Frequency Unknown [CD]
- Artist: Queensrÿche
- SKU: 8801658
- Release Date: 04/23/2013
Most Helpful ReviewsSee all reviews
Could have been better, but rushedNovember 7, 2013
Tate's new personal incarnation of Queensrcyhe (not to be confused with the rest of the band still using the same name as well) has a lot of promise; however, even after providing early buyers with a remixed copy of the CD, I am not impressed. The lyrics are typical Tate, albeit with a chip on his shoulder, but the sound is muddy and the production is obviously rushed. The new album by the rest of the band is much more polished and therefore has my approval over this. It could have been so much better had Tate not tried so hard to beat his ex-bandmates to market.
No, I would not recommend this to a friend
It ROCKSJuly 12, 2013
Sounds great, Good songs! To bad the Original Line-Up can't seem to work things out,
I would recommend this to a friend
Not Queensryche - Read OnJune 28, 2013
As a consumer you need to know what you are purchasing. In 2012, Geoff Tate, the iconic vocalist for the band Queensryche, was fired from the band - there is plenty of dirt online you can dig up to figure out how this came to a head. But the long and short is that Geoff took his former band to court to stop them from continuing on as QR until the 'who owns the rights' issues were dealt with in court. His injunction was denied, but the judge did not specifically state that Geoff could not form his own version of the band and also tour, so that is what Geoff did. His former band filed a similar injunction, it also was denied, with everything to be hashed out in November 2013 as to who gets to keep the name, and how much the other party would be bought out for. So we have two Queensryches, the original with 3 original founding members and a new vocalist, and Geoff's version, made up of members of his former solo band and some 80's namesakes, or depending on the schedule, fill in bassists and drummers. Geoff has since Operation Mindcrime 2 forged a working relationship with Jason Slater, whose job it is to produce songs, completed songs, for Geoff to write lyrics and sing vocals over. Jason has been doing this since OM2, and where some songs are written for these releases, some songs are unfinished but complete demos that were never used, and some songs were fully produced songs for his own band and other bands, reworked with new lyrics to create these 'new' QR songs. Again, there is plenty of history online on all of this stuff if you have a day to read up. So for Frequency Unknown, Jason is back engineering and has contributed the most on the songwriting end. In addition, Geoff has brought in other writers, notably Lucas Rossi (former Rockstar: Supernova winner) for the lead track 'Cold'. There is one song penned by his long time keyboardist Randy Gane, a song penned by Martin Irigoyen and a song penned by Chris Cox, those latter two I have never heard of. The issue here is that you have songs coming from different collaboration groups, the only consistent thing being Geoff, so these songs among themselves do not sound like each other. The song 'Dare' for instance is a song that Jason Slater wrote, recorded and produced for a project called Revenge of the Triads, called 'Serve' - on his personal website to go listen to and compare (also interesting as you can find tracks that made their way onto American Soldier and Dedicated to Chaos). This is part the issue with this album, consistency from song to song, there just isn't enough cohesiveness to make you feel like all these songs were recorded as a band. And that is the other issue, because although it says Queensryche on the front of this disc, this is the farthest from a band effort as it could be, and it is heard. Aside from songs written by different people in different ways and styles, every song is recorded by a different assembly of musicians. Session musicians and guest musicians, in addition to the touring band that Geoff is promoting as his Queensryche, are what you hear on this album. You can look at the Wikipedia page to get the specifics, but all in all, you have 11 guitarists, 4 bassists, 4 drummers, 2 keyboardists, and in addition to Tate on vocal, 3 additional people singing background vocals. You have vast differences in playing styles, so you add that to songs written by others, and the whole album is all over the place. The only consistent thing is Geoff. While people say 'this is a Geoff solo record'...it really is, because usually a solo record will allow a singer to explore many different styles and work with many different players. My biggest issue with this record is that it, to me, does not sound like Queensryche, and for me there are two defining eras of this band: the era where writing was done as a band, and the era where Geoff ran the ship with outside collaborators. So figure EP through Tribe as the first era, and OM2 through DTC as the second era. If you listen to any track from the first era, then any track from FU, it sounds like two different bands. If you listen to any track from the second era, which in theory it should sound more like FU, and then listen to a track from FU, it still does not sound like the same band...part of that probably being that although the second era was dominated by outside collaborators, the goal was always to write stuff that the original band would play. With FU, that is not a consideration. Also, where Geoff now appears to write lyrics over complete songs, he lyric writing and vocal delivery has changed, he is not singing the same as he did back in the day. And no, diminished vocal range was never an issue for me with Geoff. So as a consumer, look at what brought you to Queensryche in the first place. If it was Geoff, and only Geoff, then you might like