Notable track: “Walk in the Shadows” Geoff Tate’s voice full of menace and self-loathing (“Our secret’s safe for one more night… But when the morning comes, remember–I’ll be with you.”)
A ton of early/mid-20s self-loathing, hating the relationship we’re in yet unable to get out vibe to this record, but it also solves Queensrÿche’s primary (if only at the time) flaw: they’re borderline fruity/too abstract progressive metal, in danger of disappearing up their own butt, BUT: the anger (“Rage”?) present in this record (and in Operation: Mindcrime, though already diminishing to an appreciable extent in Empire) makes it a Truly Great Record, one immune to age and trends, one that can be as appreciable in 2011 as in 1986.
The first side (fucking records and cassettes, how do they work?) is perfect: the second not nearly as, but still great. “I Dream In Infrared” with its haunting, gut-wrenching lyrics (“When you woke this morning, and opened up your eyes… did you notice the tear stains lining your face were mine?” and “I even feel alone when you’re near, ’cause you… never understand. When we first met, I must’ve seemed… a million miles away. Strange, how our lives have touched, but… the time is right… I leave tonight… don’t look in my eyes ’cause you’ve never seen them so black….”)