The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

ALBUM Review

Frontiers Records | Release Date: September 23 2016


BOOKS & DVD'S 2009-2014 

Like any ‘singer and band part ways’ story the Geoff Tate and Queensrche saga will be playing out for years, but acrimony and law suits aside one thing is clear musically Queensryche 2016 and Operation Mindcrime 2016 are miles apart. On one hand we see Queensryche the band continue with new singer Todd La Torre (who we interviewed earlier this month ahead of Australian dates) and take a step back in time sonically to the heavier genesis of the band; one the other Tate continues to deliver us lush, packed and interesting sundscapes more akin t the experiemtation of a Metalic Bowie than annything Queensryche attemptedwith him at the helm. If you want Metal and power there realy only is one choice but with the bands both so at odds you wonder if there isn’t room in fans hearts for the both of them?

The issue Tate has is that like first release ‘The Key’ this second installment of the as yet unnamed trilogy of albums (about something to do with virtual currencies, internet banking and stock trading.) is patchy. Like ‘The Key’ it has its stronger moments, its subtleties, its intricacies and its compelling narrative but like that album it also leaves you wanting more, and at times that more is a thinly veiled desire for something weightier and by weightier we don’t mean verbose.

After the intro track ’Ressurrection’ segues into the rather moody and confused ‘When all Falls Away’ replete with spacey keyboards and clocking in shy of two and a half minutes you do for a moment wonder if this is going to be an instrumental album,or maybe a series of opening tracks before a huge epic. It’s an interesting gambit to start a rock album this way and the Peter Murphy-like ‘A Moment in Time’ that follows does have lyrics but lasts just 30 seconds. Three tracks four and a half minutes and just a handfu of lyrics,what is going on?

‘Through the Noise’ adds just over a minute to the run time and you begin to realise why the press reliase was litte more than potted bio and teaser...

Whena ‘real’ song comes away it’s in the form of ‘Left For Dead’ a rather tepid new age electronic rock saunter that falls between as many stools as you coud rest it on. It’s not that its a bad song (and it does grow on you) it’s just that it‘s not quite frankly worth sitting through the opening four numbers to get to.

‘Miles Away’ is one of the best tracks here and as its a light mid tempo melodic progressive rock jaunt, sure it’s nice enough, but unlikely to have you ruching out to hear more; ‘Healing My Wounds’ that follows is atospheric and similarly light and even more expansive and that is kind of the album in a nutshell: subdued, laid back, effavescent but just floating over the surface and not really landing a touch let alone a punch.

Of course there are moments – like on ‘The Key’ before it, the first single ‘A Smear Campaign’ is the best track here, though the gentle soaring melodic rock of ‘The Fight’ is my particular favourite. The expansive and epic ‘Invincible’ is retty cool too.

Elsewhere things are gentler, even more subdued, almost like a dream diary with a handful of things half remembered thrown upfront. Unusually for Tate who always seems to thing in ‘wholes’ its still those opening four parts of songs that jar and leave a slightly bitter taste that is only partialy remedied by some of the fine moments that follow.


by The Buffman



Want a release reviewed? Want to let us know about your album? Contact us now

For reviews of live shows, head to our LIVE REVIEWS is a proud supporter of local live music and unsigned bands