Title: The Warning
Warning -- (Tate/Wilton)
Key Tracks: NM 156, Roads to Madness, Take Hold of the Flame
Notes: The Warning was the first full band collaboration between vocalist Geoff Tate and the rest of the group. Tate's more art rock leanings meshed with the heavy metal influences of the band to create its own subgenre of intelligent rock music labeled "progressive heavy metal." Cuts such as "NM 156" and "Roads to Madness" illustrate the blend well, featuring tempo and mood changes. The lyrics are inspired by the scare of nuclear war, and what society would be like in the event of such devastation.
The album also marked the band's first collaboration with the late composer Michael Kamen, who would do orchestral arrangements on The Warning and many songs in Queensryche's future, including "Silent Lucidity."
Interesting fact: The tracklist above was not approved of by the band. The original running order featured "NM 156" as the lead track, with "Warning" preceding "Roads to Madness." The latter song ends on the same sound effect/note as "NM 156" begins with, giving the record a circular presentation.
In addition, "Deliverance" and "No Sanctuary" were flip-flopped, so the latter track was #3 on the record, and "Deliverance" was placed right before "Take Hold of the Flame." The record was remixed and the tracks re-arranged by Val Garay at the behest of EMI Records who wanted the first single -- "Warning" -- to be the album's opening cut. The originally approved version with the original mix and track order now only exists on the band's personal demo cassettes, according to Michael Wilton (see image).
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