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1986 – Part 3.2: Queensryche – Rage For Order

“Rage for Order” is the second album by Queensrÿche, released on June 27, 1986.

The Queensryche Cyber Army are really good at keeping the bands Wikipedia pages up to date and super detailed. Everything that can be found on the a internet is included along with print media and newspaper articles.

Go to the Wikipedia page on this album and you’ll get heaps of information.

MTV was becoming a huge promotions vehicle for artists and 1986 was clearly becoming the last year that bands would experiment with the songwriting. After 1986, albums would become very MTV Friendly because all the artists wanted a piece of that pie.

Musically it’s an excellent album. Each song has a riff or a vocal melody that I like. From a song point of view, “Walk In The Shadows” is close to perfect.

Lyrically the album touches on subject matters I’m interested in, like government intrusion and corruption, technology and social issues.

Management and the Label must have felt threatened at the experimental progressive album delivered by the band, so it’s no surprise that there is a cover song, which then became the lead single.

And no one knew how to handle Queensryche.

They had opening spots with Ratt and Bon Jovi (seriously, what the….), AC/DC (good gig to have if you play similar styles but they are very different styles) and maybe the most compatible one in relation to “Metal”, Ozzy Osbourne.

The Tri-Ryche logo makes it’s first appearance as well.

I never understood how this album was ever labeled as a “glam metal” album, but the label had to make them fit somewhere along with some questionable clothing and hairspray.

Queensrÿche is the classic line up of Geoff Tate on vocals, Chris DeGarmo and Michael Wilton on guitars, Eddie Jackson on bass and Scott Rockenfield on drums.

Neil Kernon is Producing, Engineering and Mixing. Man of many hats.

Walk In The Shadows

Written by Chris DeGarmo, Geoff Tate and Michael Wilton.

It’s as good as anything that came from “Operation Mindcrime” and “Empire”.

I’m a big fan of the Intro riff (it’s great to play) and that Chorus is massive.

I Dream in Infrared

Written by Tate and Wilton.

It reminds me of Rush in the Intro and I feel like Crimson Glory took this song and used it as a foundation to build on.

But you need to press play on this for the acoustic guitar arpeggios and the haunting vocal melody from Tate in the verses.

Is it just me or does this track remind you of “Breaking the Silence” and “Waiting for 22” from the “Mindcrime” album?

The Whisper

Written solely by DeGarmo and the Celtic inspired Intro definitely gets me interested. Something that Maiden would use a lot in the Dickinson Part 2 era.

The whole song is what Metal should sound like.

Gonna Get Close to You

A Dalbello cover, although I didn’t know it at the time.

To cover a song from outside the genre you are classified in, is a sign of respect to the artist who wrote it.

Many years later, Lisa Dalbello would do guest vocals on Alex Lifeson’s “Victor” album.

Check out the way the verses are constructed, it feels ominous.

The Killing Words

Written by DeGarmo and Tate.

The keyboard Intro gives way to the guitar, before it goes into a soundtrack like verse. It’s very Marillion like and the vocals remind me of Fish and I like it.

But you’ll be pressing play to this song, for the section when Tate sings “Over”.

Surgical Strike

Written by DeGarmo and Wilton it feels more like a cut from “The Warning”.

And there are sections here which remind of “Speak” and “The Needle Lies”.

Press play for the Outro that begins from 2.40. You won’t be disappointed.

Neue Regel

Written by DeGarmo and Tate.

When I heard “A Perfect Circle” for the first time, I thought of this song. It has all of those atmospheric elements and outside the box sounds and composition elements.

This is how progressive music should sound like and it’s the embryo of what the “Promised Land” album would be.

But press play on this just to hear the power of Geoff Tate.

Chemical Youth (We Are Rebellion)

Written by Tate and Wilton, who brings the heavy metal riffs to the rebellion.

It’s put together in a progressive way as it doesn’t just follow the standard verse and chorus narrative.

London

Written by DeGarmo, Tate and Wilton and it reminds me of the “Mindcrime” album musically and the song “I Don’t Believe In Love”.

It’s got a great Chorus, so press play to hear “London” sound like “Young Boy”.

And then hang around for the harmonies and individual lead breaks.

Screaming in Digital

Written by DeGarmo, Tate and Wilton, musically it also reminds me of different songs from the “Mindcrime” album.

The electronic synths are dominant and Tate is very Peter Gabriel like in the verses.

But press play for the vocal melodies from 2.15 to 2.40 and stick around for the guitar hero lead breaks. And then those unbelievable vocal melodies come back.

I Will Remember

Written by DeGarmo, it has some nice acoustic playing from DeGarmo, a sign of things to come.

It was Certified Gold in the U.S.

To this Australian, it’s a criminally underrated jewel that was way ahead of its time and no one really knew what to do with it.

And I’m not sure if Marillion was an influence to the band at this point in time but goddamn this album reminds me so much of “Script for a Jester’s Tear”. Maybe it’s the similarities in vocal styles between Fish and Tate.

