Just being able to have a new version of one of metal’s best known and strongest albums in a shiny and fresh CD is enough of a reason for individuals to retire their cassette tapes or vinyl. However, Capitol has added an entirely new disc of rare tracks for listeners to sink their teeth into. These tracks were pulled from Queensrcyhe’s November 1990 performance at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, and represent a collection of impressive cuts. This recording quality of these 10 cuts belies much of the thought about bootlegs during the period; the performance could have easily been filmed and given a VHS release.
Whether it is the move between huge hits like “Empire” and “Jet City Woman” and lesser known songs like “The Thin Line” and “Roads to Madness”, all members of the band know how to properly whip the crowd into a frenzy. There are a few additional pieces to the 2 CD set that further increase the value, key of which has to be the postcards that are included. Where most packages begin and end with extended liner notes, throwing in a small nod to long-time listeners showcases a little more care taken in creating this collection.
Here’s to hoping that the other Queensryche titles are given the same type of love as Empire, as I know that this edition will be spinning in my car’s players for months to come. Where “Empire” never seemed to be to be as solid of a release a was “Operation: Mindcrime”, this new look into the band’s creative process during the time makes me want to see exactly what this album contributes to the band’s allure compared to their other releases.
Top Tracks: Empire, Walk in the Shadows (Live)
Queensryche – Empire 20th Anniversary 2 CD Edition / 2010 Capitol | EMI / http://www.queensryche.com / http://www.capitolrecords.com