Next review: » Operation: Mindcrime - The Key
Released: 2016, Frontiers Records
Progressive metal pariah Geoff Tate is back again. 2015 saw the debut release of his Operation: Mindcrime project, THE KEY, and it was decidedly unloved by the metal community. I was actually one of the few defenders of the album, giving it a 3.5/5 here on MR. It wasn’t a perfect album by any means but I felt it showed promise for the future. Well, fast forward a year; the future is now and whatever potential was built up on THE KEY is summarily flushed down the drain on sophomore album, RESURRECTION.
First, the minutiae. Once again a host of guest musicians have assisted Tate in building this album; largely the same crew as the first album. Notably, Tim “Ripper” Owens and Blaze Bayley provide guest vocals on “Taking on the World”, which is actually one of the best songs on the album. But I’m getting ahead of myself a little bit…
The album starts off on an annoying foot with not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR INTRO TRACKS. What the hell? The first real song is “Left for Dead”. After all the build up, the song actually begins and sounds like it might actually explode into a heavy rocker…but it doesn’t happen. It’s actually one of the more rocking songs on the album, even if it is mid-paced, but it doesn’t provide the release needed after four intro tracks. Really, that’s the story of the album in a nut shell: lots of build up, but no cathartic explosion. It’s musical blue balls.
As the album progresses, it becomes obvious that it’s a further exploration of the Pink Floydian prog that dotted THE KEY. In a word, boring. Unless you are a huge fan of that style (I’m not), the middle and back half of the album will put you to sleep. By the time the jazz-influenced sections come later in the album, most listeners will have tuned out completely.
Positives? “Taking on the World” rocks and the trio vocals work perfectly; Blaze Bayley in particular sounding excellent. While the guitar work is largely a nadir, I was consistently impressed with the bass guitar throughout the album, which is a good thing as it is mixed way to the front. And…well, that’s about it really. As I said early, RESURRECTION completely fails to deliver on the promise I heard one short year ago and I highly doubt this album will be looked on favorably by Tate’s shrinking fan base. Sigh.
2. When All Falls Away
3. A Moment in Time
4. Through the Noize
5. Left for Dead
6. Miles Away
7. Healing My Wounds
8. The Fight
9. 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
Geoff Tate: Vocals, Keyboards, Saxophone
Kelly Gray: Lead and Rhythm Guitar, Bass
Randy Gane: Keyboards
Scott Moughton: Lead & Rhythm Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Bass
Simon Wright: Drums
Brian Tichy: Drums
Scott Mercado: Drums
Blaze Bayley and Tim Owens: Vocals on “Taking on the World”
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