Geoff Tate has sold over 25 millions records to date, and now emerges with a brand new identity known as Operation: Mindcrime with the release of The Key– the first record in their three part epic trilogy.
A decorated cast of characters are portrayed through rock veterans such as guitarists Kelly Gray [Queensryche] and Scott Moughton [Geoff Tate], keyboardist Randy Gane [Myth], drummers Simon Wright [AC/DC] and Brian Tichy [Billy Idol, Ozzy Osbourne], along with new contributors vocalist Mark Daly [The Voodoos], bass players Dave Ellefson [Metal Allegiance], John Moyer [Disturbed, Adrenaline Mob], and drummer Scott Mercado [Candlebox]. The collaboration effectively comes together to unlock more than just a door, but rather a portal to the future.
Tate’s thirst for innovation and forward thinking in terms of musicality are intentional and calculated within each song of this 12-track record- all serving a purpose that leaves you taking different paths to arrive at a destination he’s created without giving the names of the streets along the way.
The scenery is not what lifelong fans may expect either. Technologically-based tones dot the album’s landscape, along with dialogue, spoken word and the introduction of a dulcimer, which is an instrument traditionally used in folk music. In addition, Tate hands over the wheel to Mark Daly, Scott Boughton and Kelly Gray during Life Or Death and Kicking In The Door, who all sing lead or contribute to the dialogue, which drives this album far from the days of Queensryche and into a future they see clearly, while keeping the listener wandering in a haze. The only familiarity in tact is hearing Tate’s signature blasts of heavy progressive rock and his operatic voice which serve as a guide to solidify where you are on his journey.
The road map within the story of The Key is deliberately blurred, yet encourages you to keep moving forward for more answers to the questions it poses. Knowing Tate’s incredible storytelling ability, the answers to what gets unlocked with The Key lie somewhere ahead in plain sight if you’re willing to look hard enough for it.