Queensryche - Operation Mindcrime
There aren’t many albums that I would call straight-up perfect. It’s a term I use very cautiously. But Queensryche’s “Operation Mindcrime” deserves this description. It’s a concept album that tells a captivating story of manipulation, love and abuse minced with biting social commentary that still feels scarily current despite all the changes the world has faced in the over three decades since its release. Musically, Queensryche always held a unique position. For one, because they consistently kept changing throughout their career, but even by just looking at this particular album - the highpoint in their career - you find the influence of what we now call traditional heavy metal, sprinkles of progressive rock elements without ever getting self-indulgent and songwriting so catchy and precise that some of these songs worked on mainstream rock radio. Even though these songs are so strong that they all work on their own, the impact is even bigger when enjoyed as a whole. Take for instance the superb album closer “Eyes Of A Stranger”. It’s an incredible song, but the way it’s being set up by the interludes “Waiting for 22” and “My Empty Room” gives it an added emotional punch that makes it even more stunning. This album a tour de force filled with so many ideas so masterfully pieced together that there are new aspects to discover even after countless listening sessions. This is easily one of the ten best metal albums of all time.