Operation: Mindcrime - Resurrection

Operation: Mindcrime Resurrection
Operation: Mindcrime
Frontiers Music Srl
For better or worse, since his split from Queensryche, their former frontman Geoff Tate had quite a few ups and downs, with regards to his career choices. A few quite decent tunes showed him able to pen a decent tune on his own, but all his albums since then did tend to contain just a few and be marred by too many mediocre tunes and a very “cheap” and unfocused production. His partaking in the latest Avantasia album saw a stark contrast, with some of the best vocal performances Tate has offered in the past twenty years, but it was just a one off as it seems…
“Resurrection” the second chapter of Tate’s Operation: Mindcrime, seems to be a bit of a “cheap” somewhat generic effort that fails to even match “The Key” in terms of depth or engagement. The first four tracks work as an introduction, but are hardly of any substance. The real opener “Left for Dead” has some substance and a half decent chorus, but “that production” just bogs it all down.
“Miles Away” tries to experiment with non-rock sounds, but sounds lazy and unfocused, wasting any potential it might have had. Instead of sounding atmospheric it just sounds hazy… same as “Healing My Wounds” that at least manages to sound a bit better; it has an OK, if not a bit jarring, solo, but not much else, as there aren’t any serious vocal melodies to carry it… even in the “twilight years” of the original Queensryche, when the band trans-morphed into a more prog proposition going more for the mood, things weren’t this simplistic.
“The Fight” is the first track that manages to somewhat connect, but Tate, who half speaks, half sings this one, doesn’t cause the same spine tingling effect that he used to, back in the day and I can only attribute that to lack of effort and a bad production.
“Taking on the World” that sees Tate collaborating with former Judas Priest and Iron Maiden singers, Tim Ripper Owens and Blaze Bayley, is quite a lost opportunity as it’s mixed poorly and sounds pretty bad. Going from appearing with Halford and Dickinson to this, is a bit of a decline, but… oh well, love to hate him or the other way around, it doesn’t matter. The fact of the matter is that the song barely works and it’s mostly the solo that is interesting, which is sort of telling.
“Invincible” feels like a major victory over “Taking...” and could have worked if the delivery was more passionate and the overall production, not as muffled.
“Smear Campaign”, another long winded track, with a pretty cinematic feel, keeps bogging things by keeping it all in slow-mid tempo territory.
“Resurrection” seems to lack real punch or at least a faster song or two… just like movies, it seems to be the critical point, where keeping any momentum you might have is most important, but also most difficult. The sax solo, in there, is pretty sexy and a nod to the past, but I don’t think it alone can shoulder the weight of such a long tune.
“Which Side You’re On” is another effect ridden mid-tempo affair, with a basic melody that’s probably a little suspect of being derivative, but at least, it manages to work on some level and connect with the listener. Just a mere song before the end the more guitar heavy “Into the Hands of the World” also manages to engage the listener despite its somewhat repetitive nature and simple form.
Lastly, “Live from My Machine” is also long winded and lyrical, possibly one of the better “not so focused” or “single” oriented tracks.
A good portion of “Resurrection” unfortunately doesn’t work but the parts that do sort of “save” its graces. Just like the middle part of a trilogy is seems to be weak and not paced in such a way as to “work”, which makes me wonder if this “grand concept” of Tate’s might have worked better as a tighter 2 CD extra-long album, but then 3 albums sell for more and can support more touring so… whatever! Not something “essential” but if you want to follow the whole trilogy story arc, I suppose something you’ll have to endure through.