Given that only two years later QUEENSRYCHE would record one of the finest Rock albums in history, the conceptual masterpiece ‘’Operation Mindcrime’’, only a betting man would imagine that such class and originality was possible from a band that recorded the totally different and disappointing ‘’Rage For Order’’ Isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing?
1984’s impressive debut the excellent ‘’The Warning’’ pushed QUEENSRYCHE to previous uncharted waters and as debuts go ‘’The Warning’’ was packed full of top quality Melodic Metal with a foot firmly planted in Progressive Rock. The technical ability of guitarist Chris DeGarmo and the theatrical nuances of vocalist Geoff Tate endeared many to the QUEENSRYCHE way. Remember back in ’84 MAIDEN, PRIEST and a certain Bay Area band called METALLICA were the big news in Heavy Metal. QUEENSRYCHE managed to effectively bridge the gap between out and out Head banging and yet still give some focus to their thought provoking and intelligent own brand of Metal.
However ‘’Rage For Order’’ was still a testing, experimental time for the band. A band still stuck with a serious image problem; looking more like extras from a DURAN DURAN video it was hardly the image to promote an up and coming Prog Metal band!
The album starts off in particularly robust form with the classy ‘’Walk In The Shadows’’ still a live favourite to this day ‘’Walk…’’ was the perfect opening salvo. A slightly grittier sound lends a harder edge to the overall sound than was witnessed in ‘’The Warning’’. With, as so often is the case, DeGarmo delivering yet another excellent riff. The Prog influence of RUSH is heard throughout ‘’I Dream Of Infra Red’’ a song that never really gets going. The odd time signature of ‘’The Whisper’’ and the strange keyboard fills sound dated as does the awful ‘’Gonna Get Close To You’’ Similarly ‘’The Killing Words’’, ‘’Neue Regal’’, ‘’London’’ are all instantly forgettable but thankfully ‘’Surgical Strike’’ and a taste of things to come ‘’Chemical Youth (We Are Rebellion) give the album some impetus at last.
‘’Rage For Order’’ was a cross roads for QUEENSRYCHE and we know what critical acclaim they would later go onto to receive but had this been their first album it may well have been their undoing. There’s no doubt the quality on offer but song wise this album is a million miles away from where they wanted to be.
It’s that hindsight thing again you see. (Online June 27, 2005)