Empire [Bonus Disc]

by: Queensrÿche

After the breakthrough success and world-wide respect that Queensrÿche gained from their conceptual masterpiece Operation: Mindcrime, it was a fair assumption that the band couldn't possibly outdo, or perhaps even match, themselves. Empire, released just two years after that high-water mark, reveals that Queensrÿche reinvented themselves (and certainly not for the last time). While many fans were clamoring for a conceptual sequel, the band offered a song-oriented approach that was more art rock and less metal (though Empire rocks hard in places). Far removed from the fantasy and techno-paranoiac themes of Operation: Mindcrime, the lyric's themes tackle social and physical handicaps ("Best I Can"), and issues such as poverty and regret ("Della Brown") Geoff Tate, Chris DeGarmo, and company focused much less on the darker side of love so prevalent in their earlier sound, and looked at romance head on with "Another Rainy Night" and "Hand on Heart.) While Queensrÿche lost some die-hard metal fans with Empire, the mature sound and tight production of Peter Collins (Rush) saw the band break into the mainstream and hit number nine on the Billboard singles chart with the Pink Floyd-inspired power ballad "Silent Lucidity," that has remained one of the band's set standbys into the 21st century. [In 2010, for Empire's 20th anniversary, EMI issued a deluxe package that included a 24-bit remaster of the original album, as well as the three bonus tracks that were included on the 2003 expanded edition, and a live disc recorded at Hammersmith Odeon in London during the supporting tour. What's remarkable about the live disc is that it is raw, power-on, great-sounding Queensrÿche with no overdubs; all but three of the set's tracks are from the Empire album. The box also includes a beautiful poster, five black-and-white photographs of bandmembers, and a four-color lyric booklet.] ~ Doug Odell and Thom Jurek

Please enable Javascript to view this page competely.