Nonplussing, frustrating, not very good, all of the above...
It’s seven years now since Geoff Tate was involved in the making of a great record – Queensrÿche’s American Soldier opus – and unfortunately Resurrection doesn’t alter that stat.
Resurrection isn’t an unlistenable record, you understand, but it is very hard to listen to. Like most latter day Tate releases, there’s an awful lot of wading through treacle to be done to get to any good stuff, a lot of tiresomely gratuitous sax solos to be endured in order to get some decent rock into the ears. On Resurrection It’s track seven before anything resembling a decent tune wafts out of the speakers, and I fear that by then many uncommitted listeners will have drifted off to sleep or gone and done something more rewarding.
When the good tunes do arrive, they arrive in a slew, with Healing My Wounds, The Fight and Taking on the World all being better than anything that made the cut on the first O: M album. Take on the World is even recognisable as the sort of thing Queensrÿche might have released back in the day, a song with a beginning, middle and end and clearly defined verses and choruses! Add in guest contributions from Tate’s new best mates Ripper Owens and Blaze Bailey and you have something actually quite pleasant.
Why Tate can’t produce more of this kind of straightahead tunefulness is anyone’s guess, but his wilful desire to make his albums more ‘progressive’ or ‘cerebral’ than the blokes plying their trade under the ‘rÿche banner these days does neither the artist or the listener any favours. The man still has a voice, still clearly has the ability to pen a melodic metal tune when the spirit moves him, so why on earth does he not do it more often?
Invincible has its moments, and a very good solo – I can’t tell you who plays it as the record label only supply a stream with minimal information about who does what, more’s the pity – and A Smear Campaign starts heavily before becoming one of those tedious exercises in talk singing that Tate spends so much time indulging in these days. It’s truly flabbergasting the way the man seems hell bent on wrecking his own material with all this extraneous dreck, when a little bit of focus is all that’s required as evidenced by Take on the World.
Still, he’s the artist, I’m just an amateur reviewer, so who knows best? But I’m also a punter, and I don’t think I’ll be availing Operation: Mindcrime of any more of my hard-earned in the future unless something quite fundamental changes.