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Concept album? Feh, too confusing...good anyway - 81%

Pyrus, June 2nd, 2003

Okay, so this is where progressive metal started. So before I'd begin this review, I'd like to say "Fuck you, Queensrÿche, it's all your fault that Dream Theater and all their even more boring imitators are plaguing the metal landscape. Burn in hell."
Then again, inspiring the kickass Symphony X may very well alleviate the majority of those Musical Masturbation snoozefests.
Back to the review. 'The Warning,' compared to later Queensrÿche, is much more raw and sharp; by later Queensrÿche, I mean 'Rage For Order'-'Promised Land.' Soy milk is more raw and sharp than the following musical abortions. Anyway, this album is a pretty heavy example of prog metal at its least retarded - complicated and overblown, but not to the point of just plain showing off. Instead, the pretension makes the songs a lot more interesting than the NWOBHM it somewhat resembles.
Closer "Roads To Madness" is the top track, epic and winding but keeping it interesting the whole time by switching between melodic verses, flowing, heavy interludes, and a fast and intricate breakdown in the middle. "Take Hold of the Flame" is nearly as good; killer vocals, one of those you-must-headbang-to-this riffs, and...is that double bass I hear? Yeah, it's there and it kicks ass.
The first few tracks of the album are decent but forgettable; it really picks up around "NM 156," something of a prelude to the style of 'Rage' but with a more power metal feel to the chorus. Besides the two mentioned above, "Child of Fire" and "Before the Storm" are very good riff-heavy songs with Geoff Tate using his impressive vocal capabilities to their full extent.
It's odd how an entire musical genre more or less sprang out of this single album, and to a lesser extent the following two Queensrÿche releases. Despite the crappiness of certain of this album's bastard children, the original prog-metal release remains a solid and entertaining album. Of course, there are certain amounts of cheese, but anyone who can't deal with corniness should NOT be listening to metal in the first place.