Sunday, September 7, 2014

Queensrÿche - The Warning

Today (September 7th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of The Warning, the first full-length album from the American progressive heavy metal band Queensrÿche; a year prior they put out a self-titled four song extended-play. The group consisted of Geoff Tate (lead vocals), Chris DeGarmo (guitar), Michael Wilton (guitar), Eddie Jackson (bass) and Scott Rockenfield (drums).

The Warning went to number 100 in the UK, number 91 in Canada, number 61 on the US Billboard Album chart (with a twenty-three week total run), and number 42 in Sweden. The record was produced by James Gutherie who had worked a number of times with Pink Floyd.

Side one opens with the title track. “The Warning”, released as the first single, has a big dramatic sound to it – thanks to Tate’s soaring high pitched vocals. As a trained opera singer, he really knows how to carry the notes for the ultimate effect.

With its tolling percussion, “En Force” sets an ominous and foreboding mood. I like addition of the calmer epilogue that makes up the tracks final minute.

“Deliverance” features some cool guitar work, particularly on the bridge.

The band brings things down a bit with the slowly spiraling reverence of “No Sanctuary”.

Side one comes to a close with “N M 156”, a song about a world on the brink of destructive conflict.

Side two starts with “Take Hold of the Flame”, the album’s second single. At its heart is a message of hope and motivation to rise above adversity and darkness.

“Before the Storm” continues with the theme of a world on the verge of a war that will tear everything apart. This was a fairly common theme during the Cold War period of the 1980’s.

The mid-tempo “Child of Fire” is the next track.

The original vinyl album closes with “Roads to Madness”, an epic nine and a half minute long track. Tate’s voice really gives life to a man caught up in the grip of insanity.

The Warning is the first full Queensrÿche album I have ever listened to, and I liked it okay. As regular readers know, metal and progressive records are not my first choice. I did like how this one combines both of those elements quite well.

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