EMI seems to be eager to make a few extra bucks off Queensryche. A new live album has been released, with an accompanying DVD, and the label also decided to re-release the 1991 "Operation Livecrime" CD + VHS video boxset in the shape of a separate CD and DVD. Especially the latter is interesting, because it showed the band at the very peak of their career. I saw them during the tour, and they've never been better before or since.

The DVD contains the full live performance of the "Operation Mindcrime" album, such as performed during two nights in Madison, Wisconsin, USA. It's identical to the VHS release, meaning you've got a well-filmed, well-played performance that will send many shivers up and down your spine. The tracks included never fail to impress, and "Suite Sister Mary" is a joy to listen and watch. The same as the VHS? Not quite. The DVD features Dolby 5.1 Surround sound, which is pretty good. I'd bought a Dolby 5.1/DTS system a week before getting this DVD, and at the moment I still have to get used to 'regular' sound sources (i.e. music) being played in surround sound. The low sounds always seem to come from a place you don't expect, making for a slightly unbalanced listening experience. It might be just me, though I have no problem at all with movies using such Surround sound.

I feel slightly misled a bit, though. The packaging mentions two hidden bonus tracks, but neglects to mention that these are sound only (though Dolby 5.1 Surround). When I bought the DVD I had hoped these would be "Roads to Madness" and "The Lady Wore Black" (such as on the re-released audio CD, review coming soon), but complete with the concert visuals. I was right about the tracks (oops, should have warned you there was a spoiler...) but, alas, sound only.

Other than that, the DVD contains bonus footage in the shape of a new Geoff Tate interview (of limited interest, obviously), a bonus fan photo gallery and the original box booklet on the DVD.

Although I have mixed feelings about this, it is a pretty excellent offering.

Click here to check out or buy this DVD



Written November 2001


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