5.0 out of 5 stars Gift
Same as above, new experience and it will be a new shopping habit for us both, my son and I
Published 4 months ago by Ghislaine Richard
3.0 out of 5 stars THIS CD I JUST TOLERATE
OK i think there is something wrong with me, I got this CD after reading such great reviews about it only to find a few songs on it I liked, Its kind of Meat Head . The title song is great and a couple of the slower ones have substance but mostly I found the other songs on this CD I just tolerate, Queensryche have proven they can do much better than this, check out...
Published on Oct 18 2002 by purplexed
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gift,
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This review is from: Empire (W/3 Bonus Tracks) (Audio CD)Same as above, new experience and it will be a new shopping habit for us both, my son and I
4.0 out of 5 stars A Proper, Straightforward Metal Classic,
This review is from: Empire (W/3 Bonus Tracks) (Audio CD)Queensryche had been hitting the progressive metal landscape hard for several years by the time 'Empire' was released, but nothing previous could match its success. The album is a wonderful example of what happens when precise songwriting and a straightforward approach are interwoven. Queensryche avoid the trap of becoming pretentious with song structure, something that other prog-metal/rock bands like Dream Theater fall all too easily into. Though technically a progressive metal album, 'Empire' sounds more like a polished hair metal album than anything else. The album literally swims in reverb, conjuring up thoughts of Firehouse and Skid Row. The guitars are doped up with enough effects pedals to make Billy Duffy sit up and take notice, and there's that unmistakable late 80s/early 90s mainstream rock sound permeating every single fiber of production. Yet, it still sounds excellent, and that's a testament to Queensryche's passion more than anything else. There's lots of heart on every song on the album, from the opening 'Best I Can' to the wonderfully catchy 'Jet City Woman,' 'Another Rainy Night,' and 'Hand on Heart.' The album's most remarkable track is the breakout hit 'Silent Lucidity,' which progresses from acoustic campfire tune to a bombastic, orchestra-backed power ballad. It's one of the most beautiful and uplifting rock ballads I've ever heard, period.
The album does tend to stumble a little with tracks like 'Resistance,' which clearly aren't up to par with the rest of the album, but that's nitpicking at its most feverish. Queensryche deserved their stardom with the release of this album. It's a fine example of the sort of passion and intricacy that was woven into hard rock albums of the time period in question. Unfortunately, both qualities seem to have disappeared from modern day music. Give 'Empire' a listen, and remember a time when music meant something other than American Idol and dollar signs.
5.0 out of 5 stars commerical doesn't mean crap!,
This review is from: Empire (W/3 Bonus Tracks) (Audio CD)When listening to music, you can get caught up in the ole," well if it is commercial, then it's crap." That is simply not the case with Queensryche's Empire. The lyrics are thought provoking like in the title track, and emotional like in "Silent Lucidity." I enjoyed the album because of the vastness of the subjects and the playability of the songs. i have listened to this album so much that my family knows all the words and i cant stop. If you enjoy music simply for the fun of it and want an album that is interesting as well, this album would be great!
5.0 out of 5 stars A true rarity: Genuinely good music getting rightful praise,
This review is from: Empire (W/3 Bonus Tracks) (Audio CD)Empire(1990). Queensryche's fourth studio album.
Back in the early 80s, one band from Seattle began its conquest to form a uniquely sounding heavy metal band. Queensryche was this band. They almost initially got tacked onto a major record label with the countless glam metal acts, but thankfully EMI Records, which was a smaller record company, picked them up and gave them producer James Guthrie, who worked with Pink Floyd previously. This enabled the band to have a lot of room for artistic growth, and thus developed Queensryche into something greater. Queensryche started as a heavy metal band on their debut EP(1983). Eventually though, the band began moving into more epic songs on The Warning(1984), and creating a matured, futuristic cyber-metal sound on Rage For Order(1986). However, it wasn't until the band hired producer Peter Collins (who worked with Rush) for Operation: Mindcrime(1988) that the band had finally achieved great success. Mindcrime was also the band's most realized effort, being that it was a dark concept album revolving around a complex story. At this point, Queensryche had moved away from the heavy metal sound and became more of a melodic progressive hardrock band.
Now we arrive in 1990, at Queensryche's MTV breakthrough album, Empire. The title of my review says it all. You heard me right: A BAND THAT MAKES TRULY OUTSTANDING MUSIC GETS MAXIMUM EXPOSURE ON MTV. This is one of the only two times in the 90s that this happened, the other time being with the band Tool. After Mindcrimes rather heady story which required complete attention, Empire sort of takes the band into a more mainstream territory, but still employing intelligent themes into the individual songs. This is similar to how it was done on Rage For Order, though the songs here are far more commercial in nature. Peter Collins is back to produce again, and with him Queensryche managed to craft 11 excellent songs. The production is HUGE and crisp, much like the two albums he worked on with Rush previously in the mid-80s. Some have said that this was Queensryche's sell-out album, and while in certain ways it was true, I don't believe it really affected the quality of this album one bit. The band hadn't let MTV syndrome get to their heads...yet. That is yet to come.
