EMI Records, 1983


REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Queensryche once recorded a song called "Revolution Calling". Seventeen years after the release of their debut EP, one wonders why some people still consider this disc to be a revolution in the world of heavy metal.

Queensryche was re-released with an additional song, "Prophecy," recorded during the sessions for their third album Rage For Order. Listening to this one song shows how much the band had grown in the three years between these albums. Better songwriting and better production (the latter thanks to Neil Kernon) make Queensryche sound like a force that was to be reckoned with.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Pity the original four songs that serve as the birthcry for the band don't quite have that magic. Sure, the opening track "Queen Of The Reich" has some promise, and the two-guitar attack of Chris DeGarmo and Michael Wilton does help to light up the speakers. But as the band explains in the liner notes from the 1988 CD re-issue, this track (as well as the others on this EP) were recorded by engineer Tom Hall, who apparently wasn't quite sure just what he was doing. (The band, by the way, chose not to re-mix the CD upon re-issue. To quote from Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade, they chose... poorly.)

I'd love to be able to sit here and say that the remaining three tracks - "Nightrider," "Blinded" and "The Lady Wore Black" - were early glimpses into the magic the band would tap on such albums as Operation:Mindcrime and Empire. Granted, "The Lady Wore Black" has its moments, mostly in the chorus. But for the most part, Queensryche doesn't really do much to set themselves apart from the other hundreds of bands fighting for attention in 1982-1983. (I will admit, though, that Geoff Tate might have been ahead of his time with his operatic style of singing; King Diamond and Mercyful Fate were just breaking through around the same time.)

Is it fair to compare a song such as "Prophecy" to the first works of a band like Queensryche? Perhaps not - but seeing the songs all now share a common album, parallels have to be drawn between the time periods of the band's history. And especially seeing what Queensryche would accomplish at the height of their popularity, it does tend to make earlier works pale in comparison. Queensryche is, regrettably, no exception.

This disc is one to add to your collection if you are a diehard Queensryche fan, or if you enjoy the Rage For Order-style songs and want to add "Prophecy" to your library. It's occasionally interesting to listen to, if only to clear out the pipes... but it's far from required owning.

Rating: C

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