"Empire" is one of Queensryche's best albums, probably second only to the classic "Operation:Mindcrime". It's a lot more patchy than "Mindcrime", and is a collection of individual songs rather than a single concept album, but some of those songs are superb. "Silent Lucidity" alone is worth the price of admission, and "Best I Can", "Another Rainy Night" and the title track are all superb. Some of the lesser tracks tend a little towards filler, but the good stuff on here is really good.
This 20th Anniversary Edition is a cut-down version of the lavish package being sold in the US - you lose all the nice packaging and artwork, getting just the two music CDs and a booklet which seems to be pretty much the same as that supplied with the original CD release (not the 2003 remaster). The first disc looks and sounds to be the same as the 2003 remastered version, with the same three bonus tracks ("Last Time In Paris", "Dirty Li'l Secret" and the cover of Simon and Garfunkel's "Scarborough Fair".
The second disc is a live concert recording from London in 1990, featuring a lot of the "Empire" tracks and a few oldies. The main reason for buying this is if you already own the Deluxe Edition of "Mindcrime" that was released in 2006 - that included a disc with a complete live performance of "Mindcrime" from London in 1990 - and yes, the disc in here is the other half of the same show; if you get both deluxe versions, you have a complete show from the "Building Empires" tour. (Hint - to listen to it all in the right order, make a playlist which inserts the "Mindcrime" show between "Roads To Madness" and "Silent Lucidity".) The sound quality on this disc (as on the one supplied with "Mindcrime") is a little disappointing - it's better than the average bootleg, but it's pretty poor for an official live recording, with quite a lot of distortion, a fairly muddy sound and very compressed dynamics.
Overall, therefore, a good buy if you don't already own "Empire", but it's rather expensive for what you get. One for the completeist rather than the casual fan.
I'll never forget when i first bought this album 20 years ago. I remember reading a 5 star review from an English magazine entitled "Kerrang". With Queensryche concept album "Operation Mindcrime" which also was a classic in it's time, this one was definitely worth investigating! With an extra 3 tracks and a bonus live cd this is a stunning re-release! Some say they may have "sold out" as there is a touch of perhaps Rush due to the production duties of Peter Collins, but gee it took the band on to greater heights, what can you say about some of the songs, a brilliant snap shot of the band at their peak! They came out to Australia August 2009, and rider suggested we will play songs from "American Soldier", "Rage For Order" and "Empire" there was no way you could lose! "Best I Can" "The Thin Line" "One and Only" "Hand On My Heart", One and Only" "Silent Lucidity" "Jet City Woman" "Anybody Listening" & "Empire" Need i say anymore, a must have!
It was never going to be an easy task to follow Operation Mindcrime but this is a really good attempt. With another shift in songwriting and production styles, and with Chris de Garmo writing prolifically for this outing, Queensryche give us an album of material which even after 20 years still kicks it ( well......most of it) especially with the dial turned up to 11.
Alongside 'Mindcrime' this sits as the bands finest moment. Lots of crunch and some tremendous light and shade made this their biggest seller - highlights include Empire, Jet City Woman and Best I Can. This version also includes bonus tracks and a 'live' set from the Hammy O - which is fantastic.
This album just got better already a 5 star album now we have a live cd from the empire tour the live versions of the thin line and jet city woman and the fantastic take hold of the flame are so good treat yourself again its brilliant.
Empire takes me back to a time when rock and metal was being squeezed by the grunge scene. Here we have Queensryche in top form with an almost impossible task following up on Operation Mindcrime. Different but still maintaining the sound that has made this band endure and reinvent this is an album that oozes quality from start to finish. Songs like Best I Can, Jet City Woman, Empire and Silent Lucidity are among the best the band have recorded. In fact every song here is worthy of repeat listening. The anniversary edition is the one to go for with extra tracks and the second half of the live set started on the special edition of Operation Mindcrime.
This was a present for a friend - I'd already done a playlist for him cos I knew that Silent Lucidity is his favourite tune of all time but he didn't know that I'd also bought this for him. I've never seen a man so excited! He loves it and if you like rock music you should give it a listen too. It was delivered promptly. Well pleased.
Just superb. Can you even describe the mighty Queensryche , without using a Dictionary to find the best words ?This IS a classic album , kids take note: everything and I mean EVERYTHING about this album reeks of awesomeness. Enough said. Superb vocals , and all the band just shine.