I initially listened to this album about a year ago, as part of my reviewing cycle, while I was driving around on The Big Island in Hawaii. At that time, I felt a compelling need to play this album again and again in my CD player. Of course, I only had a limited number of discs with me but giving this album company was Queensryche's Operation Mindcrime and until I sat down to write down this review, I never realised why the two albums went along so well. Like with Operation Mindcrime, one of my favourite albums ever, Tyranny is an ambitious concept album which combines fierce and aggressive progressive metal with a biting anarchistic edge. And like with Operation Mindcrime demands your complete attention to grasp all its nuances.
The story in this album involves one man's struggle to find his identity, in an Orwellian world. Lyrically and musically the album is as good as any concept album I've heard, with flamboyant keyboard and guitar solos to complement a searing rhythm section. The vocals in my mind come close to, but don't entirely match, the virtuoso keyboard and guitar work, but I think that's just me. This album ranks as one of the finest and sadly, given the popularity of progressive metal today (or lack thereof), it probably will be missed by many. Don't let that be you.