this album. If it was the music from those early releases, then you most likely will wonder what you just bought. Understand that if you were a fan of the band, that band doesn't exist on this album. If you are a fan of Geoff's current touring band, then they too do not exist as a band on this album, because at no point do they play as a band on this record, even though all members do appear, albeit in some cases very briefly, on this album. The production...there are also two mixes of this album, and in the second mix, alternate solos and parts were used, so know which you are getting. It hasn't been clear as to what version is shipping out to stores. The remixed version, some say it is slightly better, I think it sounds little cleaner, but it is still far from perfect, and with engineers mixing only one track each, you have a wide range of approaches/mixing styles showing up as well. If Geoff had done this album as a solo album, I would have rated it higher, as the expectation of buying the record would not be that of a band. But QR is such an iconic name, and while many casual fans may not be aware Geoff is out of the original band, many may not know that Geoff's band does not have Eddie Jackson, Michael Wilton and Scott Rockenfield in it, and for them they may be the reason to buy a QR album, more than Geoff. Geoff has been purposely ambiguous around details of who is on this album, so when a casual fan of QR goes into the store and see a new album, he/she will pick it up having no idea who is on that album. Imagine if you picked up the new Black Sabbath album, and found out that Ozzy was the only original member on it, yet it was still being caused Black Sabbath? Some bands have always done the rotating cast of characters, with the front man being the only constant. That front man usually ensures there is a sound maintained by the members he brings in. Geoff has not done this with this record, has gone on record to dismiss any notion of a 'Queensryche sound', and has called bands that try and maintain a sound and image as being stuck in the past. But there was a sound, it was how the majority of fans came to like this band, and why when those albums drifted further and further away from that sound, the album sales suffered, the shows got smaller and smaller. You may very well like this album. I did listen to it, and there was nothing I could grab onto musically, nothing to my ears that reminded me of Queensryche. I own and was not a fan of Geoff's first solo record, but at least that was a calculated departure, his own thing, an honest record. Geoff's last solo effort sounded more in line with Dedicated to Chaos, and this record, done out of spite at his former band, was done with a few key purposes: be heavy (because that is allegedly what the fans wanted) and be first (which is why it took a month to record, couple weeks to mix, additional couple of weeks to fix). I think artistry was a second thought on this album, that it was more important for him to have an album out for the November court date. Had this been a solo effort, it would have rated higher. Had this album at least been recorded by the touring band, I would have at least given that to Geoff. As it is, the band just started playing the lead single (released in March/April) this month (June) 'Cold' live, because it took them this long to learn the song, because they were not the band to record this. As far as the re-records, know this: Martin Irigoyen did all the instruments...guitars sound direct, drums sound like drum machines or electric/programmed. All background vocals are done by Geoff's daughters. These four songs were what solidified his record deal, as the record company has already sliced them off into a Silent Lucidity greatest hits EP. They are terrible, and for the same cost to buy this electronic EP, you can buy the originals. Listen for yourself, they are a shadow of what the originals were, and calling him singing plus one session guy 'Queensryche' is shameful. Judge the music for yourself, I tried to be fairly objective on the circumstances around this album, but I make no bones about not liking what I heard and my reasons why.
No, I would not recommend this to a friend
excellent cdJune 1, 2013
Queensryche is back, hard going rock by the rock Geoff Tate, although most of the orignal band is not included in this album, as egos continue to break up the band...but it still rocks
I would recommend this to a friend
Amazing album!May 5, 2013
I am a Queensryche fan who LOVES all the albums. Frequency Unknown sounded pretty boring in the samples, and I was honestly expecting a boring album. But after hearing the whole CD, I was very impressed. Cold is a great song, and I love the solo in it. A good intro the this album. Dare is a cool song, but the guitars sounded a little funny to me when I first heard it. It’s a song that truly gets better and better with every listen. Give It To You is my personal favorite off this album. A five star song for me, I love everything about it, and when I hear the album I always have to rewind it to hear this song at least one more time. Slave, Geoff sings in a way ive never heard him sing before, which makes it interesting to hear. The best thing about the song is the solo. In The Hands Of God seems to catch a lot of people’s attention, and you can’t blame them. The second it starts, you can already tell it is going to be a good song. In my opinion, it sounds like a song Queensryche would have wrote in the 1990’s. There is a lot of passion in the singing. Queensryche fans say this is the best song, so check it out if you haven’t heard it. Running Backwards is an amazing song, I like the transitions in it. This solo is also a solo to remember, it is played by K.K Downing, former member from Judas Priest