There’s a lot of attention on Geoff Tate’s second solo album, because of his ongoing feud with former band Queensrÿche. So, it was vital he came out of the traps with a real statement of musical intent. And he’s done exactly that.
To be fair, Queensrÿche haven’t made an essential album for perhaps two decades. And, while Kings & Thieves isn’t likely to trouble anything on Operation: Mindcrime or Empire, it’s better than anything done by the singer’s former band in recent times.
Opening with the forthright She Slipped Away, oddly a sequel to Queensrÿche’s Drive, Geoff showcases his diversity and range. In The Dirt and The Way I Roll both share a bluesy groove. Tomorrow is a slow burner; building from a mournful start to an eastern-tinged, overblown climax. And These Glory Days is a vibrantly optimistic rocker, with a hint of gospel.
Geoff’s voice has lost some of the rich timbre of old, but he has adjusted his approach to compensate. And with a strong band behind him, plus a consistent set of songs, this offers considerable scope (and not a little hope) for his future.