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Operation: Mindcrime - The Key

Operation: Mindcrime
The Key
by Marcos "Big Daddy" Garcia at 28 October 2015, 4:12 PM

Sometimes, to carry a well-known name into Metal scene can be a curse. Yes, I state this as a truth, because some fans will never understand that, after leaving a known band, a musician can have another musical ideas that are not similar to the previous works that he/she had done before. But the fans will keep looking for something that they can't find, and complains will fill the internet social medias or even the musician's particular ways of communication. The only way that is left for us, the fans, is to never expect anything from the musician after he left a band.

I must state that Geoff Tate is really persecuted by the fans since he left QUEENSRYCHE. Not due what happened back then, but due his works after it. Let's say the true: after "Frequency Unknown", a weak and boring album, many was expected from OPERATION: MINDCRIME's work. But let me tell you a thing: "The Key" is far away from that, and it's a very good album.

Recovering some elements from QUEENSRYCHE's golden era, with a cleaner and worked Progressive Rock insight, with some generous doses of weight when it's needed, and a musical accessible touches, the album is really very, very good. OK, I must say that those right tunes that were the main feature of Geoff's singing are absent, but he uses his voice in a very good shape here.

The album's sonority is proper, having a clean sound quality that really fits in what they are into, but when it's needed, very heavy weight appears in the guitars. Some modern tunes on the guitars really could be left out, as we hear on "The Stranger" - the only song that really is not fitting on the album's conception.

The album is a collection of songs that are good and very good (expect "The Stranger", with the reasons I wrote above), having its best moments with the modern sound; a decent one - "Burn" (with some very good work from Geoff, but the guitars are creating very good riffs and solos), the tender and progressive "Ready to Fly" (a very good song with great atmosphere created by the keyboards, and the bass guitar and drums are perfect here), the melodic and accessible "Life or Death?" can be named as their best moments, and the heavy and grandiose "The Fall".

A very good album, indeed, but when we see the band's line up, the guests (David Ellefson from MEGADETH and Mark Dely on "Life or Death?") I really must say that I expected a bit more. Well, it's only the beginning, so, let's see what happens in the future.

4 Star Rating

1. Choices
2. Burn
3. Re-Inventing The Future
4. Ready To Fly
5. Discussions In A Smoke Filled Room
6. Life Or Death?
7. The Stranger
8. Hearing Voices
9. On Queue
10. An Ambush Of Sadness
11. Kicking In The Door
12. The Fall
Geoff Tate - Vocals, Keyboards, Saxophone
Kelly Gray - Guitars, Vocals
Scott Moughton - Guitars, Vocals
John Moyer - Bass
Randy Gane - Keyboards
Simon Wright - Drums
Brian Tichy - Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Records


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Edited 05 June 2020

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