It’s hard to believe it was 20 years ago that Queensryche released Empire. Since then it’s been re-issued with bonus tracks in 2003 and again as a 2 disc set in early November 2010. I think it has a fresh sound in 2010 as it did back in 1990. It’s been widely accepted as a logical step evolution wise from their critically acclaimed and beloved by the fans, Operation Mindcrime. The evolution continued onward in 1994 with Promised Land but I’ll leave that for another time, probably in time for it’s 20th anniversary.
The 2003 remaster, vastly improved the sound and I hear new sounds unheard before. They simply topped their original mix with an amazing result. The band line-up remained the same as previous releases. This was Queensryche breakthrough to the mainstream world but that never stopped them from experimenting later on in their catalog.
My favorite tracks then and now are “Best I Can”, “The Tin Line”, “Empire”, “Resistance”, “Silent Lucidity”, "One And Only", “Anybody Listening?” and from the 2003 bonus tracks “Last Time In Paris“. The rest of the tracks are good, just not played as much as the songs mentioned above.
If you are a fan of Empire and don’t have the 2003 remastered edition, shame on you. Go get it now! Needless to say, I have to highly recommend Empire to the fans and those new to the band. Simply an essential album!
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on November 5th, 2010