The Unknown Zone

American Heavy Metal Band with Progressive Leanings

By: Greg Watson, Frank Hill, Josh Greer
Published: Friday, June 15, 2018
Queensr˙che is an American heavy metal band that formed in 1982 in Bellevue, Washington out of the local band the Mob. The original lineup consisted of lead guitarist Michael Wilton, rhythm guitarist Chris DeGarmo, drummer Scott Rockenfield, bassist Eddie Jackson, and lead vocalist Geoff Tate. Themes include: Fantasy, Technology, Love, Politics, and Humanity.

"Queen of the Reich" (from Queensryche EP, 1983)
"The Lady Wore Black" (from Queensryche EP, 1983)
"Take Hold of the Flame" (from The Warning, 1984)
"Walk in the Shadows" (from Rage for Order, 1986)
"Gonna Get Close to You" (from Rage for Order, 1986)
"Eyes of a Stranger" (from Operation: Mindcrime, 1988)
"I Don't Believe in Love" (from Operation: Mindcrime, 1988)
"Breaking the Silence" (from Operation: Mindcrime, 1988)
"Best I Can" (from Empire, 1990)
"Jet City Woman" (from Empire, 1990)
"Another Rainy Night (Without You)" (from Empire, 1990)
"Empire" (from Empire, 1990)
"Silent Lucidity" (from Empire, 1990)
"I Am I" (from Promised Land, 1994)
"Sign of the Times" (from Hear in the Now Frontier, 1997)
"Arrow of Time" (from Condition Human, 2015)
"Guardian" (from Hear in the Condition Human, 2015)


"Prophecy" (Queensryche EP)
Traditional metal cut that was origionally left off the EP. --Frank

"Night Rider" (Queensryche EP)
A ripper of a track with a pretty awful video. But the guitar work from DeGarmo and Wilton is top notch on this one. --Greg

"NM 156" (The Warning)
Musically ominous track about a possible dystopian future where logic has replaced emotion. Humanity is controlled by machines and one person's time is up. Geoff's vocals switch from staccato, robotic-like delivery verses to traditional vocal choruses. --Frank

"Roads to Madness" (The Warning)
Nine minute+ track that closes out the album. Basically consists of three sections--slow, instrumental and rapid (7+ min mark). Lyrics are fairly esoteric possibly about the transitive moments just before and after a character's death/evolution to a place where knowledge is gained at the price of torment. Vocals are highly emotive. --Frank

"Screaming in Digital" (Rage for Order)
Another of the "technology" tracks from RfO where Geoff's densely layered vocals portray the master/slave, Father/Son relationship of a creator of an artificial intelligence that believes in its own humanity. --Frank

"I Will Remember" (Rage for Order)
Although it has made it into the live set, music doesn't get more haunting than this perfect ending to one of the best heavy metal records of the 80's. Visually, "Rage for Order" was plagued with conflicting band photos that unfairly turned some folks away upon release. Anyway, I'm talking about "I Will Remember"! Degarmo was a big part of Queensyrche's sound and this track solely penned by Chris is more proof than you would ever need. --Josh

"The Mission" (Operation: Mindcrime)
This is hands down my favorite track off this album. Great story song on a phenomenal concept album. --Greg

"The Needle Lies" (Operation: Mindcrime)
As my own personal serious introduction to the band, "The Needle Lies" was the winning track. For people who aren't ready for all of the complexity of the "Mindcrime" record, this is a halfway point that doesn't require the unfortunate event of someone not having this full concept record available. Don't trust the needle. Don't deny this chorus. --Josh

"Scarborough Fair" (Empire)
Different speed for the band here covering Simon & Garfunkel. --Greg

"Someone Else?" (Promised Land)
Final track on the release (note the remaster will have the full band). Consists of Geoff's powerful vocals and piano only. Introspective lyrics suggest a moment of self-reflection during one of life's crossroads and a reevaluation of the past as the future brings about new ways. --Frank

"Out of Mind" (Promised Land)
A great track off a much maligned album that is a look at the mental health epidemic in the US. --Greg

"Rocking in the Free World" (live release)
Cool Neil Young cover with some fun banter between Tate and DeGarmo. --Greg

"One More Time" (Promised Land)
Turns out that remote island cabin getaway recording studios churn largely atmospheric pieces of a criminally underrated Queensryche record. Look no further than "One More Time". A song of reflection and overall life. Could I argue that this is Tate's most impressive and emotional recorded moment? That could certainly be argued. Tate has a very hypnotic, powerful and dramatic delivery. Don't get too consumed by the vocals in the chorus or twin guitar harmonies. "One More Time" is when Queensryche knew just how to do it. --Josh

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