Onto the album. It starts with the BEST opener on any Queensryche album, 'Best I Can'. This uplifting anthem really hits home for me, and it's probably one of the best rockers I've heard in a while. Next is the melodic 'The Thin Line', followed by the BIG radio hit 'Jet City Woman'. I love the base line that leads into the song. If one thing is to be noted, Geoff Tate's voice is beginning to show signs of change. It's not a hindrance yet, but here is where it's first spotted. 'Della Brown' has a cool melodic pacing to it, and it's one of my favorite tracks. 'Another Rainy Night' reminds me of Iron Maiden the way the first riff breaks in. The title track is a dark pounding anthem with killer vocals, as is the amazing 'Resistance'. This song bears an Aerosmith-like quality to it, but somehow I enjoy it. Next is the power ballad hit (you heard me right) 'Silent Lucidity'. A decent ballad, though a bit overrated by some. 'Hand On Heart' has one of the greatest melodies to it during the entire song and thus it stands out. Then there's the slow rocker 'One And Only', followed by the accoustic album closer 'Anybody Listening?'. On the new remastered edition are three extra Empire B-sides. 'Last Time In Paris' is a heavy pounding anthemic rocker, followed by the experimental waltzy track 'Scarborough Fair'. Different but awesome. 'Dirty Lil Secret' is simply a bouncy rocker which rounds off the album nicely. Of all the remastered albums, Empire has the best extras as all three songs are easily just as good as the rest of the album itself, so it's very worthwhile to seek out the remastered edition.
How does Queensryche's mainstream breakthrough album fare? Well, it's certainly not as daring as the previous albums, but at the same time, it does feature 5-star quality commercial songwriting. There isn't a single bad song to be found on the disc. In actuality, I believe it's just as good as the previous albums, only in different ways. Rage For Order is still my favorite, but Empire definitely ranks up there. It pleases me that a well written album gets the praise it deserves. Unfortunately it's all downhill from there, for in the years after Empire, Queensryche degraded into an MTV sellout alternative act and they would never recover again. If you're just getting into Queensryche, any of the first four albums will do, though Empire might be a good first pit-stop. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have Classic Metal Album,
This review is from: Empire (W/3 Bonus Tracks) (Audio CD)This is one of those albums that you simply just must have. It's a classic album of great songs now with three added good bonus tracks, and re-mastered so it has even more punch.
Following on the heels of the ambitious concept album "Operation Mindcrime" their best album to date, Queensryche (argueably) delivered the album of their career with "Empire" in 1990. Always at the forefront of metal innovation and experimentation, never content to rest on their laurels, always keen to push the envelope, they delivered an album which was less complex than Mindcrime, but packed full of great songs which were just as intense.
This album has so many great classic QR songs such as "Jet City Woman", "Another Rainy Night", "Empire", and "Silent Lucidity", but also "Best I Can", "The Thin Line", "Hand On Heart" and "Anybody Listening?" rank among their best ever.
Of the bonus tracks "Last Time In Paris" and "Dirty Lil Secret" rock, but my favorite is the more psychedelic sounding "Scarborough Fair".
In summary, this is a great classic metal album which still stands the test of time and frequently vibrates the windows of my house. Now re-released in this fantastic re-mastered package, it should be in every true metal fan's collection.
2.0 out of 5 stars Hasn't stood the test of time,
This review is from: Empire (Audio CD)I liked this record a lot when it came out, but put it away in the early 90's and hadn't listened to it in ages. After recently hearing it again, I now know why. Queensryche's signature sound, though accomplished and distinct, simply doesn't wear well over the long haul. Dated sounds, borrowed riffs, Geoff Tate's operatic vocals, and production values that make Phil Spector look like a minimalist, all conspire to consign "Empire" to its rightful place in the cutout bin.
My main problem with Queensryche has always been Tate. Sure, he can hit the high notes, but does he actually sing? His range is astonishing and his delivery is unparalleled, but he manages to deliver every line with a minimum of emotion. He's clearly trying to impress, and consistently fails to inspire.
The one exception is "Silent Lucidity," which Tate delivers with taste, restraint, and feeling. The song - unfairly but accurately described as a Pink Floyd rip-off - remains a guilty pleasure of classic stature, as chill-inducing as it was back in 1990.
The rest of the record is a bit of the hodge-podge; there are more Floydian gestures ("Anybody Listening?"), nods towards groove rock ("Della Brown") and "Mindcrime"-style omens of doom (the title track). Individual moments impress, but almost every song contains a cringe-inducing hook or riff that instantly dates the material.
