How does the sequel compare to the original? Just like most sequels, this one is not as good as the original. The dual guitars of Michael Wilton and Mike Stone don’t quite meet up to the great sound of the former dynamic duo of Wilton and Chris DeGarmo. They do sound very good, but maybe not quite as powerful or melodic as the original guitar tandem.
Once upon a time, Geoff Tate’s voice could reach notes that most rock singers could only dream about imitating. Watch the video below; if you aren’t blown away by his amazing vocals, you are probably reading the wrong website:
In 2006, and beyond Geoff Tate can still sing well, but those amazing high notes has moved out of his vocal ability. With that being said, the last few Queensryche releases have been mostly disappointing to me, so my approach to Mindcrime II was timid at best.
Amazingly, I would consider Mindcrime II is the best disc that the band put out since 1994’s Promised Land. Mindcrime II continues on with the story of Nikki, and the infamous Dr. X. It may take you a couple of times to absorb the story from the music, but I am betting you will want to listen to this a few times anyway.
Some of the highlights of this disc are I’m American.
One Foot in Hell is a very cool, heavy progressive number. Hostage is a dark and heavy track that seems to grow on me more with each listen. The Hands is one of those tracks that you will need to listen to over and over a few times. The guitar work is superb, and sounds pretty close to classic Queensryche.
The Chase, featuring the combined vocals of Geoff Tate and (Dr. X) Ronnie James Dio is one of the better Queensryche tracks I have heard in a while. Tate’s and Dio’s voices sound great together.
Fear City Slide has a killer bass groove, and is a very good listen.
Every time I listen to this disc, I hear something different, and tend to like the songs a little more each time. The first time I listened to this disc, I was disappointed, but my opinion has changed with time. This is one of those sleeper discs that needs to grow on you.
This may not be the stellar effort that Operation Mindcrime is, or the hit cranking machine of Empire, but is a solid listen, and certainly essential to every Queensryche fan.
Rating: Out of 10
- Freiheit Over
- I’m American
- One Foot in Hell
- The Hands
- Speed of Light
- Signs Say Go
- Re-Arrange You
- The Chase
- If I Could Change It All
- An Intentional Confrontation
- A Junkie’s Blues
- Fear City Slide
- All the Promises