The Heavy Metal award for Least Promising Start goes to Queensryche. They came from Seattle long before it was voguish to do so, sounded like an operatic Judas Priest and, with The Warning (1984), charted for just one week in the UK Top 100- at No.100.

But the band (who'd debuted with 1983's EP 'Queen Of The Reich') secured a loyal following with 1985's sophisticated Rage For Order and 1988's compellingly conceptual Operation: Mindcrime (hence 1991's CD/video package Operation:livecrime).

By the time of Empire (1990), they'd ditched an ill-advised Glam image and were rewarded with the hit 'Silent Lucidity' and triple-platinum album sales. Royally aloof from prevailing trends, they finally looked like the 'Pink Floyd of Heavy Metal' that reviewers had labelled them from the start- hence platinum sales for Promised Land (1994) even after a lengthy lay-off. However, after Hear In The New Frontier (1997), the band's first ever line-up change- the exit of guitarist Chris DeGarmo- put their future in question.