Nobody can question Queensryche's musicianship, but their effort to fuse progressive rock riffs with heavy metal sensibilities falls short of the standard established by bands like Rush. Fans of the band or of prog metal will still like it, but modern listeners should stick to the far superior "Operation Mindcrime" for their Queensryche fix.
5.0 out of 5 stars Art, Meet Entertainment; Entertainment, Meet Art,
This review is from: Empire (W/3 Bonus Tracks) (Audio CD)To this day, a staggering number of people insist that to entertain is to sell out and surrender growth and innovation. Granted, the frequncy of the stars aligning just right is about as often as a snowball forming in that dark place down below, but it HAS happened, it STILL happens, but never more noticably than in the all-around musical masterpiece "Empire," from the "progressive" "metal" band, Queensryche.
Those quotations are there because Queensryche deserves more than routine catagorization. Their music is at times heavy, and often intelligent, and that's about all the description you should need. If you realize that the past 10 years of mainstream music has been a case of record companies shooting themselves in the foot, this review shall serve to educate you that this album was one of the last appearances of greatness to strike mainstream popularity - it's a good thing Queensryche got this album in before it all went down hill!
The album; dashes of Pink Floyd/Rush/Bon Jovi/Def Leppard/Wagner!
Then there's the song that "broke them", despite a very successful prior album ("Operation: MindCrime"). If you only know Queensryche for one song, it's "Silent Lucidity." Granted, it's a bit simpler than much of their work, but just as with "Anybody Listening?", it is a wonderful journey of the mind, "trying to explain to someone the unexplainable," in the words of vocalist Geoff Tate. It is a highly emotional ballad that fits in just fine with the rest of the band's repertoire.
Most of the album is very strong with no filler, but the other big highlights are the songs "Empire," and "Another Rainy Night." These songs deserve some of the highest praise ever, because they adhere to this intelligent-meets-popularity formula better than almost any other song. They deserve even MORE praise, because they are not ballads. They are hard rocking songs, and the former (the title track) was actually quite the popular 'hit.' Can you believe, thinking of a 'hit' as actual good music? It IS possible. These songs are in the normal verse-chorus format, with amazing solos and guitar harmonies, intelligent lyrics, creative chords, and pure heart and soul. They rock like nobody's business, but also allow many people to relate to the music, who normally would be satisfied with bands that only make 10% the amount of effort. It just doesn't get much better than this.
The hardcore fans want their "...MindCrime", but I am going to cave in here - "Empire" is my [just barely]favorite Queensryche album, and the fact that it was very popular doesn't change the fact that it deserved what it got and more. MindCrime is also great - but for once in music history, selling less records doesn't mean it must be better music! "Empire" is the epitome of "exception to the rule." Commercial music hasn't allowed for this much creativity since.
2.0 out of 5 stars "Like deja vu all over again",
This review is from: Empire (W/3 Bonus Tracks) (Audio CD)Back in the early 90s all my friends worshipped this album. So, what the heck, yesterday I decided to get this remaster/bonus edition. I realized why all my friends worshipped the album--because they were all 16 years old at the time.
Sadly, I'm no longer 16, nor is my musical taste. I'm no longer impressed with big snare reverbs, cadence chords and thumping 1-note bass lines. This has been called Queensryche's "commercial" album; the liner notes talk about the "accessibility" and MTV-ish-ness of Empire in contrast with the raw complexity of prior albums, as if to say "Sucker! You should've bought Operation: Mindcrime instead!"
Remastering: I find it absurd that record companies are all rushing to remaster/reissue albums that were digitally recorded in the first place (like this one)! Save yourself. The original mastering was fine.
Bonus Tracks: "Last Time in Paris" is good and has a lot of driving energy. The bonus remake of "Scarborough Fair" is a bit melodramatic but interesting. The 3rd bonus track is entirely forgettable.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the GREATEST ever!,
This review is from: Empire (W/3 Bonus Tracks) (Audio CD)Empire is a Great cd from start to finish. I own everything Queensryche has ever done and love it all. Queensryche as far as I'm concerned is one of Seattle's great treasures. To anyone that wants to be entertained and not afraid of politics being in the mix should give them a try.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Albums Ever,
This review is from: Empire (W/3 Bonus Tracks) (Audio CD)Out of all the reviews that everyone has written for this album I don't think anyone mentioned that this re-release of this album is remastered in 24-bit. That may not mean much to most people but anyone that loved this album before will love it even more now. It sounds alot better than the original cd release. The differences may seem subtle to most but to me it is night and day and the additional tracks are amazing.
I say for someone who likes or loves Queensryche that this is a must have. If you are someone who isn't sure if they like it or not then maybe start with the original release. But hey, seeing how it has more tracks, higher fidelity, and costs about the same as the original release, why not go with this release jsut for the simple fact its a better value as well.
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Empire (W/3 Bonus Tracks) by Queensryche (Audio CD - 2003)