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Queensr˙che: Mindcrime at The Moore

For a band whose lead vocalist lectured me five years ago in a backstage interview, stating "I wouldn't say it would be tough to top Operation: Mindcrime," Queensr˙che sure seems to be getting plenty of mileage from presenting one of metal's ultimate concept records in alternate ways. The latest attempt to repackage the seminal concept album is Mindcrime at The Moore, a sensible two-CD set featuring the ambitious 1988 classic and its equally ambitious but less effective 2006 sequel, performed in their entirety in October 2006 for a home-town crowd at Seattle's Moore Theatre. That's 32 songs — plus a two-song encore featuring "Walk in the Shadows" and "Jet City Woman" — spanning 147 minutes.

Maybe it's because the review copy I received was labeled "unmastered advance," but this version of Operation: Mindcrime doesn't sound as slick as 1991's Operation: LIVEcrime — a powerful recording documenting the first tour on which the band ever performed the album from front to back. Part of that has to do with the absence of original guitarist Chris DeGarmo this time around. His fluid style and background vocals perfectly complemented lead singer Geoff Tate. Current guitarist Mike Stone's primal playing gives Mindcrime a leaner sound that takes a little getting used to initially. But as Queensr˙che's performance progresses, the updated sound infuses the music with a raw appeal that's as unexpected as it is dynamic.

Operation: Mindcrime II will never — ahem, Mr. Tate — "top" the original. That realization becomes painfully clear as the band works its way through Mindcrime II on this set's second disc. Granted, Mindcrime II's release last year helped steer the band back toward its signature sound after drifting for the past several years, but the arrangements are neither as fluid nor as dramatic as the original.

Tate's voice has held up remarkably well, only faltering a few times on some of the more challenging notes. Unfortunately, Ronnie James Dio doesn't make a cameo as the infamous Dr. X (as he did on the Operation: Mindcrime II CD), but vocalist Pamela Moore reprises her original role as Sister Mary. Lapses in the music occur while the story is performed on stage by actors portraying the Mindcrime characters, which is why the DVD version of this release should be more effective than the CD.

Taken as a whole, this recording reveals both the similarities and differences between the two Mindcrime records. It's a timeless tale as relevant today as when it began nearly two decades ago, it presents the entire saga in a way like never before, and it proves why Queensr˙che — regardless of where the band goes from here — deserves the same accolades usually reserved for only the finest metal artists.

Track Listing
Disc 1:
1) I Remember Now
2) Anarchy-X
3) Revolution Calling
4) Operation: Mindcrime
5) Speak
6) Spreading the Disease
7) The Mission
8) Suite Sister Mary
9) The Needle Lies
10) Electric Requiem
11) Breaking the Silence
12) I Don't Believe in Love
13) Waiting for 22
14) My Empty Room
15) Eyes of a Stranger

Disc 2:
1) Freiheit Ouverture
2) Convict
3) I'm American
4) One Foot In Hell
5) Hostage
6) The Hands
7) Speed of Light
8) Signs Say Go
9) Re-Arrange You
10) The Chase
11) Murderer?
12) Circles
13) If I Could Change It All
14) An Intentional Confrontation
15) A Junkie's Blues
16) Fear City Slide
17) All the Promises
18) Walk in the Shadows (Encore)
19) Jet City Woman (Encore)

Added: July 2nd 2007
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Quuensryche Web Site
Hits: 3391
Language: english

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Queensr˙che: Mindcrime at The Moore
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-07-02 10:22:53
My Score:

Here it is, both parts of Operation Mindcrime played in their entirety, back to back. Amazing how well this whole concept story holds up today, despite the fact that Part 2, while very solid and somewhat of a return to form for Queensryche, still pales in comparison to the original epic. The 2006 version of the band can still make this story happen in grand fashion, and even though Mr. Tate struggles a tad on occasion to hit some of the high notes, the guy can still sing better than most metal shriekers these days. This is not at all easy to take in on one listen, and probably works best during the DVD of the show, where you can appreciate all the actors and dancers, but Mindcrime at The Moore is perhaps the best way to expience the Operation Mindcrime saga all in one sitting. If nothing else it shows that this legendary band that we once left for dead not long ago still has plenty of gusto and creativity left for their legions of fans.

Queensr˙che: Mindcrime at The Moore
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-06-28 14:35:40
My Score:

Before we begin, I need to ask the readers if there is really any need to waste valuable time debating about Queensryche's absolute dominance over the Progressive Metal world and their ability to create music that would withstand the tests of time. I didn't think so because when they first appeared on the scene they proved to many hardcore Metal heads that they far from your run of the mill act and instead something spectacular. Without question their signature release became the legendary Operation: Mindcrime and while this album is closing in on twenty years since it was released it still has held up and remains one of the most pivotal works in Heavy Metal music history. In 2006 they would offer up a sequel that brings us up to speed on the characters introduced on the first chapter and while this received mixed praise it was clearly an album that showed the world that Queensryche was as vital as ever and able to craft a tale that would always envelop the listener. Mindcrime II would make sure to answer some, but not all of the questions the fans were left with after "Mindcrime I". The tour in 2006 found the band performing both albums from start to finish and the release Mindcrime At The Moore brings this right to you should you have not attended for any particular reason. The concert itself was a stunning experience and one that needed to be witnessed more than just having CD's to listen to and that makes the also released DVD the must have addition to your music collection. The CD only version of this will impress you but the main highlight for many will be the first act performance of Operation: Mindcrime. It's just too legendary an album and brings everyone to their feet even if they are home to this very day. CD2 presents Act II or the full performance of Mindcrime II and while I was originally hesitant about the studio version I can tell you how much I enjoyed this release in the live sense. It came off much better to me in this fashion and had added levels of drama to its sound. The concert finds Pamela Moore returning as Sister Mary and while Ronnie James Dio's voice can be heard he does not partake in the Moore Theatre performance. There is also the presence of a marching band for portions of the show to add just a little extra fullness. Overall it works and the band is as tight as a drum and all of it is presented very well on the recording. There are photos and some comments on the enclosed booklet but the CD only issue is more for the hard core must have everything fan. I was able to catch this tour when it came through New York City and I loved it – this made me very excited to find the band planning to release both this CD and the DVD film of the entire performance.

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