harmonised intro is a dazzling reference to the original ...Mindcrime, although the rest of the track firmly pins down the bands intentions of making a modern sounding record

Hostage - Delicious acoustic guitar work, wonderful harmonies and an alternative-esque chorus make Hostage a firm highlight. Also Recalls Electric Requiem with Geoff Tate's concluding scream.

The Hands - The first single is one of the few compositions present that could have sat comfortably on Operation Mindcrime album, both in terms of musical likeness and quality control itself.

Speed Of Light - LED ZEPPELIN's Kashmir riff springs to mind, but unfortunately there's no seventh heaven here. Indeed, the track only really gets going when it ends, courtesy of guest female vocals and the 'Don't worry, I'll kill the bastard' line, referring to Dr X.

Signs Say Go - While verses genuinely rock courtesy of fine melodies, the shout-y chorus disappoints.

Rearrange You - A mysteriously haunting vibe coupled with a grand chorus brings things back upon a high note - and with Geoff Tate finally hitting a few himself, he almost sounds like a shadow of his former self.

The Chase - Featuring the legendary Ronnie James Dio on lead vocals (starring as Doctor X), this is a highly theatrical number gets double thumbs up.

A Murderer - Probably the heaviest song on the album, Geoff 'the black hand of death' Tate's vocals and rip roaring solos make this sinister number an absolute killer, (as victim Dr X would only too well know...)

Circles - A little effort made up mostly of instrumental noise, The Sound Of Silence or Silence Is Golden may have been a more appropriate title.
If I Could Change It All - Minimalist verses impress, female vocals purr like a Cheshire Cat and Geoff Tate even gets round to sounding like his old self in places, although the operatic conclusion ends the song lifelessly.

An International Confrontation - Makes up for the lost momentum at the end of If I Could Change It All, but really this should have remained as part of the song rather than a separate number. Loaded with drama, thunderous guitars and gripping female vocals make this an inspired choice of listening.

A Junkies Blues - Spoken dialogue makes way for bluesy verses and an orchestrated Anarchy X esque conclusion. Filling the time, ultimately, it lacks magic.

Fear City Slide - Featuring a mammoth chorus with some of the finest riffage present, this is a strong number with predictable but effective solos.

All The Promises - An unconventional QUEENSRYCHE ballad, this acoustic driven duet is, as Bernard Matthews might say, beautiful. A sharp reminder of the hostage's love for Mary, it's his longest lasting - and harshest - memory.

Despite its subtle reminders of the original, Operation Mindcrime II is a modern sounding concept album, and one that will please QUEENSRYCHE fans.
It impresses with its flow, and does deliver some magic moments (Hostage, The Hands, The Chase, Fear City Slide) but on the flip side it lacks heavyweight material and begs for more vocal power. Geoff Tate can still offer excellent melodic output, but his trademark range has all but disappeared - when he goes up a little, it still sounds effective, but just not as powerful as the Tate of old.A solid plot assures Mindcrime II's lyrical ability, and while not instantly accessible, this is an album that, after repeated listens, is cetainly a worthy cause.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Album, 30 April 2006
By 
Roxy (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Operation: Mindcrime II (Audio CD)
Already a huge fan of the original, i just had to get the sequel and to be honest on the first play i was disappointed, there were no stand out tracks and Tate's vocals seemed strained, after a few more listens i decided it would probably be one of those albums i would only play every so often unlike the original which has a heavy rotation in my cd player. The other day i decided to play it again to see if it was really that bad and i was blown away! it was great! The songs were strong, the guitars great, and Tate's and Pamela Moore's vocals together gorgeous! it hasnt been out of my cd player since. If you already know the original play this cd with an open mind, were they right to go back to mindcrime? probably not to a lot of people, but the result is a great accompaniment to Mindcrime I, aswell as a great album in its own right.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome back, Ryche, 20 April 2006
By 
Simon Joensen "Soulbender" (Copenhagen, Denmark) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Operation: Mindcrime II (Audio CD)
This one took a few listens before getting me hooked. This is usually a good sign of a record that I will stick to. Once you have heard the tunes a few times, the songs really grab you and you can almost see the storyline being acted out on a stage.

