Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Boriiiing. . . - 48%

Psychotic Fates, December 13th, 2015

In somnolence sits The Warning and people cry "Metal!" at it or "Power Metal!" Seriously? There's no mighty riffs or sustained aggression and the guitars are in the background, unless it's time for a solo or the vocals pause, which is rare with this band. To be fair, when you have an absolute powerhouse vocalist like Geoff Tate was in those days, why not use him? Long before nightmare Cabarets his range was Halfordian but he spent even more time screaming, just not for vengeance, he's too posh for that. Yet his voice did work well over a guitar sound and style draped in chain mail and wielding a sword. The riffs on the EP were classy yet still heavy and it marked the beginning and the end of this band's metal phase.

Hell, Mötley Crüe wrote more aggressively than any songs on here, although Before the Storm comes close. The chugs in Storm are minor though, used to create urgency underneath downtrodden yet exalted siren wails. The chorus is as catchy as tossing labels around with Tate crying out: 'We watch the sunrise and hope that it won't be our last.' Great lyrics and this is a solid album conceptually as NM 156 is a similar fable to Before the Storm, Matrix-like in its moral not to give too much power to machines. It's got futuristic sound effects/processing, another compelling chorus and the coolest twin guitar harmony that this band has ever played; with an actual killer riff under said harmony! Just why such a subdued guitar sound? Apparently, the final mix was out of the Queensrÿche's hands. They actually wanted the guitars to be more prominent but stylistically this is a Pink Floydish Iron Maiden-lite, with the godforsaken No Sanctuary having the most of Floyd's depressing lethargy. Other songs like the yelping title track features one of the most pedestrian riffs this side of Metallica's Battery, it's original and generic at once. Deliverance shows promise with a couple decent riffs but its overall basicness and whiny chords during a very tired chorus is a bit much. Then everyone goes gaga over Take Hold of the Flame with its arena sing-alongness even though it has no meat, only empty calorie chords; yet it's hype fodder.

Ok, so pussy music isn't wrong but hype is a plague. This music is so weak and relenting yet it has a certain aura, enough to make people cry "Metal!" at Queensrÿche when they were not only sonically distant from that, they secretly wanted to not be considered such a band; pouffy-haired preening as they were in front of the mirror while laughing about umlauts. In the real world no neck has ever been strained to a riff from The Warning or any of their full lengths, for anytime there's a slight bit of stutter in a riff its over before it begins, the guitars preferring mini melodies that aren't real complicated for a supposed prog band. Yet there are prog elements here too: the rhythms are weirdly metered in places, the drums provide interesting fills as the guitars expand with Maidenish trills. These and other elements distract from the mostly tranquilized riff style. A critical analysis of everything reveals a pop band, but not a happy one. The proof is in the constant hooks and catchiness, melody over heaviness, huge choruses, unobtrusive leads and a general "safe" sound. These 'Rÿches understood crossover appeal and how it accompanies hype, being just metal enough to cater to the bullet-belters. They were also smart enough for nerds but with a tameness that pedestrians can enjoy.

Weeeëeell almost, this is sullen after all. Yet by the time they got to Empire they were ready for Lite FM, the pop soul of Queensrÿche fully exposed. Meanwhile, The Warning does have its moments.

Child of Fire has riffs that recall Where Eagles Dare (signature) and Beyond the Realms of Death (2nd chorus), yet it's still of an in-between quality. Not as limp as the flaccid songs but not as good as NM 156, En Force, Before the Storm or the moody saga: Roads to Madness. I cannot praise the lyrics on Roads enough, what with the mind set on a path it just cannot get off of, ultimately realizing the danger of too much knowledge. Choirs and a symphony add dimensions both creepy and sad, as this segues through dynamics with Tate going from rich, gloomy baritones to bright, impassioned tenors. For all his strong projection though he does sound kinda feminine while 'Laying waste in a path recited.' At the 7 and a half-minute mark, after some Rush-like shifting of gears, the backing musicians finally, finally rock out for a bit; in their quiet fashion of course.

For those of you who wish Queensrÿche had stayed metal and continued to advance the sound they had on the EP, check out Dead Calm's No Way Out, which is where they would have wound up if they weren't as false as a Virgin Steele fan that swears he likes chicks. That killer debut is the only thing of theirs worth getting. Avoid all these 'Rÿche's LP's because they're. . .

Boriiiiiiing, boriiiiiiiiiiiing, yeaaaah!!!