Barely a year after their debut record The Key, Geoff Tate’s Operation: Mindcrime project is back with Resurrection, part two of what threatens to be a trilogy of concept albums. Backed by a large cast of supporting musicians, the former Queensrÿche vocalist is aiming to beat his former band at the conceptual-metal game. To say I did not enjoy The Key would be an understatement, and my expectations for Resurrection are modest at best.

Oddly enough, the album kicks off with not one, but FOUR short intro-style tracks. The first, “Resurrection,” is a spoken-word callback to “I Remember Now,” while the others are either brief instrumentals or short pieces that advance the album’s “storyline.” Admittedly, the musicianship on instrumental “When All Falls Away” shows potential, sounding like something Yes might’ve done in the ’80s. Regardless, an album that begins with 4 tracks of filler does not bode well for the rest of it.

The first real song on the record is “Left For Dead,” a mid-tempo slog that would fit right in on any post-Tribe/pre-Todd LaTorre Queensrÿche album. Musically, this doesn’t even sound like the same band that played on the previous 4 tracks. Aside from a decent chorus hook, Tate’s in full William Shatner mode, sing-talking his way through the verses with minimal effort. “Miles Away” seems totally out of place thematically with the tracks that preceded it, trading the dark vibe for a breezy, almost McCartney-ish approach in places.

“Healing My Wounds” is a duet between Tate and ’90s Angsty Dude, the mysterious vocalist who appeared on The Key previously. Speaking of guest singers, “Taking On The World” features the only two people on earth more washed-up than Geoff Tate: Blaze Bayley (ex-Iron Maiden) and Ripper Owens (ex-Judas Priest). The band tries to heavy it up a little for the guests, in perhaps the same way that you might put out carrot sticks if you had vegetarian friends coming to your barbecue. But in the end, Blaze and Ripper’s contributions are nearly inaudible, while Tate continues to mumble his way through the album’s increasingly nonsensical plot.

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As the album wears on, the storyline element seems to almost disappear, and if I didn’t know better I’d swear that Tate was addressing the split with his former band. On “A Smear Campaign,” he intones “People will love you/or hate you/and none of it will have anything to do with you,” showing an impressive lack of self-awareness. “Which Side You’re On” is even more explicit, seemingly demanding that the listener choose between Tate and some other entity — and reminding them to “make sure you’re not talkin’ out your ass” before they decide. This threat would be far more intimidating if it wasn’t preceded by a saxophone solo.

I’m particularly frustrated by the closing track, “Live From My Machine.” Despite containing the same flaws as every other song on Resurrection, this one gets by on musical atmosphere and Tate’s ability to sound intellectual when he wants to. The result falls somewhere between ’80s Pink Floyd and Queensrÿche‘s more cerebral works like “Spool” or “Right Side Of My Mind.” Calling it an “artistic triumph” would be a stretch, but it fucking works. If the band had applied the same minimal effort to the rest of the album, you would be reading a very different review right now.

While its predecessor was genuinely and offensively bad, Resurrection is merely long-winded and boring. In a weird way, this album reminds me of Steven Wilson – an artist who is working with influences very similar to Tate’s. Wilson references ’60s prog and ’80s pop just as blatantly as Operation: Mindcrime does, but his songcraft and attention to sonic detail are what makes his music great and unique. Conversely, Tate and his collaborators approach the record-making process with all the passion of a plumber fixing a clogged toilet. Until that changes, I see little reason to keep up with Tate’s career, particularly while his former band is once again producing high-quality music.


Rating: 1.5/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 256 kbps mp3
Label: Frontiers Music
Websites: operationmindcrime.com | facebook.com/operationmindcrime
Releases Worldwide: September 23th, 2016

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  • Piet

    Did anyone expect this to be good?

    • AngryMetalBird

      hahahahaha

  • That video is something….

    • Definitely something.

    • DrChocolate

      I had like a weird flashback/deja vu/bad-trip thing happen right at the beginning. Then I realized it was because the video had the MTV-style titles in the bottom right! Who the hell does that anymore? Isn’t it in the video description when you upload it…. One more reason to think poor Geoff is living in the past.

    • RagE

      Why the fuck is he holding a glass? Who does he think he is? Julian?!

  • Daneel Olivaw

    why…pls tell me why??

  • Love the sideways tilted camera ‘up the side of the building’ rope climb made famous by 60s Batman.