The OMC II is very rock opera, with a few duets representing dialog, and describes what happens after Nikki's release from prison.

Personnally, I liked the open ending of the original OMC - it left it up to your imagination to guess whether Mary was killed by Nikki (unconsciously) or Dr. X or if it was suicide. The fact alone that Nikki was left alone, screwed, and with eternity to re-live the nightmarish events was a great anding to me. Therefore, I choose to see OMC II as only one of more several directions to take the story, and this makes it work great since it allows me to still have my own opinion of what took place.

The album is full of catchy riffs with a really tight rhytmic section laid down by Scott Rockenfield and Eddie Jackson - and dual guitar harmonies are back in a big way! As mentioned, most of the songs require a few spins before sinking in, but after that you fully enjoy songs like Re-arrange you and The Chase featuring an excellent performance by Dio!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Houston we have a problem, 3 April 2006
By 
Ms G. Steel "Gillian Steel" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Operation: Mindcrime II (Audio CD)
The problem is that this album was simply not meant to be this good. There was too much water under the bridge, expectations were too high, they were down a man on the original line up... however...
Negative thoughts first, the album is at times inconsistent and lacks the momentum of OMC1 and the ending is a bit limp. Saying that though, OMC1 was a grower and 20 years on has stood up as a classic.
Good bits, the variation on this album is greater than anything QR has attempted before. This is far more a prog-rock album than a conventional rock album. There are changes in tempo and mood. It is at the same time some of the heaviest stuff (American) and melodic material QR have ever done. Some of the guitar solos and lead breaks have to be heard to be believed; additionally the work on the drums and bass is far more adventurous than before, while the performances from Pamela Moore and Dio are excellent and compliment the songs well. Feeling-wise it sits somewhere between OMC1 and Promised Land.
This is a mature rock album written, preformed and produced to a very high standard. This is certainly one of the greatest QR albums ever and a very worthy sequel to OMC1. Is it better than OMC1? Time will tell on that...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hardest act to follow - Impossible to acheive, 10 April 2006
By 
W. Crozier "crozierwayne" (Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Operation: Mindcrime II (Audio CD)
I am a big Queensryche fan and have been since I saw them on their first UK support tour with Dio, and I was eager to hear what they had done with this the follow up to the greatest concept album of all time. Mindcrime is the best thing the Ryche have ever done and any attempt to follow it would be classed as suicide if it didnt deliver - does this deliver well yes and no. The original album flowed and can be classed as an album that worked on every single level musicianship , par excellance and vocals which any rock singer would be proud to achieve, Mindcrime 2 although probably the best they have achieved musically since "Promised Land" I feel is not the follow up I anticipated. The music is good and I enjoyed listening to it but it cannot hope to follow the first album - the standout cut is the song which features the vocals of rock legend Ronnie James Dio who simply sings the best on the whole album - sheer class, Tates vocals are strong and the actual lyrical content is great - the storyline is excellent focusing on Nikkis post imprisonment and revenge. I would amticipate that alot of Ryche fans will feel the same as me but it was always a bridge to far - a great try but only that.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Worth The Wait, 10 April 2006
This review is from: Operation: Mindcrime II (Audio CD)
While most people expected a poor re-hash of the first album because of the absence of Chris DeGarmo, Queensryche have managed to provide a truly listenable and great album that has so far spawned two singles stateside (I'm American and The Hands).
There are some rather cool thematic links musically between the two albums (listen out for the keyborad chord progression played by the guitar in the opening bars of The Hands from Anarchy-X)and have also managed to update their sound without losing any of the punch of the lyrics which is no mean feat in itself. Geoff Tate's observations on both the political and social landscape of America is as biting and accurate as ever, but this time tempered with more sympathetic musical backing. My one critisism of the album is that some of the songs are just too short! I found myself willing the riff on Fear City Slide to just go on and on rather than fade into the story.
Do expect to listen to a fantastic album that works as both a sequel and an standalone album.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mindcrime II, 21 April 2006
By 
Jody Tate (West Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Operation: Mindcrime II (Audio CD)
This has been a long awaited album in my view and the wait was worth it. Like a lot of later Queensryche music, it doesn't appeal on first hearing. I found the more I listened to it, the more I heard and the more I enjoyed it. Definately the sort of album that needs to be heard on headphones rather than through speakers - some of the quieter sections are easily missed thus detracting from the overall drama of the whole.

