Queensrÿche – Frequency Unknown

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Review by Tosh Davies

Two albums, two bands, both using the same name but both very different. Confused yet? This is the Geoff Tate version of Queensrÿche, who seems to think that he is entitled to use the name as a one man band with hired hands (Kelly Gray, Randy Gane, Robert Sarzo, Rudy Sarzo and Simon Wright) and get away with it. Lesson for aspiring bands: don’t have members of your immediate family manage your band (remember Sepultura anyone?). Needless to say it’s an angry album. Even the title is raising a middle finger to his former band.

Cutting to the chase, this is not a bad album. I was expecting a lot worse and those who’ve listened to Queensrÿche’s albums after Promised Land will understand my frustrations. Tate has also allegedly voiced his disconnection with Heavy Metal in the past so it comes as a surprise to confirm this is quite a damn heavy album. ‘Cold’ sounds typical Queensrÿche as does the superb ‘In The Hands Of God’ both accentuating their Queensrÿche mannerisms. Frustratingly the awful ‘Running Backwards’ does indeed put the album back somewhat only to regain steam with the strong sounding ‘Life Without you’. ‘Everything’ has a solid chug of guitars that bring the ears pricking up only to fall down with the lacklustre chorus. It’s the addition of the extra tracks, re-workings of classic Queensrÿche tracks, that fully let this album slip to bargain bin fodder. They sound flat and soulless. Why on earth he thought this was a good idea is anybody’s guess; my ears will never fully recover from this abortion. You simply cannot replicate the feel Chis DeGarmo brought to those songs; never bettered I’m afraid.

So is this a classic Queensrÿche album from the phone-throwing, band-spitting Geoff Tate? In a nutshell, no. This is not a Queensrÿche album; this is however, a good Geoff Tate solo album and probably the best he’s made to date. All the band members involved do a sterling job and deliver a quality product. Geoff Tate is the voice of Queensrÿche but Queensrÿche is more than one man, sadly he’s now been replaced by a more than worthy successor. Now comes the time for him to relinquish the band name and continue as a solo artist. I’m sure he would gain a lot more respect and if his future output is as strong as this then he’s onto a winning formula.

And you can read Tosh’s review of “the real” Queensrÿche’s album here

6 out of 10

Queensrÿche – Frequency UnknownTrack List:

  1. Cold
  2. Dare
  3. Give It To You
  4. Slave
  5. In The Hands Of God
  6. Running Backwards
  7. Life Without You
  8. Everything
  9. Fallen
  10. The Weight Of The World
  11. I Don’t Believe In Love (2013 Version)
  12. Empire (2013 Version)
  13. Jet City Woman (2013 Version)
  14. Silent Lucidity (2013 Version)