  • chitownproud85

    Isnt that band photo bizarre? Dude has members of .38 Special, The Eagles, studio members of Foreigner, and Burt from Sesame Street all jamming under the same moniker. Its a mind fuck.

  • tetters

    Brutal…and not in a good way.

  • Cory Ross

    Spent two minutes with it, them called it a day and won’t be looking back. I got shit to do lol, and The Tate is still The Tate.

  • The Nerd.

    Ah the yearly Geoff Tate bashing. I have more fun reading the review than I would listening to the album

    But the joke is on you Doc Fisting, you had to listen to it.

    • Dr_Fisting

      You’re absolutely right about that last part.

      • chitownproud85

        It was a 1.5, and his last record was a 1…so…progress? The 6th Tate/Mind Crime album is shaping up to be a doozy.

        • Dr_Fisting

          If a 6th Mindcrime album ever happens, and it’s not a live record or re-recordings, I’ll be amazed.

        • Oscar Albretsen

          It’ll be a “Greatest Hits” compilation.

  • SelfIndulgence

    “the only two people on earth more washed-up than Geoff Tate: Blaze Bayley (ex-Iron Maiden)”
    When AMG reads this there will be fire and brimstone…..I’m running to the hills.

    • Dr_Fisting

      Nothing against Blaze’s music, which is good — but there’s no denying that his career has not been going so well.

      • jageorge72

        I have 4 Blaze solo albums (Silicon Messiah, 10th Dimension, The Man Who Would Not Die, and Promise & Terror)……. all are absolutely fantastic albums every metalhead should own. …..especially Promise & Terror. I actually never previously heard Blaze-era Maiden (actually just picked up X-Factor a few weeks ago) or Wolfsbane, so my first Bayley exposure was Silicon Messiah…… recommended by this website.

        I have read so much Blaze bashing, but his solo stuff is super-duper great. He may not have commercial success, but he has released some absolute gems that I am thankful I own. Everyone else is missing out.

        • James Bulas

          I can’t say I’ve ever heard of this guy, or any of his solo stuff, but picked up The Man Who Would Not Die last week and it’s a really good album. Just wanted to drop in and say ‘Thanks for the recommendation!’

    • Iain Gleasure

      I was about to say this. :)

  • Elton Chagas

    Blaze, as always, taking part in bad albuns.

  • André Snyde Lopes

    Geoff Tate in a game of “how many musicians’ credibility can I ruin”.

  • El_Cuervo

    I scrolled straight to the bottom without looking at a word or the score.

    I’m rubbing my hands in anticipation for a Fisting blitzing >:)

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    Strange to back up the last one so quickly is by itself an admirable feet and seems to imply that there is some passion for this project… What I can’t understand is. Who is bankrolling it? The videos, recording, band and guests etc can’t be cheap and it’s hard to believe the last one would’ve sold much more than covering costs or inspired investors….

    • Reese Burns

      I read a while ago that these two albums came from recording sessions that were just a few weeks apart, so maybe that’s why it’s out so soon. But any passion they’ve got is definitely undeserved.

  • AngryMetalBird

    good review but I still don’t understand how it deserves that 1.5 isn’t that a Tate too generous?

  • De2013

    “There is no encryption key”

  • Oscar Albretsen

    Much like the sample song on the last album, I made it through a little over a minute of this wretchedness before gratefully shutting it off. I’m not a huge fan of Queensryche’s new stuff either, but it’s 100 times better than this.

  • Midlife Chris

    Tate and the dude from Saboton both hit up Supercuts together.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Isn’t Paul Di’Anno more washed up than Geoff Tate, Blaze Bayley and Ripper Owens ?

    • Dr_Fisting

      I think Di’Anno is more washed-up than Tate, but not nearly as much as Ripper.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        Well, Di’Anno tours without a band and uses local Iron Maiden tribute acts as his backing band. And he was convicted on eight counts of welfare fraud.
        I think he’s more washed up…

    • MelbCro

      Hey man, this isn’t a contest. They can all be washed up together, HUZZAH!

  • MelbCro

    You know what blows my mind in that video is that Blaze and Ripper are holding lyric sheets, wtf?

  • OzanCan

    Hmmm…digitally rendered pseduo-metal puke… interesting..
    xp

  • Scrubbadog67

    Waiting for the Billy Sherwood remix due out in about 3 weeks,,,,,,,

  • Ah, Geoff Tate and his unsettlingly spherical head.

