Sound — 9
As most anybody knows that has listened to this, the production is not great. The sound is a little bit iffy at times, but you will blow right past the sound quality pretty quickly. This album is everything that was great about their self-titled E.P., and a lot more. This album sees Queensryche with much less of an Iron Maiden influence like a few of the songs of the first record had and sees them growing more into themselves. As for the band members themselves; not much can be said except for absolutely brilliant. Tate's voice is at its peak and the band is at a creative high. This is definately a more progressive album than their first and that is a good thing. Overall, if not for some shotty production the sound on the album is great.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics on this album are great, but still slightly falling short of what they would eventually do on Operation: Mindcrime. Some songs like Warning and En Force feature slightly weaker lyrics with fairly simple choruses; however, this is not a bad thing by any means because Geoff Tate could sing about anything in any song and make it sound absolutely amazing which he does frequently on the album. The song NM 156 perfectly meshes vocals with melodies. Tate utilizes a computer like voice in the verses and goes into a killer chorus that makes it one of my favorite songs on the album. And of course the epic Roads to Madness features amazing vocals and great lyrics.
Overall Impression — 9
01. Warning - pretty solid song, but nothing really special. Works as the opener. 7.5/10 02. En Force - best intro on the album. Cool chorus with Tate singing high above a lower voice. Cool slower outro. 8/10 03. Deliverance - my least favorite song on the album. Entertaining and keeps the albums flow going. 7/10 04. No Santuary - I personally love this song. Amazing verses. Even better pre-chorus. Good chorus, but the other parts of the song are cooler. Still, amazing song. 9/10 05. N M 156 - one of my favorites on the album. As I said above Tate talks like a computer or a machine in the verses into a straight forward, super catchy chorus. Great Song! 10/10 06. Take Hold of The Flame - probably the song a person would've heard of this album. Starts with an amazing intro with some great vocals followed by an amazing high note right before the first verse. Another amazing song. 10/10 07. Before the Storm - great Song. Very melodic singing parts. Could possibly be called a power metal song. 9/10 08. Child of Fire - not one of my favorites on the album, but a catchy riff and great singing make it irresistable. 8/10 09. Roads to Madness - ten minutes long, best vocals on the c.d., best lyrics, best riffs, this song is amazing in everyway. 15/10 Overall this c.d. is an amazing work by an amazing band that I am sad to say has lost a lot if not all of their greatness. With c.d.'s like this however you can just forget about all the bad queensryche after Empire and maybe promised land. If Operation: Mindcrime was so damn good this would be my favorite Queensryche album, but it will just have to take a close second. If it were stolen I would of course buy it again.