Operation: Mindcrime – The Key


I cannot hide my anticipation about Geoff Tate’s intentions with his new group. Having tried many things over the past years, most of which unsuccessfully, starting with “Dedicated To Chaos”-his last attempt with Queensrӱche and the reason of what followed-and continuing with “Kings&Thieves” and “Frequency Unknown” with his ‘own’ Queensrӱche, his new and permanent, from the looks of it, band, Operation:Mindcrime is a huge bet for Tate so as to regain his lost credibility among his own audience.

Listening to “The Key”, the first part of a trilogy whose main theme is the changes in the world through Geoff Tate’s travelling to different, interesting as well as ‘tough’ places around the planet, I believe that we are dealing with the best release he put his name on in years. Focusing on music, this work combines elements of “American Soldier”, “Kings&Thieves” and “Frequency Unknown”, but as a whole is much superior from the last two. The first half of the album really kicks it off, with a more relaxing-yet equally top quality- follow up.  

“Burn”, “Re-Inventing the Future” and “Ready To Fly” are samples which herald something really powerful. If, on top of these, “Discussions In A Smoke Filled Room” was the introduction for a song of similar genre, we would be talking about something ideal. In the meantime, as I have already mentioned, “The Key” gives a sense of a looser situation as far as composition is concerned, in the sense that we have already listened to these music structures in Tate’s creations. The finale comes in an emphatic, I dare say, way, with the excellent and atmospheric “The Fall”. “The Key” is an imposing album with contemporary music and themes carrying Geoff Tate’s stamp for most of its duration. The question that is raised though is, since the charismatic singer intended to present a release of such nature with more than enough metal elements, why did he shortchange himself as well as Queensrӱche with “Dedicated to Chaos” five years ago? On the other hand, judging by the way matters go, all these may have a better outcome for everybody.