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Queensr˙che - Frequency Unknown CD (album) cover

FREQUENCY UNKNOWN

Queensr˙che

 

Progressive Metal

2.04 | 56 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars "Frequency Unknown" is the debut full-length studio album by US hard rock/heavy metal act Queensr'che Starring Geoff Tate the Original Voice. The album was released through Deadline Music in April 2013.

After Lead vocalist Geoff Tate was fired from Queensr'che he opted to create his own version of the band with a new backing band including seasoned musicians like former Queensr'che colleague Kelly Gray (guitars), Rudy Sarzo (Blue 'yster Cult, Ozzy Osbourne, Quiet Riot, Whitesnake) on bass and drummer Simon Wright (AC/DC, Dio). In addition to those guys, the album features quite a few guest appearances by artists like K. K. Downing (Judas Priest), Chris Poland (Megadeth) and Lita Ford (Lita Ford). The band started recording "Frequency Unknown" in January 2013. The recording sessions ended in early March 2013.

The recording and the release of the album have been surrounded by quite a bit of controversy. First of all Geoff Tate's booting from Queensr'che was anything but amicable and as a result both parties now lay claim to the Queensr'che name. A legal twist that at this moment is still not resolved. Secondly the release date of the album was announced mere hours after the other version of Queensr'che announced the release date of their album. A move that from the outside seems a bit calculated and as a rather pathetic attempt to "beat the others to it". The decision to release "Frequency Unknown" sooner than it was probably scheduled backfired on Tate and Deadline Music though as the early pressings of the album featured a much criticized mix, that resulted in the label having to offer to send dissatisfied customers a replacement CD containing the remixes upon showing their purchase receipt. Thirdly and lastly "Frequency Unknown" features, in addition to the 10 original tracks on the album, 4 re-recorded tracks from "Empire (1990)" and "Operation: Mindcrime (1988)" as bonus material. That's not as such an issue. The issue is the motivation behind recording and including the bonus tracks as Tate has openly admitted that Deadline Music offered him a lot of money to do the re-recordings and that the money was the motivation behind recording the 4 tracks. They even asked him to record them as true as possible to the originals and he obeyed. Now that's what I call a corrupted motivation for creating art...

...the actual music on the album is not surprisingly a rather formulaic and polished hard rock/heavy metal style with Geoff Tate's distinct, strong and warm vocals in front. There are little if any surprises in store for the listener, if you've tuned your expectations to the music on the album sounding like a pale version of some of the more accessible and least heavy material released by Queensr'che post-"Promised Land (1994)". There are a riff here and a guitar solo there, that do their part in trying to save what is overall a rather lacklustre affair completely lacking energy and bite, but that's just not enough. How so many seasoned and prolific musicians can write and play music this tame and almost completely forgettable is just sad. The unpleasant and flat sounding original mix with no dynamics worth mentioning is another show stopper and overall there's very little positive to say about "Frequency Unknown". If this is the way Geoff Tate is going to carry the Queensr'che torch in the future, I hope he loses the right to the band name, because the music on "Frequency Unknown" is sub par to anything produced by the band in the past. A 2 star (40%) rating is warranted.

UMUR | 2/5 |

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