Must Own Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Albums :
Artist : Queensryche
Album : Empire
Released : August 20, 1990
M.M. Album Rating : 4.5/5 (The perfect swan song to end an era.)
This week was the 27th anniversary of an album that truly represented an end of an era. At the time it was released the band Queensrÿche was the Seattle sound. Hard to believe that just over a year later that would no longer be the case as a whole new musical revolution would overtake the music scene. That’s what makes the excellent fourth studio album from the band known as “Empire” such a monumental release.
By the time the band would release their fifth album “Promised Land” in 1994 everything had changed. Bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Alice In Chains had now become the face of the Seattle scene, clearly making Queensryche seem like yesterday’s news, alongside a whole decade of a certain genre that the band had become pigeonholed with. It truly wasn’t a fair assessment, but unfortunately they paid much of the same price as many other bands and artists of the time.
By the time that Empire was released however Queensryche had proven how talented they truly were. Coming off the now legendary concept record “Operation Mindcrime” , a record that 90% of the other bands at the time would’ve never been able to pull off, it became mind blowing that the record company would demand yet another concept record from them. Just as they did when the record company protested them making the Mindcrime album in the first place, they would follow their hearts instead deciding for a song oriented approach for what would become Empire.
The title track, along with excellent songs like Best I Can, Jet City Woman, and the now legendary Silent Lucidity, all became MTV/Radio staples making the album a tremendous success. Little could anyone who lived through it at the time know that this would be the peak of such a great band. Yes, they would still make some great music in the 1990s also, but it would never be the same. Especially now that Geoff Tate, and Chris DeGarmo are no longer with the group. Empire was a terrific swan song to that whole era.
1. “Best I Can” (Chris DeGarmo) – 5:30
2. “The Thin Line” (DeGarmo, Geoff Tate, Michael Wilton) – 5:42
3. “Jet City Woman” (DeGarmo, Tate) – 5:20
1. “Della Brown” (DeGarmo, Scott Rockenfield, Tate) – 7:04
2. “Another Rainy Night” (DeGarmo, Jackson, Tate) – 4:44
3. “Empire” (Tate, Wilton) – 5:07
1. “Resistance” (Tate, Wilton) – 4:47
2. “Silent Lucidity” (DeGarmo) – 5:45
3. “Hand on Heart” (DeGarmo, Tate, Wilton) – 5:30
1. “One and Only” (DeGarmo, Wilton) – 5:52
2. “Anybody Listening?” (DeGarmo, Tate) – 7:43
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