I-Land is where memories and experiences turn into short stories, personal journal entries and narration in first person, part memoir, part fiction, exploring topics such as the relation between humans and the societies they live in.

Queensryche – Operation: Mindcrime

One of the best albums in rock music history. Operation: Mindcrime by Seattle’s Queensryche.

It came out twenty-eight years ago, and, fuck, it still sizzles. Prog rock with a lot more emphasis on the rock part, keeping the album listenable and flowing, with just enough prog elements in there to make it exciting and smart and original. The guitars building up around march-paced snare drums weaved around rising bass lines and synths that fill in the gaps, and an infectious groove that springs into an array of guitar licks and people screaming in protest and dreamy acoustic parts and crazy hi-hats that explode into a tune that takes you a thousand places in one concentrated punch of lyricism and passion combined.

The verses, hot and poignant as hell, still ringing true and relevant today, twenty-eight years after its release.

‘For a price I’d do about anything
Except pull the trigger
For that I’d need a pretty good cause’

It sets us up nicely …

‘Then I heard of Dr. X
The man with the cure
Just watch the television
Yeah, you’ll see there’s something going on’

So far so good, and now, time for some crunchers:

‘Got no love for politicians
Or that crazy scene in D.C.
It’s just a power mad town’

This song isn’t pulling any punches,

‘But the time is ripe for changes
There’s a growing feeling
That taking a chance on a new kind of vision is due’

This song is making a statement. A pretty big one, too. Can it deliver?

‘I used to trust the media
To tell me the truth, tell us the truth’

This in 1988. It seems like the media have been playing their dirty games for a long time.

‘But now I’ve seen the payoffs
Everywhere I look
Who do you trust when everyone’s a crook?’

Wow! Who do you trust when EVERYONE’s a crook! First zinger. No holds barred.

‘Revolution calling
Revolution calling
Revolution calling you
(There’s a) Revolution calling
Revolution calling
Gotta make a change
Gotta push, gotta push it on through’

And we settle back down to a mid-pace drum beat, with the pounding bass bringing up the rear, setting us up for another go,

‘I’m tired of all this bullshit
They keep selling me on T.V.
About the communist plan’

The communists were nasty pieces of work, we have to admit that, but the media weren’t so far behind themselves,

‘And all the shady preachers
Begging for my cash
Swiss bank accounts while giving their
Secretaries the slam’

Boom! That’s the kind of attitude we’re dealing with, up high in the corridors of power and influence,

And it gets better,

‘They’re all in Penthouse now
Or Playboy magazine, million dollar stories to tell’

No such thing as bad news in a publicity culture, right? everything’s a story, a marketing angle, a deal,

‘I guess Warhol wasn’t wrong
Fame fifteen minutes long
Everyone’s using everybody, making the sale’

And it goes on to this day, just as it did three decades ago,

‘I used to think
That only America’s way, way was right’

You weren’t the only one, bro,

‘But now the holy dollar rules everybody’s lives
Gotta make a million doesn’t matter who dies’

Ain’t that the sorry truth!

‘Revolution calling
Revolution calling
Revolution calling you
(There’s a) Revolution calling
Revolution calling
Gotta make a change
Gotta push, gotta push it on through’

Every line a singeing blast of truth. Every verse an undeniable statement, a declaration of awareness. We see how it works, Queensryche scream, we’re pointing it out for you to look back on and understand that you’re not alone, that we’ve seen what you now see, what you’re going through, it’s been happening for some time, and you have to keep pointing it out and working around it until you make your way through,

‘Revolution calling
Revolution calling
Revolution calling you’

An astounding album! Simply ferocious. It’s all about the buildup and delivery, the passion and the pace combined with a sizzling story about a junkie called Nikki, a prostitute/nun called Mary, and a villain called Dr. X — something about this combination of ingredients that creates a classic piece of musical storytelling. Sizzling guitars, compounding drums, a jogging bass, passionate vocals and virtuoso guitar solos, a convocation of rhythm and tone tempered with smarts and meaning that come together in a whirlwind of angst and energy about a man lost inside a world gone mad, looking for an exit, finding love, and then, well, let’s just say that the Pink Floyd influences from The Wall era are not limited to the acoustic guitars and the synthesizers. The Orwellian theme is very strong, and so are the verses, hot and poignant as hell, still ringing true and relevant today, twenty-eight years after the album’s release.

‘(There’s a) Revolution calling
Revolution calling
Gotta make a change
Gotta push, gotta push it on through’

Anarchy-X
Revolution Calling

The opening tunes in

Operation: Mindcrime

One of the best albums in rock history.

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