Metal music icon Geoff Tate is going out of 2017 with a bang. The New Reality is the third and final chapter in the musical trilogy from Geoff Tate’s Operation Mindcrime. Tate is best known as the front man of 80’s progressive metal band Queensryche. For those who don’t know, Operation Mindcrime was the title of one of Queensryche’s releases during the 80’s. If by chance there is someone reading this who has never heard Operation Mindcrime, buy it! It is one of the top five metal albums to come out of the 80’s. Anyway let’s get back to The New Reality; if you are looking for classic Tate vocals with a more modern feel, you have found it. Tate’s voice sounds as good on The New Reality as it did back on Operation Mindcrime or Empire.
Each track is diverse in its own way making it hard to describe this album’s overall style. Some of my favorites include: “Wake Me Up,” “Under Control,” and “The New Reality.”
All that being said, the track that makes The New Reality great is “All for What.” It is what I would consider an emotional tidal wave of music. It starts off with an alarm sound straight out of a Sci-Fi movie paired with some low spoken vocals. Piano then begins to accompany the spoken word. All of a sudden the auditory floodgates open with orchestration and a musical sensation that is incredible to hear. It then crescendos with Tate singing:
“When you shout into the wind
Is anyone listening?
Can’t make it stop
Once the sequence starts”
The New Reality is the greatest record Tate has done since his departure from Queensryche. If I had to compare this to something from Queensryche to give you some frame of reference, I would say it has the feel of a more modern version of Rage for Order. The orchestration is pure ear candy. The sound effects that fill the album are perfect and Tate’s use of non-conventional metal instruments, including piano and saxophone, fit in flawlessly. I cannot say enough about Tate’s vocal performance on The New Reality. His voice has matured incredibly throughout the years. He still has that glass shattering high end that he is know for, but more impressive is that Tate has mastered a Barry White meets Frank Sinatra baritone voice with a touch of wicked.
I enjoyed the musical diversity of The New Reality. I also enjoyed, as mentioned above, the maturity of Tate’s voice. Don’t buy this album expecting Empire; buy it to celebrate Operation Mindcrime’s musical masterpiece. The New Reality is available now via Frontier Records.