Sweet Oblivion is a project that was put together by Frontiers Music guru Serafino Perugino around two years ago to give veteran metal vocalist Geoff Tate another musical outlet. The self-titled debut album was written, performed (apart from vocals) and produced by DGM guitarist Simone Mularoni and was well received in metal circles. This time around another Italian metal legend Aldo Lonobile (Secret Sphere, Timo Tolkki’s Avalon, Archon Angel) has taken the reigns. Tate has been much more involved with the song writing on this latest effort and there is plenty here that fans of classic Queensryche (and classic metal in general) can sink their teeth into.

The idea is simple but effective, give Tate a vessel that echoes his early work with Queensryche. Let’s be honest here, anyone who is going to listen to this is a fan of the Ryche and they want to hear Tate in a familiar setting. Tate has one of those “Marmite” voices (I happen to love his voice) but I know plenty of people that aren’t fans.

His legacy is a strong one though, Queensryche were a multi-platinum selling band at their peak and they have influenced many with their “Thinking Man’s Metal”.  This project isn’t all about nostalgia though, there are some other musical influences at play here. There are elements of classical music as well as crunching riffs and European power metal. Tate sounds fantastic throughout the album and seems to have a new vigour to his voice. This is easily up there with his best vocal performances since the Empire album back in 1990.

The album has a similar direction to the debut and the change of producer/song writer doesn’t seem to hinder the material at all. Tracks like the single Strong Pressure, Remember Me, Let It Be and the fantastic Aria with Tate singing in Italian all hit the target. They are well crafted and performed, and the band who include Lonobile on guitar, Michele Sanna on drums, Luigi Andreone on bass and Antonio Agate on keyboards can quite easily be overlooked due to the emphasis being on Tate. Of course, without Tate there would probably be no Sweet Oblivion, even so, the band should get some well-deserved kudos.

Strong songs, great production and fantastic artwork makes the package a desirable one. Tate is back on top form, and the Sweet Oblivion name may even see the day when they won’t need the Featuring Geoff Tate tag.

Buy Sweet OBlivion Here



Author: Kenny Kendrick