“Empire” by Queensryche (remaster) by Queensryche

Artist: Queensryche
Title: “Empire” (remaster)
Label: EMI Music/Capitol Records
Release Date: 6/10/2003
Genre: Progressive Rock
Rating: 8/10

After extensive touring in support of “Operation: Mindcrime” the band was able to call more of the shots when it came to delivery of the next album. Geoff Tate was largely the creative force behind Mindcrime and now the task would fall to DeGarmo who would have a writing credit in every song except the title track. “Empire” would also be the bands biggest commercial success due to the fact that many tracks were considered “radio friendly” to what was on the airwaves at the time. The 1990 release would find heavy rotation on the MTV network with their videos and the then strong rock radio empire as well. Songs like “Empire”, “Best I Can”, “Jet City Woman” and the crossover hit “Silent Lucidity” were staples and could be heard every day. The latter track was often referred to as Queensryche does Pink Floyd, for it held such a strong common feel to the psychedelic Rock giants. The band surely deserved the larger critical acclaim which would arrive seven years after their debut but the strong commercial angle of the recording would lose some of their heavier fans. More would stick with the band as their audience was growing older and finding expanded musical interests themselves. Queensryche seemed to be a band that matured along with their audience.

The remasters of the Queensryche back catalog are impressive not only in sound but in the inclusions they offer. Expanded artwork and liner notes are par for the course in this release as with the others as well as unheard or rare tracks. This album features an amazing cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Scarborough Fair” as well as a track only heard in a movie before (“Last Time In Paris”). This would be the album for you if you had moved on from the blistering displays of Metal and wanted a little more Progressive nature to your musical diet. Lyrically it has some bright spots and while one or two moments are uninspired, there is some great stuff on the album. Favorites besides the tracks referenced above would be “Anybody Listening?” which sounds like it was something that should have been on “Operation: Mindcrime”.

Track Listing:
1. Best I Can
2. The Thin Line
3. Jet City Woman
4. Della Brown
5. Another Rainy Night (Without You)
6. Empire
7. Resistance
8. Silent Lucidity
9. Hand On Heart
10. One And Only
11. Anybody Listening?
12. Last Time In Paris – bonus
13. Scarborough Fair – bonus
14. Dirty Lil Secret – bonus

Official Web site: www.queensryche.com

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