  • herrschobel

    again the Band picture tells me all i need to know about their godawful taste and therefore shitty output…

  • Wilhelm

    As fun as it is to bash Tate (and it is!) I wouldn’t call this a horrible song; it’s at least a step up from the last QR shitfests he (and others) wrote. With that said, I also wouldn’t spend my well earned cash on it or say it’s on the same level as La torre QR. It is funny how he invited two singers from his support group to sing on his song and you can’t even hear them lol

  • sir_c

    Geoff’s band members are real jack-off all Tates.

  • Jeremy Freeman

    Amazes me how this whole group of bambinos can actually THINK they are making good quality music. They must not be very educated. I mean you could let am 8 year old listen to this shit and they’d say, omg what is this. It’s so BORING, and uninspired.

  • Hammersmith

    This feels like one of those times where you see the cover art, and you know an album isn’t going to be good. Because that artwork is really bad. Just, so bad.

  • Belgian Tom’s Hat Trick

    This dude just needs to retire. I defy anyone to say he was not once great at his trade, but as I have been reading here at AMG for years and never posted, I have learned about the Law of Diminishing Returns. Give him props for his past, but now it’s time for us all to pass. Actually, Tate should be the poster boy for the above mentioned law.

    • Well now that you created that avatar and awesome tag, you should probably keep commenting.

      • Belgian Tom’s Hat Trick

        I’ve been wanting to join the site’s discussions for years, I took a very long time to do my due dilligence about how this community conducts itself. So many other individuals in other on-line communities are just plain nasty. I’ve been convinced for awhile that this is a stand-up community; not to mention the reviewiers conduct themselves so professionally. I am also a big fan of the articles AMG and other staff post that aren’t reviews. Anyway, sorry it took me so long and thanks for the warm welcome!

        • Well thanks for your readership, due diligence, and most of all, your support! Now frolic freely through the community.

          • Belgian Tom’s Hat Trick

            The frolicking shall commence. I check in at least once a day, so if I have a worthwhile comment, I’ll be glad to be a part of any discussion. Also, props to you guys and gals for pumping out the reviews lately; my pocket book has been taking quite a hit! One more thing… I am so very impressed with what you have built here without giving in to the advertising game. I know it must be difficult, but it proves the passion and honesty behind every review and article you share. If I want an honest opinion on an album, I come here first. If you guys don’t review a particular release, I feel like I’m out of luck. I just have trust issues with most all other sites that I don’t have to worry about with you guys.

          • Thanks so much. We love what we do so the work doesn’t usually feel like work.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Reality indeed is weirder than fiction.

  • By-tor

    Saw Queensryche on the “Empire” tour. Great show and Tate could pull off every note live with ease. That said, booting his ass was the best thing they ever did. This song and his hairdo are a horror show. New Queensryche is putting out solid music. Not amount of free pizza could entice me to sit through an entire album by Tate post-Promised Land.

    Highlight of that show was the opener: Type-O Negative. No clue who the were prior. Devoted fan since.

  • Phidian

    Like only the last song. Tate should focus on his strengths. Slow, proggy soundscapes like Pink Floyd. The last one was perfect. Too many horns on this record. What is this, Aerosmith? Ripping off Dream Theater, I’m sure was suggested by his handlers/production people at the record company. Its a step forward musically, but will anyone care next year when only 800 copies of the third album are sold?

  • gtfd

    Miles Away is a Queensryche cover? The original was written by DeGarrmo. More Tate-isms: “Milesss awayyy”, “the key maybe wweee’ll seeee”/”I’m holding the keyyy,” “Speak the word”/”Don’t speak The Word”, “Through The Noize”/”Big Noize”, “Lies behind the stare”/”Direction to my stare”, “Without you close to me”/”Another rainy night without you”,

    • Dr_Fisting

      It’s a completely different song. Neither of them are very good.

  • Milch Klaas

    I find the production on this thing to be especially insulting.

  • ghost whistler

    to be fair, the Key is actually decent.

    I was surprised that i liked it. Resurrection seems to be much the same: if you like the key you’ll like this, if you don’t you won’t.

    the plot is fine; it’s a concept album, it’s not shakespeare ffs.

    :D

    Tate may be a massive egotistical asshole, that’s not a problem for me since I’m never going to meet him.

    Horses for courses, as they say