Geoff Tate is back with “Wake Me Up”, the first track taken from Operation:Mindcrime’s upcoming new album, A New Reality.
If expectations were high for the 3rd album under the Operation:Mindcrime banner, then they’ll be significantly lowered after hearing this half arsed attempt at reinvention and it’s a sad, sad day when you have to admit that Geoff’s vocals are shot to shit….but that’s the situation we find ourselves in.
A great legacy is being sullied and despite Tate repeatedly saying (he sure as hell ain’t singing) “don’t stop now” at the tail end of the track, you can’t help but wish he would.
In all honesty, we’d be clutching at straws if we were to try and put our finger on some sort of redeeming feature here. “Wake Me Up” is simply home to an uninspired vocal, in turn backed by uninspired songwriting and a risible production. The opening riff is insistent enough, though pretty basic, but any hopes of a soaring prog metal/rock epic are dashed by the sheer numbing lethargy of it all. The keyboards irritate, there’s an odd time signature at the 2 minute mark that just doesn’t work and the less said about the vocal hooks the better.
If memory serves, Tate suggested Operation: Mindcrime would allow him to break new musical ground but this is prog metal/rock by numbers. It kills us to have nothing nice to say about this release but that’s the reality of it.
If you loved Queensrÿche and worshipped the vocal talents of Geoff Tate in his prime, then this just isn’t for you. Hopefully, A New Reality will offer much more than this opening salvo! 3/10