Heavy Metal isn’t known for its social commentary. Yet here’s a song by a metal band that deals with police brutality, drug dealing, gang warfare, and the two-sided face of the American war on drugs.
It’s an interesting effort, putting the epic power chords and squealing guitar solos of 80s hard rock next to grungy, 90s psychedelia – think Van Halen meets Soundgarden. Queensryche are fairly typical of this ‘progressive metal’, and certainly the among the most famous.
“Empire” is the title track of Queensryche’s fourth album, released in 1990.