The best track, in my view, is "The Chase" being an excellent duet with Ronnie James Dio. My biggest disappointment was Pamela Moore whose voice doesn't seem to measure up as well as it did with Mindcrime I.

It would be wrong to pidgeon-hole Queensryche as a rock band, their musical style is far more complex than that.

Like sequels to films, there is always a danger of disappointment with subsequent productions. Queensryche had a difficult job in following Mindcrime. This album reflects the maturity of the band and styles. It comes across as more "polished" than Mindcrime, which had rather a raw and dangerous feel to it, with lots of passion and power behind both the idea and the music. This one is a bit more introspective - the idea of getting out and taking revenge being the starting point, the confrontation and finally the "what was it all for?".

Overall, an interesting mix of musical styles. One for the dedicated Queensryche fan only maybe?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doctor X.. The Operation...and the Mindcrime!, 3 April 2006
This review is from: Operation: Mindcrime II (Audio CD)
Operation Mindcrime II one of my most anticipated album since i first heard about there being a sequel. Maybe some will be disappointed depending on what your expecting. I personally found it spot on! Just like Operation Mindcrime (the prequel), Mindcrime II shows the overlapping of tracks and are set perfect. The first track we see 'Freiheit Overtüre' which is an instrumental and it all begins. As i don't want to go into to much detail as it will ruin the album for listeners and the story, so i will mention the highlights i found. 'One Foot In Hell' i love the riff and everything about the song, but it's the tracks 'The Hands' and 'Speed Of Light' i thought, wow! It's Queensryche and why i like them so much. The album also features guest Vocalist Ronnie James Dio on the track 'The Chase'.
Overall for me this album wouldn't disappoint, i had a great feeling. With a modern driven sound but still having that whole Queensryche style, Geoff Tate and gang still have it! Long my they reign!
5/5
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't believe the rumours..., 4 April 2006
By 
S. P. Long "Simon Long" (Cambridge) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Operation: Mindcrime II (Audio CD)
I'm wary about sequels to classics, trotted out years later when the artist is in decline. (See Mike Oldfield for details...) But I loved the original "Operation : Mindcrime", and the buzz about the sequel seemed quite promising, so I splashed out for a copy. All the same, my expectations weren't that high, but nonetheless, this album is a serious disappointment.
Chris DeGarmo composed most of the original "Mindcrime", and he is conspicuous by his absence on here. It seems that what he brought to Queensryche was a sense of melody and innovation, as both are sadly lacking in the sequel - song after song of bland, formulaic heavy rock, with nothing memorable about any of it. Every other song has a guitar solo, and they all sound identical - identical and tuneless. The original "Mindcrime" had gems like "Anarchy-X" and "Suite Sister Mary" - unusual time signatures, light and shade - it was *interesting* to listen to. This one is just repetitive and plodding.
The biggest disappointment is Pamela Moore, the voice of Sister Mary. I had to check the booklets to confirm it was the same vocalist - on the original "Mindcrime", she sounded stunning. On this, she sounds like a third-rate Meat Loaf backing singer - squeaky and lacking emotion. I'd be surprised if she has done any singing since "Mindcrime", as on here she sounds amateurish, to say the least.
There are a couple of decent songs on here - "I'm American" and "A Junkie's Blues" wouldn't have sounded out of place on the original "Mindcrime". But the rest is simply dull - instantly forgettable, much like most of Queensryche's work since "Empire".
So, a worthy sequel to one of the classic rock albums of all time - or a cynical attempt to reverse Queensryche's flagging fortunes? Which do you think...?
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good album, but not as good as Operation: Mindcrime..., 13 Nov 2008
By 
Mr. S. Lewis (Saltash, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Operation: Mindcrime II (Audio CD)
Recently, I discovered Queensryche. I bought their greatest hits based on the strengh of 'I Don't Believe in Love' and was reasonably impressed. However, then I decided to listen to 'Operation: Mindcrime' and was blown away by the sheer brilliance of the music and the story. After listening to it a few times, I decided to buy the sequel. I had read mixed reviews about it but most said that it was a good album but was not as good as the first one. I think that this is a view that I also share. It is a good album but does not come to the quality of the first. Anyway, time for a track by track run through:

