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Geoff Tate: Kings & Thieves

Former Queensrÿche vocalist proves a point

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.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009.