Queensrÿche originally opted for the purely metal umlaut to soften its image: Queensreich comes with some unfortunate neo-Nazi connotations. What resulted was the '80s metal band's entry into a rock canon of epic and grammatically misguided proportions: Motörhead, Mötley Crüe and even the fictional Spi¨nal Tap share the German trema, but none of the above has changed direction as many times as Queensrÿche. When Operation: Mindcrime came out in 1988, the heavy-metal concept album announced its creators, four albums in, as a dark force to be taken seriously. Its successor, 1990's Empire, was gloomy but commercially successful proof that mood can be translated to the masses. Today, at lucky No. 13 albums into its discography, Queensrÿche continues to follow up its early concepts with modern, unexpected and occasionally unwarranted responses.
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