Anyway press play and let the sounds of love, politics and technology wash over you.

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10 thoughts on “1986 – Part 3.2: Queensryche – Rage For Order

  1. This is such a great album. The album was so different than anything else at the time and I have no idea either how they were labeled glam as it is far from it. It is industrial metal before there was such a think (maybe). I saw them open for Leppard on Hysteria Tour and immediately bought Mindcrime and went backwards from there. One of their best IMO.

  2. A fantastic album. Like 2loud I also backed into it after hearing Mindcrime. There aren’t many bands that have an experimental album like this that ranks as one of their best, they kept shifting sounds and getting gold out of it for awhile.

  3. Henrik says:

    My classmate recommended Rage for Order mainly because besides him I was practically the only headbanger in the whole school. Okay, his advise sounded trustworthy so I spent my hard earned and limited budget to LP version. Listened to it a few times. Awestruck, puzzled and a bit pissed off. WTF… this does not sound like your typical Judas Priest, Ozzy, Van Halen, W.A.S.P. or anything alike we were listening in the ’80s.

    I gave it a few more spins and eventually it became one of my all time favorites. BTW, we travelled to Helsinki in 1986 to see Queensrÿche opening for Bon Jovi . We were three guys cheering for the band, surrounded by amongst ~ 6000 teenage girls dumbfounded and totally silent. They did not get it. Strangely named band in full leather and spandex, playing weird music. Not a typical night for Gina dreaming about Tommy.
    https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/queensryche/1986/jaahalli-helsinki-finland-5bd77744.html

    • That’s a nice set list, a best off from the first two albums. It’s definitely a miss match bill with Jovi. When I saw the “Soldier” Queensryche version in Australia, they played quite a few songs from Rage For Order so I was definitelya happy camper.

  4. I bought this when it came out and it confused me. lol I was not ready for this kind of metal from them coming after the EP and The Warning. Now in 2021 I can appreciate what they were doing but great call Pete on saying that no one knew how to handle them.

  5. Hey what’s up people. Don’t know if all you readers/commenters are all from Australia, but myself, I’m from across the world here in NYC. Sharing this because back in the mid-80s my friends and I basically lived at a club here in Brooklyn, NY called L’amour (the Rock Capitol of Brooklyn) as it was affectionately known on many a metalhead’s T-shirt. And we were there when Queensryche played there back to back nights in mid ’85 off of “The Warning” album, then again in ’87 for the Rage tour. Being a huge ‘Ryche fan back then it was surprising, to say the least, their new “outfits” for the Rage for Order album & tour. And this is where I guess the stupid ‘glam metal’ phrase gets pinned on them because they did look pretty ridiculous, hairspray, dyed hair & goofy clothing. But regardless of their new look, the music was still unbelievable & totally unique in the age of mid 80s hard rock, the bastard metal sons of Rush & Pink Floyd as we used to say. So I just wanted to share a brief snippet of how it was to be with these guys from the beginning, first time I heard “queen of the reich” I was like, wtf! And who knew Operation Mindcrime was coming down the road on the next album…Man, how many times I listened to that album & watched those videos, praying for a Pink Floyd The Wall type full length movie for it. Anyway very cool reading your thoughts on this interesting, unique album. Take care…
    Bubba
    https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/queensryche/1985/lamour-brooklyn-ny-33c76831.html
    https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/queensryche/1987/lamour-brooklyn-ny-73c4dea9.html

    • Hey thanks for sharing. I remember reading about the Club and I have a few bootlegs of gigs recorded there. Actually I was listening to a White Lion boot from there recently.

      And your right about the goofiness look they had in Rage For Order. They played an intellectual brand of Metal and the label wanted em dressed like Motley Crue. What the????

      • Bubba says:

        Glad to share w/ some like minded Hard Rock fans. Funny that you mention White Lion, we saw them there at L’amour many times. L’amour back then was rock club royalty and the place to play in the NY area for hard rock & metal bands. When you got to the level of selling out L’amour, that’s when it seemed a band was really about to explode. Imagine a triple bill for 3 nites in ’85 of Metallica off the Ride the Lightning album, WASP & Armored Saint…one of my big regrets missing that show.

        Vito Bratta, White Lion’s guitarist was from Staten Island, went to the same high school as me, Msgr Farrell catholic HS here in SI. So they played L’amour alot when they were coming up, almost monthly it seemed. I have the original “Fight to Survive” vinyl album that I either bought after a show or at the local metal record store here on Staten Island. Vito is kind of the RnR Howard Hughes, dropped out of the music industry and word around here has it that he’s part owner of a pizzeria here still on the Island. What a great guitar player he was & I remember 1st time seeing him with that weird headless guitar, Steinberger, but the guy was tasty as shit & could shred too…

        Yeah those mid-late 80s hard rock outfits/costumes got so ridiculous. Dokken was another band, Tooth & Nail is an excellent hard rock/metal album, George Lynch is phenomenal on it. And then you get Under Lock & Key, and the “outfit” disease hit them too.

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