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Queensrÿche: Empire

Album Reviews:

Q - 3 Stars - Good - Recommended as one of the top 5 metal albums of 1990. - "..The thinking person's rock album...which exudes craft and intelligence at will without ever sounding pretentious or forgetting mighty riffs and classic melodies.."

Q - 3 Stars - Good - Recommended as one of the top 5 metal albums of 1990. - "..The thinking person's rock album...which exudes craft and intelligence at will without ever sounding pretentious or forgetting mighty riffs and classic melodies.."

Billboard (p.26) - "10 superbly refined metal songs....The quintet nails every track with an inspired precision any band would kill to possess."

Record Collector (magazine) (p.86) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[I]t's intelligent, subtle and immaculately played."

Album Notes

Queensryche: Geoff Tate (vocals, keyboards); Chris DeGarmo (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, 12-string guitar, keyboards, background vocals); Michael Wilton (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, 12-string guitar); Eddie Jackson (electric bass, fretless basss, background vocals); Scott Rockenfield (drums, percussion).

Additional personnel includes: Michael Kamen (arranger).

Producer: Peter Collins.

Compilation producer: David K. Tedds.

Recorded at Vancouver Studios, Vancouver, Canada and Triad Studios, Redmond, Washington in 1990. Originally released on EMI (92806). Includes liner notes by Paul Suter.

This is part of EMI Records "Queensryche Remastered" series.

Queensryche: Geoff Tate (vocals, keyboards); Chris DeGarmo (6- & 12-string acoustic & electric guitars, keyboards, background vocals); Michael Wilton (6- & 12-string acoustic & electric guitars); Eddie Jackson (electric & fretless basses, background vocals); Scott Rockenfield (drums, percussion).

Additional personnel: Michael Kamen (strings); B.O.B. (background vocals).

Engineers: James "Jimbo" Barton, Paul Northfield.

Recorded at Vancouver Studios, Vancouver, Canada and Triad Studios, Redmond, Washington in 1990.

Digitally remastered by Steve Hoffman.

After the breakthrough success and worldwide respect that Queensrÿche gained from their conceptual masterpiece Operation: Mindcrime, it was a fair assumption that they couldn't possibly outdo or perhaps even match themselves. Empire, released just two years after that watermark, reveals that Queensrÿche reinvented themselves (though certainly not for the last time). While many fans were clamoring for a conceptual sequel, the band offers a song-oriented approach that is more art rock and less metal (though Empire does rock hard in places). Far removed from the fantasy and techno-paranoiac themes of Operation: Mindcrime, the lyrics tackle social and physical handicaps ("Best I Can") and issues such as poverty and regret ("Della Brown"). Geoff Tate, Chris DeGarmo, and company focused much less on the darker side of love so prevalent in their earlier sound, and looked at romance head on with "Another Rainy Night" and "Hand on Heart." While Queensrÿche lost some die-hard metal fans with Empire, the mature sound and tight production of Peter Collins (Rush) saw the band break into the mainstream and hit number nine on the Billboard singles chart with the Pink Floyd-inspired power ballad "Silent Lucidity," which has remained one of the band's set standbys into the 21st century. ~ Doug Odell & Thom Jurek



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