Regularly leaping from one genre to the next, Queensryche has never been known as the type of band that keeps their music consistent from album to album. While their albums tend to stay genre-specific throughout (such as Empire’s glam metal sound and Operation: Mindcrime’s progressive metal sound), each album brings something different to the table. With their 1986 release of Rage for Order; however, this song consistency throughout their albums ceased to be for a brief moment as they took the variation found from album to album and threw it all together into one record.
An amalgamation of Def Leppard’s catchy vocals, Dream Theater’s hate for 4:4 timing and Slayer’s tendency to verbally abuse their microphones, Rage for Order took elements from everything that is rock and metal from the 1980s to today and left something for fans everywhere to appreciate to one degree or another. Rage for Order single-handedly promoted Queensryche from “the guys who open for Iron Maiden” to one of the era’s truly mainstream progressive metal bands, as evident through its over half a million sales.
The album kicks off with “Walk In the Shadows”, a guitar-heavy track laden with screaming and vocal harmonies nearly throughout. The song immediately gives metal fans everywhere a new album to gush about. As the album progresses, fans of easy-listening rock also get their piece of the cake through songs like “I Dream In Infra Red” and “The Whisper.” Songs like “Gonna Get Close To You” and “Screaming In Digital” bring a couple of powerful, avante-garde-style breaks to the album through combining electronics, orchestrated music and screaming guitars throughout.
Despite Queensryche’s apparent inability to stay consistent throughout the album, one thing that never changes is their ability to fully utilize both guitarists to their full potential. While they may not outright stick out in some of the slower songs on the album, every song is an aspiring guitarist’s worst nightmare. In several parts of the album, the guitar parts could be seen as outright unorthodox by music lovers everywhere through high amounts of treble and even harmonized chords. The creativity brought to the table by the guitarists is truly outstanding.
The vocals in the album are the most “metal” you’ll ever hear coming out of lead singer Geoff Tate’s mouth. Through belting choruses, changing octaves and power screams, this is truly Tate’s most aggressive work when purely considering the style of vocals used.
With a single, over half a million record sales and a place on the charts everywhere from the Netherlands to Canada, Rage for Order captivated rock and metal fans everywhere through a mix of glam metal, progressive metal and hard rock that keeps the album unique and keeps listeners surprised through an entirely different source of influence found in the album’s writing style at every turn. Through harsh-yet-melodic vocals and progressive, complex guitars, Rage for Order is truly one of the most unique rock albums of its time.
Queensryche Rage for Order Album Review article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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