Here it is, Queensrÿche have returned, 18 years later, to the scene of their greatest triumph commercially and critically, Operation: Mindcrime, with a sequel, appropriately monikered Operation: Mindcrime II. Queensrÿche still retains four of its five original members -- vocalist Geoff Tate, guitarist Michael Wilton, bassist Eddie Jackson, and drummer Scott Rockenfeld (guitarist Mike Stone joined as a permanent member in 2005). There are fine arguments on both sides of an issue like this -- messing with a bona fide rock classic by recording a sequel -- all of them are basically irrelevant once the project has been realized; but in this case, the debate will rage regardless. First there's the story: It picks up with junkie hitman Nikki, recently released from prison, haunted constantly by the death and memory of his lover, Mary, a former teenage prostitute turned nun, and this shadowy presence of Dr. X, Nikki's employer. The story of Operation: Mindcrime ended with "Who Killed Mary?" The story picks up with the identity of the killer revealed and Nikki's obsession with revenge on Operation: Mindcrime II. Cool eh? Maybe, maybe not; it depends on your point of view. In any case the most startling thing about II is its sound: pure 1980s heavy metal. The band went back to exploring the kinds of technology used on the first segment and basically revisited it, retuned the guitars to A., and let it rip. Shockingly, it doesn't sound cheesy at all. In fact, it's so balls-out crunchy and stacked -- especially the way those duplicate lead guitars sound on "The Hands" -- it sort of feels as if the records were recorded back to back; the intent and objective here has definitely been achieved. The argument is why you would want to create a second chapter of something and have it sound so much like the first. Okay, there's the music and the story. Tate and company are to be credited here; the story is seamless, though it's 20 years later. Tate looks at the current political and social landscape and can only say that "everything moves faster now/living at the speed of light," other than that, it's the same -- which is why a sequel was predicated in the first place. The band were still under the first Bush regime when the original was released. And despite eight years of Clinton, they find themselves under a Bush regime once more -- a regime perhaps more Draconian and certainly far more secretive than its predecessors. In any case, the historical reality reflects the aesthetic one for the purposes of Tate and company. There are some new factors on II: Michael Kamen is not on-board as the string arranger this time out; Ashif Hakik is. This set's producer is Jason Slater (who also produced hit records for Smash Mouth and Good Charlotte) who also recorded and mixed II with Hakik, Christina Wolfe, and Mitch Doran on-board for help. There are guests vocalists here, of course, including Pamela Moore, Miranda Tate, and the voice of Dr. X: Ronnie James Dio! Despite the sheer ambition and focus on the music and the story, here; despite the slamming, tough-minded metal and sheer rock dynamics at work, added to the enjoyment of listening to this all the way through as an album by Queensrÿche, the question must be asked: Does it measure up to the original? Not quite. However, the reasons for this have little to do with inspiration or execution; they have more to do with budget.. II is a fitting sequel musically -- and story-wise -- to as classic a work of popular art as you're likely to find, and it does wrap up the story tidily -- though some fans were content with the end left in question as it was originally. As a band, Queensrÿche rock harder now than they have in years; they are absolutely on fire here. Operation: Mindcrime II is a great step back in order to move things forward.
Performance CreditsQueensrÿche Primary Artist
Pamela Moore Vocals
Ronnie James Dio Vocals,Guest Appearance
Geoff Tate Leader,Vocals
Miranda Tate Vocals
Technical CreditsGeoff Tate Composer,Story
Kenny Nemes Executive Producer
Jason Slater Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Ashif Hakik Orchestral Arrangements
Garrett Barati Image Design
Rory Berger Image Design
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Operation: Mindcrime II based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Wow!! This is an awesome release from Queensryche. I'm a Ryche fan and the first OMC is my favorite album. The more I listen to OMC II the more I love it. Yes, it's different than the original, but why do we want to hear the same thing over and over again? Geoff Tate's vocals are chilling as always, the guitar work and drum beats are harder and heavier than I've heard from Queensryche in a long time. Ronnie James Dio as Dr. X on "The Chase" is brilliant. Pamela Moore's beautiful voice as Sister Mary is another treat. "The Hands, Hostage, Re-Arrange You, A Murderer?, Signs Say Go, All The Promises and The Chase are my favorites.... that's practically the entire album! Those who are disappointed I would suggest listening to it a few more times. The more I hear it the more I love it. I was so excited to have Nikki's story continue and I couldn' t be happier with where Queensryche took it. Get yourself a copy and then go see them live!! You will love it all. OMC I & II in their entirety??? Come on!!
This album is way better than Tribe. The follow up to Mindcrime is defenatley worth obtaining. It's continues the story 20 years later from Mindcrime 1 and leaves no liberal rhetoric whatsoever. Queensryche have saved themselvs by this album I cannot wait to see them on tour. This is QR's best release to date.
I expected something great, but I didn't expect it to be quite this AMAZING. I couldn't even begin to select a favorite track from OM2. Expect the unexpected on this one. Definitely a more theatrical approach to OM2 than the first one. If you're expecting it to sound like OM1, I strongly recommend that you go into it a bit more open-mindedly.
Stays very true to the original. Starts out fierce and doesn't disappoint. Would be 5 stars, but it loses it's energy after the 14th or 15th song.
I have been listening to this cd non-stop for 2 weeks now and have a new favorite song every couple of days. I am hearing and appreciating things now that I didn’t pick up on the first few listens. Geoff Tate is so talented, his lyrics and style of singing just blow my mind. Michael Wilton and Mike Stone on guitars are carving it up and serving it hot! My favorite songs right now are Signs Say Go and Re-Arrange You but at this point there isn’t one song that I don’t like. Buy yourself a copy of this soon to be classic and make sure you check them out live. I saw Operation Mindcrime I live last year and was captivated. I can’t wait to see what they do with this one.
Let me state first that I am thrilled that Queensryche came back to the Mindcrime concept and 18 yrs later they still rock out! I have to admit though that I miss Degarmo's guitar playing. Like most axe slingers he has a distinctive style that made Queensryche unique and more than just a metal band. This is still a great work though. I was thrilled to hear Ronnie James Dio in "The Chase". It helped to lend an operatic sense to the storyline without being corny or cheesy. Bring Degarmo back!