Queensryche was a band I first came across when all the Metal Mags back in 1983 were falling all over themselves about this band from Seattle that released a petty decent heavy as ‘F**K’ 4 song EP.
Once I read that the singer sounded like Rob Halford and could hit those notes in the highest registers I was in! Why not! In 1983 as a 16-year-old I was buying up all things Metal and here’s 5 Young Cats calling themselves Queensryche and calling out to me…hahaha…
It worked. Bought the EP spun it like crazy and once it was announced the full length album in 1984 would be called ‘The Warning’ I was onboard!
So when ‘The Warning’ dropped in the local record store’s in September 1984 I was on it! Purchased it!Took it home and spun it and was….
The Ryche had changed up there sound! I was expecting heavy tracks that appeared on the EP like ‘Queen of the Reich’. Nope not happening here Young deKe’S! Instead its like Queensryche weren’t going to be one of those one-dimensional metal bands were it would be the same sound after same sound on every album.
Course at the time with One EP and one Full Length release who knew how it was going to be so listening to ‘The Warning’ back in 1984 -85 was a tough listen. One problem being was time as there was so much music coming out at the time. The heavy hitters at the time KISS/MAIDEN/LEPPARD/PRIEST/AC-DC/VAN HALEN/RUSH and others dominated my listening time. So if an album didn’t grab my ear right off the hop it would be a long while before a revisit ….
‘The Warning’ was one of those albums that got left behind. Nothing personal man it’s just wasn’t what I was looking for sonically at the time.
Now having said that I still followed these guys. Read about em in the magazines still bought their stuff like 86’s ‘Rage for Order’ which baffled me even more and 1988’s mindblower concept album ‘Operation Mindcrime’ which was such a ballsy move but the Ryche delivered with Operaton Mindcrime to which many say today it’s still one of the Metal’s best concept albums.
Don’t believe me ask Ladano and John T Snow! They will set ya straight! 1990’s ‘Empire’ had Queensryche stripping down and writing just straight hard Metal Tracks which totally resonated with me! ‘Promised Land’ I was off the Ryche bus who knows why perhaps it was thought that Lead Singer Geoff Tate was blowing Sax on the album. Yeah I’m judgemental.. haha!
So here we are in 2018 well it was September 2018 and myself and my daughter Lauren well Lauren just watches me with amusement when I go record digging at these shops but here it was before me in one of the New/Used Bins! ‘The Warning’ for $13! In mint condition and that’s the thing with Queensyche records I never ever see them ever in Used Shops anywhere or anytime. So I pounced!
Bam! Done Deal…. was it money well spent?
What a crazy revisit with this album. It’s like I get what there doing now 34 years later! Better late than never I suppose….
9 songs pushing 48 minutes…..
The Warning I would say is Artsy Metal. Thinking Man’s Metal. Opening track The Warning answers that message loud and clear. The Guitars of Chris Degramo and Micheal Wilton take off on the opening number. Straight forward Power Metal is the title track basically setting the table for what is to follow on this album.
The Warning has a futuristic vibe about it especially in the lyrics spread throughout especially the ‘Brilliant GEM’ of a tune as in ‘NM 156’ which has The Rychers forging a wicked sound with this track. The chorus for me which is always the make or break point delivers in spades as Drummer Scott Rockenfield plays all kinds of wicked patterns on this track and through out the whole album. Bassist Eddie Jackson keeps the bottom end grooving along as well, Nothing fancy mind you but enough to keep everyone in check.
‘Take Hold of the Flame’ was the leadoff single which has Tate hitting those upper registers vocally speaking while the backing vocals follow the formula of so many back than with big backing vocals.
‘Roads to Madness’ the last track on The Warning is your end of the album close to 10 minute piece of music that has Ryche getting somewhat proggy which is the direction they were headed into at the time, It’s all here folk’s! Big riffs of acoustic and electric guitars mashing up. Big drums push the tune along while Tate sings for his supper. Bombastic Ending here…..
Course at the time Queensryche flipped out when they heard the final mix of this album and the Record Company had someone they wanted to mx this album against the Ryche’s wishes but to no avail. The suits at the record company also altered the running order of the album by moving NM 156 from its opening spot to Track 5 on the album.
Here’s Geoff Tate telling The Metal Voice back in 2015 what went down with The Warning…
“It was a real disappointment to everybody in the band at the time, ’cause it was taken out of our hands and mixed by somebody who didn’t care about it and didn’t want the input of the band in mixing. So that was quite a shocking experience. But, yeah, I think the mix of that record definitely could be… Well, I hate to terms ‘better’ or ‘worse’ when describing music, but the mix could have been more in line with what the collective vision was at the time rather than an outsider coming in and just hearing it for the first time and throwing it down and putting the faders up and saying, ‘Okay, it’s done.’ But that’s one of those lessons you learn as a young band that’s on a tight ship.”
Wild stuff but to my ears it still sounds good but I guess Queensryche had wanted to hear it a certain way. Fair enough but you can just see how the ‘SUITS’ could control a young band and if the ‘SUITS’ are paying the bills whacha going to do about it?
Great revisit with this album and I’m glad to add ‘The Warning’ to my collection this time on Vinyl! Interesting to hear this album now and appreciate it a lot more than the first time I heard it back in 1984!