Man, I don’t know what to say. Well, almost.
Geoff Tate is one of the biggest voices of metal and hardrock. Or, rather, he was. It’s long been established that his voice is a shadow of what it used to be. Mind you, that’s not unique. Halford isn’t what he used to be, Dickinson isn’t either. So be it, that’s natural. There are, however, differences that do not speak in Tate’s favour.
There’s the whole mess with the trials and all that. What happened there I’m not sure of, and don’t really care. But what I do care about is that the last album Tate and Queensrÿche did together, ‘Dedicated to Chaos’, was a complete misery. And my hunch says that Tate had a lot to do with that. And then clinging on to past glories by naming his new band after the most incredible album by his former band just seems…well, sad.
I remember my writer colleague Kenn being quite pleased with the first Operation:Mindcrime album, ‘The Key’ (2015). I must admit that I haven’t listened to it, although I probably should have. No matter, I haven’t, and my outset will simply be the new album by Tate, former Queensrÿche guitarist (and now bass player) Kelly Gray, guitarist Scott Moughton, drummer Scott Mercado and a host of guest musicians (most notably Dave Ellefson, TIm Owens and Blaze Bayley).
Somewhat oddly, ‘Ressurection’ begins with three songs that aren’t songs. They’re more like noises and soundbites. At best, it reminds you of the beginning of the Mindcrime album. So far, so good. Now we get something powerful and solid, right? No, not really.
Imagine Queensrÿche material somewhere between ‘Tribe’ and ‘American Soldier’. And then add songs that simply don’t hold up. They go nowhere. Tate adds little to raising the quality of the album as he more than anything talks his way through ‘Resurrection’.
There is one exception to this middle-of-the-road material. Taking on the World, the tune where Ripper Owens and Bayley lend their vocal cords to Operation:Mindcrime, the ninth song of the album, is where there’s finally some power to be had! Except…the songs actually messy and Ripper and Blaze don’t at all get enough space in the soundscape.
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much, but still, I can’t help being disappointed. ‘Resurrection’ isn’t what the title says. Sadly.
02. When All Fall Away
03. A Moment in Time
04. Through the Noize
05. Left for Dead
06. Miles Away
07. Healing my Wounds
08. The Fight
09. Taking on the World
11. A Smear Campaign
12. Which Side You’re On
13. Into the Hands of the World
14. Live from my Machine
Playing time: 63 minutes
Release date: 23rd of September, 2017
Label: Frontiers Records