Operation Mindcrime

Operation: Mindcrime – A New Reality Review

Operation: Mindcrime – A New Reality Review

“To be honest, I have remained only peripherally up to speed with the court proceedings and inter-band politics between the original Queensrÿche and Tate’s new Operation: Mindcrime as relationships (and Tate’s musical sanity) spiraled into decline. Hence, The New Reality is my first concerted exposure to Tate’s post-Queensrÿche work.” Here in the now…of hazing.

Operation: Mindcrime – Resurrection Review

Operation: Mindcrime – Resurrection Review

“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.” Tate v. the Rÿche: Round II. Place yer bets.

Operation: Mindcrime – The Key Review

Operation: Mindcrime – The Key Review

“Geoff Tate cannot be stopped. Getting fired from Queensryche barely slowed him down, and a lengthy court battle over the band name just made him mad. Hell, we even begged him to show us mercy, but he denied us. Instead, Tate has delivered The Key, the debut outing by his creatively-named new project Operation: Mindcrime.” Someone, somewhere deserves this.

Retro-spective Review: Wicked Maraya – Cycles

Retro-spective Review: Wicked Maraya – Cycles

“When I do these little retro-reviews, I try to find albums that really had a lot to offer, but somehow never caught the public’s attention. Be it bad marketing, poor timing or short band life, there’s always a reason why a high-quality album slips through the cracks into oblivion. Perhaps no better example exists than Wicked Maraya and their debut album Cycles. Steel Druhm’s clinical diagnosis here is one of terminally poor timing. While Cycles sported a winning and catchy-as-fuck traditional heavy metal sound that strikes me as a darker, edgier, more proggy Queensryche mixed with Crimson Glory and Nevermore, it arrived at the very height of the Seattle grudge explosion where everything metal was forced back underground after a decade of prominence and popularity.” More goodies from the vault? Steel Druhm is in a giving mode to be sure. Ignore the terrible band name and awful album cover and let’s all focus on what counts: the music!

Retro-spective Review: Lethal – Programmed

Retro-spective Review: Lethal – Programmed

We haven’t had a retro review for some time and Steel Druhm is here to fix that. Diving deep into the archives, he points an aproving finger at long forgotten, Queensryche-influenced rockers Lethal and their excellent debut, Programmed. With all the spit and shit flying between Geoff Tate and his former band, you’re gonna need this if you want a taste of good, old fashioned Ryche ‘n roll.

Pagan’s Mind – Heavenly Ecstasy Review

Pagan’s Mind – Heavenly Ecstasy Review

Every now and then I find myself sweating a new release and sincerely worrying a band may have already seen its best days. This is one of those perspiration inducing albums. After three platters of excellent progressive metal that reminded me of the halcyon salad days of Fates Warning and Queensryche, Pagan’s Mind really screwed the pooch hard with their last release, 2007’s God’s Equation. Ditching nearly all of the things they had working for them in favor of a stripped down and more commercial approach, it was one of those albums that leaves fans befuddled, bewildered, betrayed and generally in an foul humor (I won’t go into the David Bowie cover, but it was bullshit ass!). With my confidence and fanboydom thus shaken and stirred, I didn’t know what to expect from these Norwegian metallers. Would it be a return to the prog-tastic spacey glory of their Enigmatic Calling and Celestrial Entrance works or a dash further down the path toward commercial oblivion ah la Krokus (yes, Krokus damn you, they were good once!). After much consternation and intestinal distress, I can report their fifth album, Heavenly Ecstasy is way better than their prior misstep, though it doesn’t fully return to their previous levels of excellence.

Things You Might Have Missed 2010: Hollow – Modern Cathedral/Architect of Mind (Reissue)

Things You Might Have Missed 2010: Hollow – Modern Cathedral/Architect of Mind (Reissue)

Talk about buried and nearly forgotten classics! In their all too brief existence, Hollow walked the line between traditional and progressive metal and had a really compelling sound that fell somewhere between Mindcrime-era Queensryche, Crimson Glory and latter day Agent Steel. However, it always seemed they were completely overlooked and to this day I have yet to meet another metal fan […]