Most of this is memory now
I've gone too far to turn back now
I'm not quite what I thought I was but
Then again I may be more
The blood-words promised, I've spoken
Releasing the names from the circle
Maybe I can leave here now and, o
Transcend the boundaries

For now I'm standing here
I'm awaiting this grand transition
The future is but past forgotten
When you're on the road to madness

Time's measure rusts as it crawls
I see its face in the looking glass - stop
This screaming laughter hides the pain of its reality
Black, the door was, was locked I opened
And now I've paid that price ten-fold over
Knowledge - was it worth such torment? Oh
To see the far side of shadow

And still I'm standing here
I'm awaiting this grand transition
I'm a fool in search of wisdom
And I'm on the road to madness
Yes, I'm on the road to madness

I'm awaiting endlessly
Pounding rhythms echo me
Won't you take me somewhere far beyond the void

And still I'm standing here
I'm awaiting this grand transition
Maybe one day, oh I'll meet you, and we'll
We'll walk the roads to madness
Yes, we're on the road to madness

Oh, I think they've come to take me
I hear the voice, but there's no-one to see
I can't scream, too late it's time

{Background, largely unintelligible}

Stay on the course to pass
You'll never find the answer
To a place where darkened angels
Seemed lost but never found
Scream to see the light of
Forming figures fast behind you
Lay the past in the wind to spin
And your fate will sail beyond the open plains
Sail with angels onward
Live or die for the chosen one said
Saber sights cast a spell behind you
And they lock in all around

Free the scene insider
You're never looking back to find why
Ride a course till the end of time
And you'll stand atop the gate
Laying waste in a path recited
Fighting force won't avenge the guided black wing
Oh, electric might poses fright inside me
Seeing light at the end of sight reminds me
I've passed away


Lyrics submitted by Ice, edited by charlie110, adam101541

Roads To Madness song meanings
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10 Comments

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  • +2
    General Comment

    I always saw this song as an amalgamation of H.P. Lovecraft characters. All attempting to search for hidden/forbidden knowledge and only upon finding it they realize their search is not only futile but deadly.

    AdrianDangerouson April 24, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    This song can only really be understood in the context of the rest of the album. It's not quite the concept album of Mindcrime, but it's pretty close. And as with all great QR albums, it's the killer last track that sums things up.

    adam101541on May 07, 2016   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Seems pretty clear that this is written from the perspective of a typical doomed HP Lovecraft or Clark Ashton Smith-type mystic anti-hero. Even the title seems borrowed from Lovecrafts' At the Mouth of Madness.

    It starts with a typical HPL introduction where the figure explains from the beginning that this has already taken place in the past, and he is recounting the events from some changed and maybe unpleasant perspective. He's opened up some occult portal in search of power or secret knowledge, only to discover the truth is too terrible to comprehend without going mad, and he's released some terrible entities from the other side who seek to destroy him for what he's done, and prevent him from using the powers he's tried to gain. He tries to escape, thinking in his madness he can eventually outrun his fate and become the being he sought to be in the first place, but there is nowhere he can go where is isn't pursued. Everywhere he goes (maybe to the end of time and space), he sows insanity and destruction, until he is eventually caught and either destroyed or dragged back to the realm of his phantom pursuers.

    [Edit: because]
    MrScratchon February 17, 2023   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Anyone know what he's reading / speaking in the middle?

    charlie110on March 04, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I\'m sure this tune has a different meaning to about everyone and would refect thoughts of ones beliefs. So to me it is the watchers and the giants having sarrow for teaching Gods children the knoledge of good and evil. Just what it men\'s to me.

    DMizeon December 25, 2021   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I think its about an out of body experience. He gives it away in the very last line "I\'ve passed away" . To me, he begins by describing the moments immediately after death and then the subsequent journey to the Great Beyond. He has thoughts and visions along the way of good and evil and feels he\'s going crazy because he\'s unaware that he\'s dead. Its quite possible that Geoff Tate wrote this while on mushrooms and therfore the reference but I think he\'s really describing frustration with leaving earthly life for the afterlife and feels hes gone crazy until at the end he realizes he\'s dead.

    stomattaon January 30, 2022   Link
  • -1
    General Comment

    Amazing that nobody voiced any opinion on this great classic song. My favorite sone from Queensryche and one of my favorite songs of all time. Whats its about? I'm thinking its about a guy looking into the face of death and kinda wondering what will happen next. He is certain he will die soon so i'm guessing a death sentence. Hell? Heaven? and then the scenerio plays out for both. By the way there are many mistakes in the lyrics

    jaydog2025on July 28, 2006   Link
  • -1
    General Comment

    Maybe it is about the "The Crack in the Cosmic Egg"?

    I also heard it was about the madness of the nuclear arms race, but I like to think it's about the descent into madness of a mathematician going after figuring out some complex formula of dark energy and string theory.

    gruelurkson September 13, 2007   Link
  • -1
    General Comment

    WTF? How does the only guy to guess somewhat correct get voted down? haha. this isnt opinion by the way its fact from GTs own mouth

    The song isnt about shooting up, but it is about drugs. Shrooms to be specific.

    Tate explains this himself during the Building Empires tour introducing the song as being about "something very sily-cybin" referring to psilocybin (shrooms)

    mindcrime30on October 20, 2011   Link
  • -3
    General Comment

    This song is about fuckin heroin and shootin up and shit. Its about junk man.

    pootangmagneton September 13, 2007   Link

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