RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Geoff Tate – Kings & Thieves
Inside Out US


Rating: B

Geoff Tate, emotionally, stepped away from the power/prog metal of Queensryche long ago. Sure, there were moments of it here and there, but musically, he seemed to be yearning to stretch beyond what he had accomplished in his past. Queensryche fans never accepted Geoff’s desires, perhaps causing some of the backlash that created the controversies that led to Geoff being out of the band.

He has wasted no time in penning new music, assembling a great band and hitting the road. Kings & Thieves is, no surprise, a long way from Queensryche’s classic sound. It is, however, much more musical than his former bands last few efforts and much improved over his own past solo outing.

Tate has a more modern sound in mind and one wonders if he is really pushing for musical independence, or if he is hoping to have a hit in the modern day. Well, he won’t have a hit song, but it is no fault of his own. The industry will not allow him to have a hit. The modern sound, then, is one that adds to his musical repertoire, but at the same time can make him look like his is chasing the shark. This is the danger any artist from his era faces. Stay the same and people say you should not live in the past. Do something modern and you’re a poser and not staying true to your roots. So, in some aspects, no matter what Tate does, there will be detractors.

As far as the songs on the album are concerned, this one is easy to listen to and underneath the modern undertones are plenty of melody and a lot of great guitar playing. “She Slipped Away” could be a hit song. “Take A Bullet” is a great mix of old school rock and modern day rock. “Dark Money” may be the sleeper on the album, as this is a moody number that shows Tate has not lost anything in his ability to sing, or write great lyrics.

At the end of the day, this is an interesting album. It will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Tate has finally stepped outside of the box and delivered a solid album, beginning to end making this one worth checking out.

By Jeb Wright