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Operation: Mindcrime II is the ninth studio album by the American progressive metal band Queensrÿche. It is a concept album and the sequel to the group's 1988 release, Operation: Mindcrime. The album was released on April 4, 2006 in the United States, (March 29, 2006 release in Japan, March 31 in Germany, April 3 rest of world) on the Rhino Entertainment label. The lead single, "I'm American," was performed by Queensrÿche during their 2005 tour in support of Judas Priest.
The album resumes the story of Nikki, a drug-addicted political revolutionary assassin who was arrested for the murder of enslaved prostitute-nun Sister Mary at the end of Operation: Mindcrime. As Operation: Mindcrime II begins, 18 years later, Nikki is released from prison and begins to plot his revenge against Dr. X, the manipulative villain of the first album.
Vocalist Pamela Moore reprised her role as Sister Mary for the album, while the role of Dr. X (played by actor Anthony Valentine on the first album) was taken over by heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio.
Following the split between Geoff Tate and the rest of Queensrÿche in 2012, it was revealed in a sworn declaration by producer Jason Slater that the album received very limited contributions from the band members aside from Tate and Mike Stone. Much of the music was recorded by studio musicians, due to conflicts between Tate and his band mates. Drummer Scott Rockenfield did not play on the album at all, while most of the guitars, including Michael Wilton's tracks, were re-recorded by engineer Mitch Doran. Some of the bass tracks used are demo recordings played by Slater, while the drum track to "I'm American" is a MIDI recording made by Doran that was not originally intended for use on the final album.
The album debuted on the Billboard 200 album chart at No. 14, the highest chart position for a Queensrÿche album since Promised Land peaked at No. 3 in 1994. The tracks "I'm American" and "The Hands" have been released as singles with accompanying videos.
The story picks up 18 years after the events of Operation: Mindcrime, on the day that Nikki is released from prison. During his incarceration, Nikki has been unable to let go of his hatred for Dr. X, who has since become rich and powerful. Nikki still harbors resentment against the American government, which he still views as corrupt and beyond saving. The training (or brainwashing) he received from Dr. X still has a strong hold over Nikki, but he is conflicted nonetheless. While he still feels the need to carry out his revolutionary mission, his thoughts drift to Mary.
Nikki lands himself in trouble with the law once again, and at his trial his pleas for mercy and leniency are lost on a judge and jury still remembering his past crimes. This only deepens his disdain for the government, the legal system and Dr. X, whom he blames for all of his problems. After Nikki escapes and finds himself yet again on the run from the law, his own need for revenge coupled by a vision of Mary's ghost turns his thoughts toward killing Dr. X.
As a confrontation gets closer, Nikki starts to have doubts. He questions himself and wonders if it isn’t really his own fault that his life is as bad as it is. Nikki does finally track down Dr. X and kills him. Wondering whether the killing has really made anything better, Nikki becomes further consumed by doubt and despair. The ghost of Mary appears again and angrily exhorts Nikki to kill himself. He starts to think that he is insane and commits suicide. As the album ends, Nikki's spirit is reunited with Mary's, and together they reflect that the only times they were happy were in the moments they were together.
The story of Operation: Mindcrime II was also expanded on with video and actors during Queensrÿche's live performance of the album.
|1.||"Freiheit Ouvertüre"||Eddie Jackson, Jason Slater, Mike Stone||1:35|
|3.||"I'm American"||Slater, Stone, Tate||2:53|
|4.||"One Foot in Hell"||Slater, Stone, Tate||4:12|
|5.||"Hostage"||Jackson, Tate, Michael Wilton||4:29|
|6.||"The Hands"||Slater, Tate, Wilton||4:36|
|7.||"Speed of Light"||Slater, Stone, Tate||3:12|
|8.||"Signs Say Go"||Slater, Stone, Tate||3:16|
|9.||"Re-Arrange You"||Slater, Stone, Tate||3:11|
|10.||"The Chase"||Slater, Stone, Tate||3:09|
|11.||"Murderer?"||Slater, Tate, Wilton||4:33|
|12.||"Circles"||Jackson, Slater, Tate||2:58|
|13.||"If I Could Change It All"||Slater, Stone, Tate||4:27|
|14.||"An Intentional Confrontation"||Slater, Stone, Tate||2:32|
|15.||"A Junkie's Blues"||Slater, Stone, Tate||3:41|
|16.||"Fear City Slide"||Slater, Stone, Tate||4:58|
|17.||"All the Promises"||Slater, Stone, Tate||5:10|
- Band members
- Geoff Tate - vocals
- Michael Wilton - guitars
- Mike Stone - guitars, vocals
- Eddie Jackson - bass guitar, vocals
- Scott Rockenfield - drums
- Additional musicians
- Jason Slater - bass, additional drums, backing vocals
- Mitch Doran - guitars, additional drums, backing vocals, MIDI programming on "I'm American"
- Ashif Hakik - orchestration, keyboards, guitars
- Matt Lucich - drums
- Miranda Tate - backing vocals on "The Hands"
- Jason Slater - production, recording and mixing
- Mitch Doran - engineer
- Chris Wolfe - mixing
- John Greenham - mastering
|2006||Billboard 200 (USA)||14|
|Billboard Top Internet Albums(USA)||14|
|Swedish Albums Chart||18|
|Finnish Albums Chart||26|
|Norwegian Albums Chart||27|
|Oricon Japanese Albums Charts||27|
|Dutch Albums Chart||35|
|German Albums Chart||51|
|Swiss Albums Chart||59|
|Ultratop Belgian Charts||97|