Freiheit Overture - Starts off with some haunting keyboards/SFX and bass guitar. It is a good opener but not as good as the first couple of tracks on 'Operation: Mindcrime'. 5/10

Convict - A 9 second bit of dialogue. Not really reviewable. 5/10

I'm American - This song starts off with some good guitar work and builds up very well. It is a very fast and short song almost 'rapped' by Geoff Tate. It has a shout-along chorus and is a good opener. 7/10

One Foot in Hell - This song starts directly from the end of the previous one but isn't really that brilliant. It's not a bad song but it would have not graced 'O:M'. 6/10

Hostage - Starts off sounding quite industrial with the sound of a motorbike and then goes into a reasonably good tune with some nice acoustic guitars with the electrics. 7/10

The Hands - This song features Miranda Tate on backing vocals who I assume is some relation of lead singer Geoff Tate. This was the first single of the album and a good song it is. It sounds like an old 'O:M' track and is actually very good. 8/10

Speed of Light - Another quite short song with some crunchy sounding guitars and some strained sounding vocals from Tate. As much as I love him, I think he sounds quite poor on this track. Also, from now on, Pamela Moore appears here and there singing lines for 'Sister Mary'. 6/10

Signs Say Go - A reasonalby thrashy song that gets you pumped up. It's quite industrial sounding but it kinda works here. 7/10

Re-Arrange You - This song starts with some haunting orchestration and some good vocals from Tate. The orchestra continues to play throughout and is very effective in widening the sound of the track. 7/10

The Chase - This is my favourite song on the album. It features the great Ronnie James Dio performing the vocal parts of 'Dr. X' and does a great duet with Tate. Two of the best metal singers on one track. What more could you ask for. 10/10

Murderer? - Starts of with some rather haunting clean guitar with some synths and then starts to pick up. This is another industrial sounding one but I don't really like it here. It sounds too Lloyd Webberish with the lyrics and the say it's sung. 6/10

Circles - Another short song. It's kinda said rather than sung, a bit like 'Empty Room' on 'O:M'. 6/10

If I Could Change it All - Queensryche's attempt at a power ballad. It's a nice song but nothing really special. The vocals are also quite low in the mix sometimes which is qute annoying. 6/10

An International Confrontation - This is a very dramatic 'conversation' had between Nikki and Sister Mary although if you follow the story, you realise he can't be having it. It's a very good and angry song. 7/10

A Junkie's Blues - This song has a great opening riff and sounds like it could have come from 'O:M'. Then it goes into just some clean guitar along with Tate's voice and some really lame backing vocals. Not a bad song though. 7/10

Fear City Slide - This then links into a beating heart and the sound of breathing. The vocals sound very echoey at the beginning with both Tate and Moore singing. Then it goes into a 'normal' Queensryche song with some good lyical ideas and choruses. 7/10

All The Promises - The final track on the album. It kinda leaves you wondering even though the story has been nicely wrapped up. It's quite a spooky song with some good vocals and guitar work. Nice end to a good album. 8/10

Overall, this is a good album and it definatley grows on you. However, try not to compare it to 'Operation: Mindcrime' as that is much more superior but this is worth listening to even if it's just to finish off the story.
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