Great Metal Albums of 1986: Queensryche- Rage for Order


Keeping with my newly established tradition, my one and only live experience with Queensryche came in November 1986, when I saw them open for Bon Jovi at London’s Hammersmith Odeon. What I remember most from their set was Geoff Tate’s rather eccentric hair style. Believe me, it kept attention centred on him the whole time the band was on the stage. However, I also thought that they played a good set but I don’t remember much more.

It would be a few more years before I would come to fully appreciate Queensryche and though I heard the album they were promoting on that tour, “Rage for Order,” it was one of those albums I didn’t grasp until years later. Therefore, I am going to apply what I know now to what I should have known back then. When I posted about their previous album, “The Warning,” I called it a promising start. With “Rage for Order,” it was a progression towards the greatness they would go onto achieve a few short years later.

Again, using current knowledge for explaining the past, my best description of “Rage for Order” is that it’s a blueprint for the spectacular “Operation Mindcrime” album which would come about in 1988. Just wait until I get to that one! Two songs from this album, “I Dream in Infrared” and “The Whisper,” would not have been out of place if they had appeared on “Operation Mindcrime” in the musical sense. Both songs have a unique but catchy vibe which I loved about the future album.

Having had a few listens to “Rage for Order,” I get the feeling that I remember them playing “Walk in the Shadows” when I saw them live. This album opener isn’t any sort of concept song but a straight forward metal tune. On the other hand, I’m not sure what to make of “Gonna Get Close to You,” though it does have a killer guitar solo from Chris DeGarmo. Further still, I don’t know why it was released as a single. I think “Walk in the Shadows” would have been a better choice for that.

Queensryche were not afraid to use keyboards on the album and they are used to the optimum on “The Killing Words.” But keyboards or not, that song still rocks and that one too, would have made a better single. Keyboards are also used at the right time on “Surgical Strike.” They come into compliment the guitar solo and don’t interfere with heavy power chords on the rest of the song.

Another song which would have fitted on “Operation Mindcrime” happens to be my favourite one on the album, “Neue Regel.” It’s here where they take all the things they do well on the other songs and combine it on this one to make one fantastic song. There are melodic intros and interludes in between some great power chords and from what I hear, DeGarmo and Wilton trade off guitar solos. Anchoring all of it is the vocals of Geoff Tate and while I will never ever ever fault his vocals, he seems to be at his best on this track.

With “Chemical Youth (We Are Rebellion),” we have a more traditional metal song. I love the faster paced riffs with it and I get the feeling that this song might have been a favourite among angry teens. I was in my twenties by then so I couldn’t say. It could also be said that “London” was a blueprint song for the next album, especially with the way they harmonize the song title and that melody and another great guitar solo trade off. I get the strange feeling that they might have opened with this one when I saw them. After all, they were playing in the city which bears the song title. Speaking of the next album, when hearing the intro for “Screaming in Digital,” if I were to close my eyes, I might be inclined to think that Queensryche were going to launch into “I Don’t Believe In Love.” However, that is the only similarity though it does set the tone for the melodic near acoustic closer, “I Will Remember.” The song’s melancholy tone ends the album on a fantastic note.

Track Listing:

  1. Walk in the Shadows
  2. I Dream in Infrared
  3. The Whisper
  4. Gonna Get Close to You
  5. The Killing Words
  6. Surgical Strike
  7. Neue Regel
  8. Chemical Youth (We Are Rebellion)
  9. London
  10. Screaming in Digital
  11. I Will Remember


Geoff Tate- lead vocals, keyboards

Chris DeGarmo- guitars, backing vocals

Michael Wilton- guitars, backing vocals

Eddie Jackson- bass, backing vocals

Scott Rockenfield- drums, percussion

Once again, applying what I know now to back then, Queensryches’ first album, “The Warning,” was a promising start. “Rage for Order” was a further progression along their road to greatness. One thing I do know, like with Accept, I would love the chance to see Queensryche live again.

Next post: Cinderella- Night Songs

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24 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1986: Queensryche- Rage for Order”

  1. While I agree with you about the blueprint for Mindcrime (that is definitely true) I also believe this is a blueprint for Promised Land.

    I love the techy side, which I didn’t understand as a kid.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Respect for using the blue ring cover. I think this one is still my favorite Queensrÿche album. I wish there was more bass to it, but the production is pretty good overall. I love the big snare sound, and Geoff Tate’s voice is at its absolute prime here. The tech experiments really give it a unique atmosphere.

    In case anyone is curious, the alt code for the umlaut y is ALT+0255. Hold down alt, type in those numbers, and then release. If you’re on PC, if you’re on MAC, no one can help you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gonna Get Close to You is a strange choice for a single. It is a rather dark, stalkerish kind of song. Not overly catchy, but a good song.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Saw them twice as support for Dio and enjoyed them, but much more appreciation for their work and musicianship came as I grew older.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love this! Queensryche was an awesome band! Don’t know if they’re still together or not. A lot of 80’s bands are still making music today. They’re just not getting any airplay.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Rage for Order has some really good songs it. Probably my second favorite Queensryche LP behind Operation Mindcrime.

    Liked by 1 person

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