Progressive metal band Queensrÿche is known as one of pioneers of progressive metal, with their 1988 album Operation: Mindcrimeconsidered an influential album in the sudden upward momentum of the genre. The band slipped a bit in the 90’s, but is still going strong, with a loyal fan base following their every move.
Queensrÿche formed in 1981 in Seattle, Washington. The band signed with EMI and released a self-titled EP in 1983. At first, the music was heavily geared towards a Judas Priest/Iron Maiden hybrid, but with their 1984 debut album The Warning,
Queensrÿche began to move towards a more progressive sound.
1986’s Rage For Order featured a strong keyboard presence and was lighter than their debut. Some fans were opposed to this new sound, and the glam metal-like attire the band began to wear wouldn’t ease any concerned minds.
1988’s Operation: Mindcrime
would be the catalyst that eased many fears of fans. Queensrÿche’s third album was a huge success, one that would become a major accomplishment in the band’s career. Singles “Eyes Of A Stranger” and “I Don’t Believe In Love” became regulars on MTV and the band’s fan base soared.
1990’s Empire only further skyrocketed Queensrÿche’s popularity and helped the band to go on several headlining tours. 1994’s Promised Land wasn’t the knock-out success that Empirewas, but still went platinum, even with the darker lyrics and moods expressed on the album.
With alternative rock and grunge topping the charts, Queensrÿche began to flounder as a band. 1997’s Hear In The Now Frontier
quickly left the charts and founding member Chris DeGarmo left the band, leaving the band with their first major lineup change.
Kelly Gray replaced DeGarmo and the band released Q2K in 1999. Wildly experimental, the album did little to put the band back in the spotlight. Even with DeGarmo returning to the band in early 2003 to record Tribe, the band still languished to regain the popularity of their earlier years.
Revisiting The Past:
DeGarmo didn’t stay long with Queensrÿche, and Mike Stone came in as the new guitarist. In 2006, Queensrÿche released Operation: Mindcrime II,
a sequel to the 1988 classic. While not as well-received as the first album, the sequel did land at #14 on the Billboard charts, the highest position in over a decade for Queensrÿche. The band would release a covers album, Take Cover,
in 2007, featuring their interpretation of a wide range of bands, from Black Sabbath to The Police to Peter Gabriel.
Current Queensryche Band Members:
Geoff Tate - Vocals
Michael Wilton - Guitar
Eddie Jackson - Bass
Scott Rockenfield - Drums
Former Band Members:
Chris DeGarmo - Guitar (1981-1998, 2003)
Kelly Gray - Guitar (1998-2001)
Mike Stone - Guitar (2003-2009)
1984 The Warning
1986 Rage For Order
1988 Operation: Mindcrime
1992 Operation: Livecrime
1994 Promised Land
1997 Hear In The Now Frontier
2001 Live Evolution
2004 The Art Of Live
2006 Operation: Mindcrime II
2007 Mindcrime At The Moore
2007 Take Cover
2009 American Soldier
2011 Dedicated To Chaos
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