Metal Insider contributor Anthony Maisano is listening to a different metal album that was released on that day every day this year. Today, it’s progressive metal specialists Queensrÿche with Operation: Mindcrime II, which was released on on April 4, 2006.
The sequel to the band’s groundbreaking concept album! The band just revealed somewhat recently a huge controversy behind this album, too. Apparently, some session musicians played on this album instead of the actual band members in some cases. But how does it hold up? Well, without question the standout track on the album, and the standout performance, is Ronnie James Dio, who plays the villain Dr. X, on the track “The Chase.” Dio’s performance should go without saying. He blows minds, and the duet with Geoff Tate works so well here, even if Tate does come off a little bit underpowered compared to Dio. The actual story to the album is still interesting, and certainly kept me interested throughout. I liked the bass work a lot, too. It stands out on tracks like “Murderer?”
Musically, all of the tracks are pretty average to bland tracks. There might be a catchy hook or chorus here and there, but that’s about it. They aren’t horrible tracks, but they’re pretty basic. They don’t try anything really cool, or new. This especially is a shame compared to the first Mindcrime album. Besides a few tracks like “Re-Arrange You,” this album doesn’t even maintain the feeling of the original, in my opinion. It shows where Queensryche was at around this time.
Favorite Tracks: “The Chase,” “Re-Arrange You,” “An Intentional Confrontation.”
I don’t really know how necessary this album was. The lore adds some cool new stuff to the Mindcrime story, but as an album, I don’t think this one holds up. It certainly wasn’t one of the worst albums I’ve ever listened to, but it was one of the most “okay” albums I’ve ever listened to. There are a few cool tracks on the album (especially with Dio leading one), but it’s pretty average in general. Give it a listen once to find your own favorites, but I doubt this is one that many people would call a favorite.