Geoff Tate // Kings and Thieves
Rating: 0.5/5.0 — The voice of Queensrych AND self-delusion
Label: InsideOut Music
Websites:  |
Release Dates: Out now!

geoff-tate-kings-thievesDear Mr. Tate,

My name is Fisting Andrew Golota. You don’t know me, but I’ve enjoyed some of your music over the past few decades. Judging by your recent actions, you obviously don’t read any of your own press, so I feel it necessary to address you directly. Because quite frankly, we need to talk.

Just to recap: Your former band Queensrÿche fired you back in June, after a series of incidents in which you insulted your audience, physically assaulted your bandmates, and generally acted like an asshole, to the point where some people are seriously questioning your mental health. Predictably, the music press has paid more attention to this than anything you’ve done musically in the past 20 years. It so happens you have a new solo album out, Kings And Thieves, just in time to capitalize on this newfound exposure. Sadly for you, I think this will have exactly the opposite effect.

So first off, about these lyrics. Apparently, you’ve discovered the joys of Viagra, and aren’t shy about it. That’s fine, but…”she rides me hard like an exercise machine”? Seriously? And the track “Say U Luv It” is seriously misguided and gross. You aren’t Prince, and hearing you sing about getting laid is about as sexy as walking in on my parents. These lyrics would be an embarrassment for ANYBODY, but particularly for the ex-frontman of a self-described “thinking man’s metal band.” It sounds like the only “thinking” you’re doing these days is thinking about pussy. The only track that might be even more ridiculous is “The Way I Roll,” which is basically 5 minutes of you pretending to be Kid Rock and talking about how great you are.

Musically, Kings & Thieves is nothing to write home about either. All of these songs are based around predictable chord changes and generic grunge-era riffs. Your producer Kelly Gray seems very attached to that one drum loop that seems to be in almost every track. As for yourself, your voice has degraded to the point where it bears no resemblance to the guy who sang “Take Hold Of The Flame”, or even “Silent Lucidity.” You seem to struggle with singing in key, and your once-famous high range is nowhere to be found. And you’re still unable to write a memorable lyric or melody without ex-‘Ryche guitarist Chris DeGarmo holding your hand. Musically speaking, Kings & Thieves is the very definition of “half-assed.” Most of these songs could be background music in a bad TV show about tattoos or vampires or something.

Press_Photo_02It’s not all bad, for whatever that’s worth. “Change” is an interesting departure, with its moody pace and orchestration. This could’ve been a worthwhile direction for you to pursue, well-suited to your present-day attitude and vocal range. And “Dark Money” has a decent Kings X-style riff going for it. Otherwise, there is nothing redeeming going on here. There’s nothing to impress musically, no intelligent lyrics to stick to the brain. Hell, you can’t even sing along to this in the car, because there are no hooks.

It is possible for a frontman to step out of the shadow of his former band, explore different styles of music, and be successful. You can ask your hero Peter Gabriel about that. But be aware that your few remaining fans will expect far better than this. Like it or not, people associate you with classic records like Operation:Mindcrime, and as a result you are held to a higher standard. By comparison, tracks like “Say U Luv It” and “The Way I Roll” sound like some kind of joke.

Making music for a living is a privilege, not a right. If you value that privilege, you may want to re-evaluate what you’re doing before it’s too late. Coupled with your recent off-stage antics, Kings & Thieves is career suicide.

Best of luck,
Fisting Andrew Golota

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  • KingKuranes

    AHAHA “she rides me hard like an exercise machine”… that’s awesome. This is on InsideOut? I look forward to seeing Mr Tate on tour with Devin Townsend.

  • kimdotcom6667

    Quote Fisting? Tate reads this and thinks its another fake account. /Quote

  • Just listened to some of this. I didn’t think music could get so uneventful and dull. Nice review btw

  • Ugh, utter crap….i didnt see the score though. Is there a zero im overlooking somewhere?

    • Fisting_Andrew_Golota

      It didn’t make it into the article somehow, but the score is an 0.5. The clever tagline would’ve been something like “There’s a revolution calling…calling you an asshole.”

      • My bad, I left off the intro part to make it feel more like an “open letter.” Due to confusion by score-seekers, I’ve added it back in.

        • Fisting_Andrew_Golota

          Thank you Mr. Druhm!

  • I see this is the second 0.5 given in the history of this fine establishment, I say mandatory playbacks of Operation: Mindcrime are in order.

  • Morgana Starr Haertjens

    It is about DAMN time someone spoke this. As much as I have fallen in love wit h this band and indeed next to Jimmy Pages ZOFO (being my very first tattoo in 1979) Queensryche is the ONLY other band tattoo I have. Given that a judge is basically allowing the FANS to accept who retains that name (a thing unheard of) it is still depressing as HELL to see the degradation of one of the Golden Throat rock gods. Plant, Dio Dickenson and Halford being the others.

    Do the research about the legal BS going on and the disrespect Tate has been showing his fans, and the physical agression. Perhaps it is because he has not to hit the (what I call monkey wrench) high note in Take hold for over a decade that is making him soch a ANGRY jerk.

    Whatever the reason Im bewildered about his decline and attitude. And I hope that is resolves peacefully, but I dont think it will

    )O(MSH)O(… I.e. Triquetra Witch

  • was hoping he would go back to the glory days of mind crime….Tate often takes pride in saying that he never imagines himself doing the same of anything….too bad…maybe that is exactly what he should have stuck to….such a great musician turning into this whiner.

  • wow that’s harsh. i haven’t listened to the CD but since everything he did since Empire was shit, why bother

  • Mr. Tate is the Best, your review Sucks. Dude you are clueless, lost in the
    Eighties. Your ears have gone deaf and
    all you can do is blurt out repressed anger over Mr. Tate’s hot sex life. So get a life, find a new job, because if
    this is an example of your work, give it up.
    Listen, clean the wax out of your ears or even better get an
    interpreter. Kings & Thieves is EXCELLENT work. It is a modern example of well integrated metal, rock, rap and blues. You probably didn’t like Van Halen’s new release last year. Nothing stays the same,
    artists are dead if they don’t develop, expand and create something new. I have friends that are stuck in a musical
    coma, only liking the same old rehashed tunes and styles they grew up on. You are a reviewer for the public, write for the public not your biosed perspective. I want you to listen to this CD 20 times and
    rewrite you review with an open mind, if you have one.

    • Geoff? Is that you???

    • Fisting_Andrew_Golota

      Mr. Crushing, thank you for your opinion. Just to clarify, I have seen photos of Tate’s wife, and I don’t feel the slightest bit jealous. Also, that Van Halen record was on my top 10 list last year.

      You do raise an interesting point though — if we did decide to “write for the public”, we wouldn’t be writing about Tate at all, because 99% of the world hasn’t cared about him for a very long time.

      Also, I’d rather have a prostate exam from a doctor with huge hands than listen to this album 20 more times.