How much we love this album ... "Queensrÿche's" "Rage for Order", released on June 27, 1986.
This is the band's second studio album, which was released before the move to prog-metal and before the big breakthrough that will come two years later, with the concept album "Operation: Mindcrime". This is probably also the reason why fans tend to skip it. We are here to tell you that this is a great album that does not have even one unnecessary moment, and that for us it is even at the same level as the masterpiece that will come two years later.
This album is very different from the rest of the band's repertoire and that is also its uniqueness. This album has a "New Wave" production, a bit "Dark", which is expressed, among other things, in echo and reverb, in transferring the sound of the drums and guitars through effects and bringing the keyboards forward in the mix. It has a dark atmosphere, and we do not know why, but when we listen to it we immediately run through our minds images from science fiction movies about futuristic dystopian worlds. It is possible that the band members' picture on the inner cover looks like taken from a science fiction movie. What undoubtedly contributes to the feeling that this is a complete work that accompanies a story that can be used as a soundtrack to a futuristic film, is the fact that many of the album's songs connect in a cross fade in a way that gives the listener the feeling of listening to a concept album.
An excellent example of understanding how different this album is from the rest of the band's mighty catalog, we should note that the band even did a cover here for singer Dabello - a Canadian pop artist who released "Gonna Get Close to You". Not only did the band members choose to perform a cover version of the song, but they even chose to release it as the first single from the album. Anyone who listens to the band's excellent cover and great performance will immediately understand what we mean, the keyboards, the bold bass, the twisted drum sound, the vocals, the guitars, and the effects, all of which are not entirely reminiscent of a metal band but a New Wave or post-punk band from the 1980s. The band has even released a 12-inch version of this song with a long remix, which amplifies the electronics and effects, just like a New Wave band.
As we said, this album does not sound like anything else this band has released during its almost 40 years of activity, but it's good, it's great, it's awesome and we really like it.
Starting with the opening track "Walk in the Shadows" we are embarking on a journey forward in time, because as we said this album can serve as the perfect soundtrack for a film about a futuristic world. This song with the rhythmic and dominant guitar riff, Geoff Tate's blatant screams, and vocal harmonies a-la "Queen", was written by guitarist Chris DeGarmo in collaboration with Tate and Wilton, inspired by vampire movies and books, including "Vampire Chronicles".
Immediately after that comes "I Dream in Infrared" written by Tate and the second guitarist Michael Wilton. The song opens calmly with Eddie Jackson's bass beats and the guitar's broken chords, evolving into a mesmerizing and dynamic piece that ranges from rough riffs to soft, clean acoustics, and from Geoff Tate's screams of pain to his caressing, delicate voice. The song definitely demonstrates Tate's vocal abilities and his tremendous vocal range. The guitar solo in this song is played by Michael Wilton who also wrote it. This song received an acoustic and interesting remix version in the expanded edition of the album released in 1991.
The third track "The Whisper" connects to the fade-out of the previous song and opens with the East-style doubled guitar sentences by Chris DeGarmo and Michael Wilton. After the short intro, the song just explodes with a bouncy and catchy rhythm and with a catchy and sweeping riff. Tate's singing is skyrocketing, how high it reaches in the transition to the chorus. Just an amazing voice control.
We skip "Gonna Get Close to You" which we referred to above, and move on to "The Killing Words", the first pure ballad on this album. And again the amazing combination of the acoustics and the electric, the keyboards, and the effects, the melodic and quiet vocals, and Tate's whistling screams, all of these just blow our minds. And what a melodic and beautiful solo Chris DeGarmo gives here that shows how much emotion he has in his playing.
The song that seals the first side of the vinyl "Surgical Strike" and was written by the two guitarists, is also one of the fastest on the album. Amazing guitar work combined with Scott Rockenfield's thunderous and rolling drums that also lead the houses. In the transition sections, we double the rhythm that only gets louder during Michael Wilton's amazing solo, with the effects combined during it only intensifying the enjoyment from it.
The other side of the vinyl opens up with "Neue Regel" and a synth sound that reminds us of the synthesized guitar sound that opens the song "Out in the Cold" by "Judas Priest" from the album "Turbo". The title "Neue Regel" means "New Rule" or "New Order" in free translation from German. This song is replete with squeaky guitars, weird sounds, and amazing effects that just make it a monstrous piece. These effects dominate all the instruments and even the voice of Geoff Tate who sang the whole first verse through a kind of megaphone, until the break at 1:45 with the shout "Now!" It is also one of the most beautiful passages in the song that we can hear over and over again. We highly recommend that you put on a headphone and listen to this song at high volume, to the climax end in the roar of Tate and the effects that come after it, just sheer pleasure that sounds with relevant and up-to-date production and amazing sound even today over thirty years later.
"Chemical Youth (We Are Rebellion)" was born as a result of another collaboration between Tate and Wilton. How beautiful the guitar work is here, without a doubt one of the best on the album, which at times reminds us of the playing of Akira Takasaki from the band "Loudness".
"London" is probably one of the reasons that make us feel that this album is a soundtrack to a futuristic film. When we listen to the dark keyboards that open the song, the guitars that pop up in Fade In, and the synthesized bass sound that gives the rhythm to the song, we can not help but imagine London in a futuristic world, under ashes and post-nuclear war ruins. Although the lyrics of the song do not place this song in time (except for the date of November 4th), we have no doubt that DeGarmo, Tate & Wilington who wrote it aimed for the futuristic London.
"Screaming in Digital" connects again in cross-fade with the previous song, and again it opens with futuristic effects that blend well with the digital name of the song written in an analog age. What a sweeping rhythm with Scott Rockenfield's double bass drum and what a beautiful combination of the "carpet" of keyboards and guitars in the solo, and Tate's voice and the background voices of the other members that create an amazing vocal celebration here. The song ends with an explosion with Tate's scream and the silence that follows connects to the silence of the next song which is without a doubt one of the pearls on the album.
The ballad "I Will Remember" that seals the album, is one of the most beautiful songs on it. The short electric guitar line accompanied by the acoustic at the opening of the song reminded us a bit of the "scorpions" (and maybe also Tate's whistle at the end of the first chorus). How much emotion is conveyed through Tate's singing, how much talent in de Garmo's amazing playing, who also wrote the song.
It is interesting to note that during the recordings of the album the band recorded another song - "Prophecy", which was released as a side note to the first single "Gonna Get Close to You". The band also worked on demos of two more songs "From the Darkside" and "The Dream", which remained on the editing table. The band also wrote during the recordings the theme song "Rage for Order" which did not enter the album. The music from the song eventually rolled into the song "Anarchy-X" from the album "Operation: Mindcrime" which came out two years later.
Before concluding we will note that the album cover "Rage for Order" is the first to display the band's logo that will accompany it down the road.
Follow us on Facebook or Subscribe to our website
"Face/Off" - Israel's Rock Blog & Podcast