OPERATION: MINDCRIME – The New Reality
"The New Reality" is the third and final chapter in Geoff Tate’s (ex-Queensryche) trilogy of albums under the Operation: Mindcrime banner depicting the rather sickening and bleak future that lies ahead of us (some of which has to do with virtual currencies, stock trading, and internet banking) and the result is both uninspired and uninspiring, which is a damn shame.
Despite the line-up boasting some rather cool and talented musicians such as Simon Wright (DIO, UFO, AC/DC) and Brian Tichy (Whitesnake, Foreigner), the sad fact is that the 12 tracks that constitute this album leave a lot to be desired. Geoff Tate can still sing, of that there can be no doubt, but the majority of songs on the disc appear patchy and uneven, almost as if the band did not invest enough time in actually writing and arranging something that would really stand out and reek of excitement, energy, and conviction.
Where is the passion? Where is the emotion? Where are all the interesting layers and deep textures? It lacks focus and structure not to mention that the band’s use of electronic elements and futuristic soundscapes bring very little to the table. Granted, there are a couple of decent and moody songs to be found on the album, namely "The Fear" and the title track, but listening to such an incoherent record from start to finish is a trying affair. It simply fails to capture the imagination and that sucks when we are dealing with a concept album. Concept albums are supposed to be akin to a musical journey; something that lends itself well to the imagination and something that will transport you to somewhere else entirely.
"The New Reality" does anything but that. Frankly speaking, it is a disappointing closing chapter to a rather disappointing trilogy. This is neither moving, thought-provoking nor well-written. If you are on the lookout for a convincing and engaging progressive rock/metal opus, you need to look elsewhere.