Though Queensryche blatantly stole from the altar of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, it’s not hard to see why the debut EP is considered a metal classic in that early 80’s American scene.
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: Queensryche [EP]
LABEL: EMI America
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Geoff Tate – vocals * Chris DeGarmo – guitars * Michael Wilton – guitars * Eddie Jackson – bass * Scott Rockenfield – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Queen Of The Reich * 02 Nightrider * 03 Blinded * 04 The Lady Wore Black
WEBLINKS: Site Link
The band are still in operation in the current day and age, but there was a time where Queensryche commanded much respect and kudos. These days Geoff Tate has a hard time defending himself against critics and former fans but he doesn’t help himself considering his conduct in the media and the public eye.
However, if we were to wind the clock back to Q’s early days, the band couldn’t put a foot wrong. The team of Tate, DeGarmo, Wilton, Jackson and Rockenfield were proverbial world-beaters, and though blatantly stealing from the altar of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, it’s not hard to see why the Queensryche EP is considered a metal classic in the American scene.
Only a four-tracker, no self-respecting metalhead would ever admit to not owning this. It was first issued by the small time Seattle label 206 Records during June 1982, before the band were picked up by EMI America. The original vinyl pressing was be-decked in black but with yellow and purple text, contained 4 tracks which sound great today as it did all those years ago. It’s no wonder the band would shine for a decade or so with a brace of fantastic albums up until about 1990’s ‘Empire’.
‘Queen Of The Reich’ is a well known tune, extremely intense melodic metal, and if one remembers the video for this song, the band had an ear for the complex as well as artistic sense. ‘Nightrider’ owes its existence to Judas Priest‘s 70’s material, Tate performing the vocal parts in the same vein as Rob Halford.
Atmospheric and haunting in the vein of Black Sabbath during their Ronnie James Dio and Tony Martin eras, it would seem ‘The Lady Wore Black’ is an aptly named track too. The last of the quartet is the machine-grinding metal of ‘Blinded’, with spiralling lead guitar solos and a steady military drum beat propelling this one along steadily.
The EP saw a handful of versions during 1983, plus the 1988 reissue contained an extra track: ‘Prophecy’, which was a song they performed during that 1983 era. With EMI America’s assistance (and later on Manhattan), Queensryche got better and better with each release, culminating in 1988’s legendary ‘Operation: Mindcrime’.
Queen Of The Reich