Just to make one thing perfectly clear: Geoff Tate is one of my absolute favourite metal vocalists of all time, and granted not everything he has been involved in has been of the highest calibre. And his voice might not be as strong as it was earlier on in his career. But this is clearly one of the better albums he has done since leaving Queensrÿche.
I will leave out all the talk, and the turmoil that let up to the foundation of Operation: Mindcrime, and let the music do the talking! Joining Tate on this musical adventure are some very familiar faces, as well as some new ones: bass players Dave Ellefson (Megadeth, Metal Allegiance) and John Moyer (Disturbed, Adrenaline Mob), drummers Simon Wright (AC/DC), Scott Mercado (Candlebox) and Brian Tichy (Billy Idol, Ozzy Osbourne), guitarists Kelly Gray (Queensrÿche) and Scott Moughton (Geoff Tate), keyboardist Randy Gane (Myth) and vocalist Mark Daly (The Voodoos).
“The Key” is the first part of a musical trilogy, a journey that takes us down familiar grounds soundwise and vocally. Musically it’s situated somewhere between “Empire and “Promised Land”, all wrapped in an up-to-date sound and more current influences are also embedded in the sound.
Has he created a masterpiece that makes you all think of old Queensrÿche? An album that can be spoken of along side the great ones he was an orchestral part of? No he hasn’t, and to be honest, no-one would or could expect that – but he has created a very solid heavy metal album, with it’s ups and downs.
Vocally he stays on solid ground, delivering his strongest and most diverse performance in many years. I am sure there will be doubters, haters and even lovers. The album will split the fans once more, simply because he has such a strong legacy to live up to…
I like the album a lot, and whether or not it’s better than the up-coming Queensrÿche release doesn’t matter to me! All that matter is that this is a very strong album from Mr. Tate.
Do give it a listen…
- Choices (3:43)
- Burn (3:54)
- Re-Inventing the Future (4:46)
- Ready to Fly (3:51)
- Discussions in a Smoke Filled Room (1:49)
- Life or Death? (4:59)
- The Stranger (3:56)
- Hearing Voice (5:48)
- On Queue (4:59)
- An Ambush of Sadness (1:45)
- Kicking in the Door (3:10)
- The Fall (6:34)
Playing time: 49:26
Release date: September 18, 2015
Label: Frontiers Records