Review: Operation Mindcrime – 'Resurrection'

It’s not Queensrÿche”, ”He needs to get back with Chris DeGarmo”, ”It’s not even Metal”… damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Is it Queensrÿche? in places, yes. Will he get back with ‘Ryche guitarist Chris DeGarmo? No. Is it Metal? In places, yes. Is it any good? Yes, and in other places, very good. Will I enjoy it? Yes… as long as you take those blinkers off. The middle installment in a concept trilogy, ‘Resurrection’ is expansive (running time hits over 60 minutes), and a long haul, but like most long hauls, it’s worth it in the end. Perhaps the most expressive voice in Rock since Freddie Mercury, it is a surprise that you don’t fully hear Tate until five minutes have elapsed, as Operation Mindcrime meander through a musical intro which includes the scene setter ‘When All Falls Away’. ’Left For Dead’ has a classic ‘Empire’ era Queensrÿche feel about it, and although the need to hit the high notes might have passed with time, the voice for whom the phrase “thinking man’s metal” was coined has only improved with age. ’Miles Away’ opens with a floating, dreamy intro, as Tate steps back to give the musicians a chance to shine, the guitars echo vintage Dave Gilmour throughout. ’Healing My Wounds’ is a slow burner of a song that features Tate on saxophone, a very divisive instrument that people don’t normally associate with rock and metal, but here it works well in creating an atmosphere. Relax folks, we’re not talking Kenny G here. The sax reappears later on the album with ‘A Smear Campaign’. ‘The Fight’ is a much gentler moment like Tate has always featured throughout his career, and he excels on a track that is huge and uplifting with simple, sublime acoustic guitars. ’Taking On The World’ is the exact opposite. Featuring guest vocals from both Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens and Blaze Bayley, it puts a modern vibe on an old school sound, and is probably the most restrained Owens has been in ages. The upcoming dates, with all three performing together, should be intriguing, as three very different voices share the stage. The latter half of the album sees Operation Mindcrime stretching out, as the songs each pass the six minute mark. Like the majority of prog albums, at times it does border on self indulgence. There are moments when I expected John Thompson’s charcter from Jazz Club on ‘The Fast Show’ to pop up and utter his immortal catchphrase, ”Niiiiice!”. Thankfully, these moments are few and far between. The likes of ‘Invincible’ and ‘Live From My Machine’ reward the listener with some memorable moments. The latter is perhaps the standout track on the album, with what seems to be a great tribute to David Bowie. An album worthy of your attention that sounds incredible through a decent pair of cans. It’s like having Geoff Tate whispering in your ear… ‘Resurrection’ is available now through Frontiers Music Review Dave Stott]]>

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