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Queensryche – Take Hold of the Flame
Another dominating single from one of the greatest power/progressive metal bands ever to grace this planet (I mean ‘Grace’ in the fullest sense of the word!). Interesting choice of songs, with ‘Take Hold of the Flame’ being a memorable number from the 1984 album ‘Warning’ (another masterpiece from the year of my birth), and the Queensryche EP track ‘Nightrider’ a chilling power metal number that works well with the more complex title track.
‘Take Hold of the Flame’ is an emotive number that is typical of the content on ‘Warning’ and ‘Rage for Order’. The epic intro here builds energy which erupts orgasmically in the transitional vocal scream “oh oh take hold” – absolutely spine shivering majestic power. Pretty good how the song builds tension that by the time it gets to the next verse section you’re well and truly banging your head, even though it’s not a heavy number. Tate is well and truly on form here, and gets some added effect from the awesomely mixed backing vocal sections, which chant lyrics giving the song some great forcefulness. Really powerful lyrics, with a level of emotion in delivery that is absolutely stunning.
‘Nightrider’ is a slightly more simplistic piece, which isn’t surprising given it was created a couple years prior to the A-side track. It has a really great maiden-esque quality in particularly the scale-y riffs and the thundering pace. Oh my god Tate is a madman, truly a divine creature possessed with some banshee spirit to deliver the vocals with this much thunder. Fucking dominance here. Another phenomenal chorus, with haunting lyrics “The nightrider sails away” is an incredibly powerful motif given its relative simplicity. I really enjoy the drums on this one which are very well recorded and clear, given the early date and almost ‘speed metal’ aftertaste of the number.
This single is clearly dominating, of a quality rarely attained by anyone. Pretty much can’t describe how amazing both of these cuts are; just get this damn thing and bang your head to the irresistible power of the Ryche!