Last week, we reviewed Queen's debut album, the self-titled Queen. The band's powerful and operatic sound got off to a firm running on the record, Freddie Mercury already beginning to build upon powerful themes and even some more mystical ones as he began to tell a story in another world on the record.
Queen continued to build a fantastic world in Queen II, their sound getting more magical and even a bit more risky with their next effort. The album was released only a year later but it's still packed full of powerful music and great lyricism that really planted Queen's footing firmly in the temple of rock and further proved that they were masterful songwriters.
Queen II doesn't begin quite as energetically as the band's debut, but it works just as effectively. 'Procession' begins the record with a dramatic kick drum that syncs up to your heartbeat adding personal depth to it from the very start, haunting guitars slowly kicking in with a sort of medieval flair to it. 'Father and Son' kicks the album into overdrive, its warm synth intro bringing in rolling riffs and epic vocal delivery by Mercury. It continues anthemically and in parts as any Queen song would, and it's one of few songs that can boast that it does a fade-out ending the right way.
Queen II is much more story-centric than the previous album, most tracks taking place in the fantastical world of Rhye. 'White Queen (As It Began)' acts as a song that adds more history and details to the world, its mysterious sound and smart composition really making it feel like a well crafted story. The warm and sweet tone of 'Some Day One Day' follows it, before things begin getting more chaotic. In any film, the soundtrack often adds dynamic to the more intense parts of the action. Queen manages to create an epic picture while maintaining the action and a solid song, most well done in 'Ogre Battle,' where the chaos and triumph really capture the essence of battle while the song still remains sonically impressive. 'The Fairy Feller's Magical Stroke' adds more fantastical elements to the world with its angelic composition, while the combination of the sweet piano ballad 'Nevermore' and the epic 'The March Of The Black Queen' with its flawless transitions between parts and grand, cinematic soundscape add more drama and depth to the world.
It's not easy to build a concept album that revolves around a world completely crafted from your own mind, but Queen nailed it out of the park. Queen continued to build a fantastic world in Queen II, adding more depth to the world and brilliantly capturing every moment and scene in some awesome tracks. It even brings you out on a sort of triumphant note, 'Seven Seas Of Rhye' having you sail off into the sunset in a triumphant and celebratory way rather than the foreboding way in the debut. Queen is a band with a legacy that can never quite be matched, as evidenced by the brilliance of their first two record. This band did more in their first two albums than some can say they have in a career worth of them.
Favorite Tracks: The March Of The Black Queen, White Queen (As It Began), Father To Son, Ogre Battle
Least Favorite Tracks: The Loser In The End
Rating: 84 / 100
Stream or buy Queen II on Apple Music: