Geoff Tate is one of the most talented and iconic singers in the world of rock music today. Tate has made a career of fronting the equally iconic hard rock band, Queensryche. In his most recent album, Tate has shown once again why he is still a vocal powerhouse. Call it a Queensryche album. Call it a Geoff Tate album. Regardless of which side one takes in the ongoing dispute between Tate and his former band mates, one has to admit that even this Queensryche album has its share of positives. The first of those positives is the album’s opener, ‘Crush.’
‘Cold’ is one of those songs that will take listeners back to the days of Hear in the Now Frontier. While it is heavier than anything on the aforementioned album, it definitely bears at least some slight semblance to the material from that record. What makes this song interesting is that for all of its heaviness, lyrically, it doesn’t come across as something that should be quite so heavy. Tate sings in the song’s chorus, “Would you stay here/If I begged you to/What more can I do/You’re so cold.” This is a song rooted in relationship matters. It is that imbalanced juxtaposition of the song’s lyrics to its music that makes it quite the opener for this album. Rather than being just another moping emo-style piece, Tate and his mostly new band mates have opted for something that instead grabs listeners and engages them right off the bat.
Things get even more interesting after ‘Cold’ as Tate and company launch into the even heavier Dare. This song (save for its single f-bomb early on) is this album’s most radio ready single. It is as far from the older days of Queensryche as Tate could get. That’s evident in the much heavier, more mainstream guitar riffs and electronics. It’s even unlike what fans have come to expect from Tate’s own previous solo records. This stark contrast from other songs penned by Tate makes it one more point for listeners to note. One has to wonder as to whom exactly Tate’s target was here, what with the song’s lyrical content. He sings in the song’s first verse, “What have you got/What have you got to show/You can’t look it in the eye/That’s how I know/You wouldn’t dare/You wouldn’t dare/You wouldn’t dare hurt me/Cause you just might get hurt yourself.” On one hand, it could be argued that this is another song based in relationship issues. But on the other hand, it could just as easily be argued that this is a direct response by Tate to his former band mates considering the two sides’ less than pleasant split in 2012.
Frequency Unknown is an interesting effort from Geoff Tate, needless to say as is evidenced by the songs noted here. This is not a record for classic Queensryche fans as it breaks completely from the classic Queensryche sound. That aside, it still bears its own sound that shows Geoff Tate and his band of hired hands has still crafted a record that is worth at least one listen. It’s just too bad that the band wasn’t able to put its differences aside as it would have been interesting to hear the songs from this album mixed in with those of the music from Tate’s former band mates on their new album. Until or unless that happens, audiences do have quite the interesting listen in this record. It is available now in stores and online. Fans can check out the music from Tate’s Queensryche as the band is touring in support of Frequency Unknown now. The band will perform today at Club Fever in South Bend, Indiana. A full listing of tour dates for Tate’s Queensryche can be found online at http://www.queensryche.com/tour/.
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