so you know it’s gonna be good. Life Without You is a very nice song, if you like Queensryche’s emotional songs then you should hear this one. You’ll wanna sing along to it. And again, the solo is a solo to remember. Fits well with the song. Everything is one of those sad songs, it reminds me of a song from Judas Priest’s Demolition album (I can’t remember which one) It has a nice melody to it. Fallen is a song I would really wanna hear live. The way Geoff sings it just makes it an amazing song. The guitar sounds really good too. The Weight Of The World is a great conclusion to this amazing album. If you like those slow Queensryche songs, you’ll love this one. It has an acoustic intro but the drums come in later. The best thing about this song (again lol) is the solo. This is the best solo on the album, played by Chris Poland, former member of Megadeth. Trust me, you’ll love that solo. AND THEN theres the bonus tracks. Which first of all, are obviously NOT better than the originals and most of you will probably hate them since Geoff sounds very strange singing them now. Even if you’re a huge fan of Geoff, you can’t lie and say he doesn’t sound awkward. He does. He sounds much better singing those songs live. I don’t hate the re-recorded songs though, I still listen to them. They are interesting to hear, it’s a whole new feel to them. And besides, he is 54 years old now and sings them better than a whole lot of us can. Overall, I REALLY enjoyed Frequency Unknown, and I can’t just listen to it once a day. I have to at least hear it a couple of times. Those of you who only like up to Empire will be very picky with this album, but for those true QR fans that have heard and enjoyed albums like Hear In The Now Frontier, Q2K, Tribe and American Soldier will most likely love this album. I think it is worth a listen, forget the samples. Hear a few tunes, I recommend In The Hands Of God, Running Backwards, Fallen and The Weight Of The World. Congratulations new Queensryche, wish I heard at least one song off this new album during the 25 years of Operation Mindcrime tour. Looking forward to it next time.
I would recommend this to a friend
Amazing album! Please give it a listen!May 5, 2013
First of all, I will preface my review by saying that I have been an extremely loyal Queensryche fan since the EP. I am not solely a fan of Geoff Tate (I also adored Chris DeGarmo), but I will admit that I have primarily connected with Geoff's voice over the last 30 years. You will read A LOT of negative reviews all over the internet about this album that sadly have nothing whatsoever to do with the quality of the songwriting or the performances, but have everything to do with a pathetic campaign to bring down GT. You will also likely read a bunch of negative comments following my review accusing me of everything from being on Geoff's payroll to being Miranda Tate herself. Well, go ahead and Google my name, as they will suggest you do. I don't work for Geoff (although I wouldn't turn down the opportunity if it ever arose!), and I'm not Miranda. I'm just a long-time fan who continues to admire Geoff Tate's vocal performances and the quality of music he releases. I will not slam the other version of Queensryche; I wish them well, but my heart lies with GT. On to the album: I'm not a musician, so I sometimes have difficulty expressing how I feel about music in great detail, but I can tell you that I immediately connected with the album from the moment that I heard the song samples, and my connection has only grown now that I have the full CD. I love the melodies, vocal performances, guitar solos, EVERYTHING! The songs have a wonderful continuity and flow into each other very well. I have a hard time picking favorites from this album, but if I did, I would probably go with "Life Without You," "Give It To You," "Everything," "Weight of the World," “Fallen,” and "In the Hands of God." But then of course there's "Cold," the first single, which really catches your attention from the moment the album begins playing. Every song is great, in my opinion; choosing a favorite is kind of like asking me which of my students I like the best: the answer is, I love all of them! Lots of folks will trash the re-makes. Do they sound like the originals? Of course not; that would be impossible. The re-makes are more like what live performances of those songs might sound like. I prefer the originals (I think most fans would agree), but from my perspective, it is always interesting to hear other takes on great songs. To sum up, please don't be dissuaded by all the haters out there. At one point, negative reviews caused me to hesitate in buying Dedicated to Chaos, but when I finally decided to take a chance, I discovered that I LOVE that album (no joke!) I'm so happy that I stopped listening to the nay-sayers and allowed myself to make up my own mind about DTC. With regard to Frequency Unknown, you should absolutely do the same. Tune out the haters for a moment, give it a listen, and make up your own mind. I promise that you will not regret taking a chance on Geoff Tate and Frequency Unknown. One last side note: this review is actually a re-write of my previous Amazon review of Frequency Unknown that “magically disappeared” several days after it was published, along with some 5-star reviews from other Amazon members. Apparently, the well-organized anti-Tate propaganda machine has been working overtime to try to turn the “HEAT ON” those of us who genuinely enjoy Geoff Tate’s music and who absolutely love Frequency Unknown. I refuse to allow them to silence my voice in support of this amazing album; it’s that good, and I am that passionate about this amazing new Queensryche release!
I would recommend this to a friend
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