I was afraid to check out this Geoff Tate -less version of Queensryche , as his yodel was always been their calling card. While it is not something I see myself running to listen to on a regular basis , its not as bad as I feared it would be. In all fairness I should Tate's version of the band a chance as well to see which is better, though I've grown too far from this brand of commercial prog metal to be able to take both in one day.
It doesn't wear on me until the fourth song, which is almost too happy when it gets to the chorus. He does unleash some old school metal high end. "Redemption" allows itself to forget this is not the late 80's with pounding groove.
At times it feels more like I am listening to Kamelot, as they some times veer into more of a modern almost nu-metal guitar tone. Sure the riffs are better than most of what they have been doing in recent years and it makes me think if they had used this producer for the last few Tate albums they would have better. The main problem is in the writing, this new guys doesn't have the talent in writing the same type of chorus' Tate did.In fact the chorus to a song like "In This Light " is straight up pussy shit like Warrant. This comes from some one who prefers melody in metal and is o.k with Skid Row.&
There is a cool darker turn taken on "A World Without" . While Torre takes a dip into a lower register it doesn't feel as convincing as Tate. There is a slight Mindcrime feel to the beginning of " Don't Look Back " , but the riff goes to straight ahead from my taste. This is only slightly better than some of the stuff on Sliverthorn, due to Torre yodel, but the problem is I am comparing them to a band influenced by Queensryche rather than their legacy.
"Fallout" gets a little heavier, but goes into the typical prog-powerisms. The reason I don't like most modern power metal or prog metal is that it is often too happy for me. This song might have a heavier riff but the song writing is blander. The album closes out with a fitting power ballad. It was about time for one. Torre's voice handles it well as far as power ballads go for this band the bar is raised pretty high. It might be one of the albums better tunes, but fails to take hold of the flame. >I'll round this down to a 5.5 because even without Tate the remaining members should be held to a higher standard, but it is not as bad as I was afraid it might be. &