Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * *
It was once a cry of exasperation that would be uttered by a spouse or a parent, that the almost degrading verbal punch to the senses of “You need to live in the real world” is often the last resort of an argument from those who have jealousy in their heart because they have forgotten how to dream of a better life, that they want you to be as miserable as them. Now it seems that more people are finding ways to make their lives better, not by dreaming and succeeding but by hiding away, a virtual authenticity on every corner, a world where you can be the hero without leaving the house.; welcome to The New Reality and despite the allure, it is not a pretty sight.
Reality is that sometimes we have to be less than what we are perceived to be to make someone sit up and take notice, we cannot be, neither should we even attempt to be, perfect every time. By doing so, people take you for granted, they find that their own lives become meaningless and their sense of superiority diminishes, by doing so, resentment kicks in, actions are taken that cannot be withdrawn; a truth of an altered state of reality in their own minds becomes the norm.
For Operation: Mindcrime The New Reality has been one of Geoff Tate being once more lauded for his lyrical observations and his range of voice, the days of Queensryche may be long since departed but one of the true greats of the Progressive Metal genre has powered on and yet it with perhaps sympathy in mind that The New Reality doesn’t live up to what might have been expected, what could have been.
There are a few high points, not quite in the mould of what was for example on Queensryche’s American Soldier album, or on the current home for Mr. Tate’s mindset The Key and Resurrection, but they are indeed high points of realism and the faithful that the fans would always appreciate. In songs such as The Fear, A Guitar in Church?, The Wave and The Same Old Story, Operation: Mindcrime sink their teeth into the game going on around them and come up to breathe with optimism and hope.
The New Reality, for some it is the only way to live comfortably in a period of change, uncertainty and unfaithfulness.
Ian D. Hall