Sound — 6
Queensryche: a band that has been subject to massive amounts of controversy within the music world. Allegations of manipulation over the band's ability to write music, hiring outside writers, secretly selling the rights to "Operation: Mindcrime" to animation companies. In the end, original lead vocalist Geoff Tate was fired from the band, however for some reason he has decided that he still has the rights to the "Queensryche" name, and so formed another band named Queensryche and has just released a new album, titled "Frequency Unknown". Musically, the new album is comprised of heavy, alternative metal guitar riffs backed by the occasional piano playing and heavy hitting choruses, such as what's demonstrated in the lead single "Cold". It's very different as compared to Queensryche's earlier efforts, almost as though this is a conscious effort. The aforementioned piano playing sticks out like a sore thumb in the chorus, as it's surrounded by crunching power chords and vocal harmonies. This dramatic change in sound is an upgrade from the mostly bland, pop-rock style showcased in such recent outings as "Dedicated To Chaos" and "American Soldier", but for those fans looking for a strong return to form, you should probably look elsewhere.
Lyrics — 5
Geoff Tate is still in all rights a good vocalist, which helps provide the new album with some classic feel. All those years of screaming out the intro to "Queen Of The Ryche" has taken an apparent toll on his range, so anything over a medium range is apparently difficult to hit. For the most part this is an entirely new band, which once again brings up the question if this should even be released as a "Queensryche" album.
Overall Impression — 6
All in all, "Frequency Unknown" is a halfway decent album from Geoff Tate's Queensryche. It shows the band embracing a completely different musical style, and although it is admittedly better than the past decade of Queensryche albums, still falls a short. For fans of alternative metal, as well as the army of Geoff Tate diehard followers, this is a must-listen. And original Queensryche fans should go out and give this album a chance as well, sure as hell couldn't hurt. It's an album that still has some good moments, but just wasn't the return-to-form we were all hoping for.