Very metal, very hard rock? Not so much.

So a little while ago, it was announced that Geoff Tate’s solo album was to be released on Nov. 6. Tate was previously quoted as saying that the album would be “very metal, very hard rock,” and there were those of us who were thinking that if it was, it would be quite contrived because it would be a feeble attempt to get back at Queensryche for firing him.

Well, sound clips from Tater’s record found their way onto Amazon for a couple of days before they were quietly deleted*, and suffice it to say, whatever fears that Tater would upstage his former bandmates seem to have been totally unfounded. I sat down and listened to those clips to render an honest judgment…

…and I pretty much agree with those who would characterize it as nondescript, middle-of-the-road rock. I might go a bit further and say it’s really not good for much more than background noise. I can definitely hear hints of recent “Queensryche” records here. Which isn’t good or bad at this point, considering everything that we know now, it just…is. Not Queensryche, for sure, which is but one reason I was glad to see Tater get fired. That once-legendary voice is definitely the weak link, just as I thought it would be; although I am hard-pressed to think of who could save the songs themselves, it still hurts like hell to hear Tater vocally coasting along here.

And none of it sounds very hard rock to me, let alone metal. Which isn’t surprising, but I am completely bewildered as to why Tate seemingly clings to his belief that he is single-handedly going to redefine metal. Never mind the fact that he doesn’t even like metal. I think Tater was right when he said that the bands define metal, but the thing is, virtually no other metal band that I can think of has followed the path that Tate has dragged Queensryche down since Chris DeGarmo left. They have all by and large stuck with the genre as it was defined by all the bands that came along in the beginning — complete with those “boneheaded” riffs.

I guess such is par for the course for someone with such a raging ego, but I am still left wondering what the hell is going through his mind. I don’t know what else he could have expected at this point with that style of music. In fact, one of my first thoughts upon listening to those samples was, “does he really think he’s going to make any money with this, let alone set the world on fire as he seems to think he can?”

But that’s all right. In fact, this is absolutely the best thing that any of us could have expected. Tater has set the bar so low that it is going to be impossible for Queensryche not to top him. The entire reason for them getting rid of him was to get away from this kind of music. Of course, there may be some who read that and say, “but that’s his solo project, of course it was going to be different.” Thing is, though, with the similarities to this music and the recent albums that have come out under the Queensryche name, it’s a virtual certainty that Tater’s solo record would have been the next “Queensryche” record had they not gotten rid of him.

So thank you, Tater. You totally put your former bandmates in the catbird seat here.

*The sound clips were first posted here, via The Breakdown Room, and then on to Blabbermouth, and they were pretty much universally panned at both places. Not long after they hit Blabbermouth they were yanked. Coincidence? Who knows…


2 Responses to “Very metal, very hard rock? Not so much.”

  1. Sabra Says:

    At this point, Geoff Tate could single-handedly rescue a busload of orphaned nuns while singing the rosary and you would criticize him for not hittng a high enough note on “Ave Maria”. You reviewing his solo project “honestly” is analogous to me reviewing Tim McGraw’s latest album.

  2. Albatross Says:

    Hey, Ave Maria’s tough to sing.

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