Label: Inside Out Music
Release date: November 6, 2012
Geoff Tate, the noted, and now infamous front man for the band Queensrÿche, has been creating quite the buzz in the metal world lately with his departure from the progressive-metal giant. It was not a pretty split as the band grew tired of his questionable behavior including insulting his own fans, being downright violent with other band members, and consistently being an arrogant ass because he thought he was quite invincible. Well, Sir Geoff, you have been proven wrong.
Queensrÿche kicked him out of the band in June, and they had a very public argument over who would keep the name of Queensrÿche. Both acts even managed to tour at the same time under the same name, and for the sake of the fans attending said shows I sincerely hope you managed to catch the REAL Queensrÿche.
Geoff Tate has returned to the rock ‘n roll world with his new solo project, now simply self-titled, though he still seems to be operating the Queensrÿche website. He released Kings & Thieves November 6th in North America and unfortunately for him it has not seen too many positive reviews, and if you can’t tell by now, this isn’t one either. Geoff Tate has possibly the most recognizable voice of his time and, in Queensrÿche, it proved to be quite outstanding. Without the magic of Eddie Jackson, Michael Wilton, and Scott Rockenfield behind him however, this once majestic and powerful voice seems to have dulled–or perhaps it’s just age. I was not expecting to play this solo album and hear the magic of Operation: Mindcrime but I was hoping for something decent and entertaining. I was mistaken.
I honestly have no idea what Tate was thinking when he put his name on this music. This to me is screaming rock ‘n roll suicide. Other than the ridiculous song titles and improper spelling to keep up with the “cool kids” these days, like on the track “Say U Luv It”, the music is just plain tiresome and unimaginative. All around, the album is full of slow tempo rock music, reminiscent of a garage grunge band trying to make it big after a year of nothing but Nirvana covers. The drums are slow, with not much action as I don’t think I heard a single thing outside of a high hat and the snare. I can rarely ever hear the bass, and the guitars are mediocre at best. The lyrics are pathetic. No Geoff Tate, no one wants to hear about you getting laid, and no I don’t “lyke it lyke dis”.
Continuing on with this mediocre record, the songs don’t get any better. “Evil” is a strange track indeed as the structure of the verses make absolutely no sense. It appears to me that Geoff threw this song together in a matter of minutes and never looked back. It’s almost confusing to listen to, especially when the overpowering backup vocals come in and slap you in the face. “Change” had the potential to be a phenomenal song and should have been the foundation for the building of the rest of the album. It incorporates orchestral instruments and actually has a small hook to it, promising but still not all that great.
Tate released a lyric video for the track, “Dark Money” which teases with the sonic Queensrÿche signature, but that’s as far as he takes the listener. The song’s first line, “It’s getting stronger” is clearly not indicative of Tate’s voice which elicits a few cringe worthy moments on this track. Tate has said repeatedly that age is not impacting his voice, but this performance makes a strong argument that against that claim.
All in all, this album is well beyond dry. There is nothing that sticks with you, nothing that reels you in to make you sing along, and nothing properly showcasing any kind of talent from any of the members. To rate this album at all feels unfair because I don’t think it deserves much of anything. For the slightly decent guitar riffs, and the above mentioned song “Change” I rate this album as high as I do. The rest of the album does nothing for me and was actually quite difficult to listen to all the way through.