REVIEW: OPERATION: MINDCRIME – “Resurrection”
Dawn 'Mama Love' Brown
Since the early 80’s, Geoff Tate has been an iconic name in progressive metal. Ranked in the top 20 of the 100 Greatest Metal Vocalists of All Time by Hit Parader Magazine, Geoff and his various iterations have enjoyed global success. From the very first Queensryche EP released back in 1982, to his most recent effort, ‘Resurrection’, a progressive rock tour de force which attempts to overwhelm the listener as well as create a sort of calm. Rock ‘n Relax, maybe?
As any fan of Geoff’s well knows, he had a falling out with his original band, Queensryche, several years ago which culminated in his departure from the band. As any music fan knows, a true musician will continue to make music regardless of the circumstances. So, knowing Geoff the way his fans do, we knew it wouldn’t take long before we heard more from him. With his unending desire to create magic, he formed his new band, Operation: Mindcrime, a 7-member ensemble consisting of Geoff and his legendary vocals, John Moyer on bass, Simon Wright and Brian Tichy on drums and percussion, Kelly Gray and Scott Moughton on guitars and Randy Gane on keyboards. The combination of talent present within this band blossoms into an unreserved journey to progressive land which may, or may not, pique the interest of Queensryche fans. Fans of Tate’s solo efforts will find many similarities and the album is a standout on its own, but it also lacks much of the metal edge of Tate’s earlier work. As with the first entry of the trilogy, there are long, meandering instrumental pieces and inexplicable saxophone solos which really do not fit into a metal album. But, this is not really a metal album and should not be reviewed as such. Overall, the album has a very rich sound with layers upon layers of complexities, holding O:M steadfastly in the progressive rock genre. However, pretty much this entire album could realistically be heard on an adult contemporary/easy listening radio station.
The first single off ‘Resurrection’, “Miles Away”, is a cool little tune with a groovy hook and layered harmonies. It commences with some interesting sound effects and has the lofty guitar work typical of Tate’s related body of work. Everything sounds acutely produced to meticulous detail, which is something that has always worked for Tate. “The Fight” has a strong repeating chorus of the song’s title making it eerily similar to prior works such as “Jet City Woman” or “Silent Lucidity”. “Left For Dead” has a heavier intro but then falls back into the dreamy web spun by intricate songwriting, creative musicianship and Tate’s vocals, still amazing after all these years.
The remainder of the album has all the characteristics of Tate’s previous works, both solo and with a group. The varying elements within the songs lend a grandiose feel which is only accentuated by the distinctive sound of one of the best metal singers of all time. Tate is weaving a story musically that is far more involved than the album that shares the band’s name, but what would you expect from a trilogy?
‘Resurrection’ is a great progressive rock album which showcases the talents of each member of Operation: Mindcrime and not just its front man. Take care not to approach this as a metal album because you will be sorely disappointed. Approach this as a progressive rock album by a progressive collection of gentlemen headed by a progressive rock/metal icon and you’ll enjoy this immensely.