6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Frequency Unknown (Audio CD)
A lot has been said about this album that it's difficult to add anything new. An amusing afternoon can be had trawling through the reviews on Amazon.com, some blindly praising it and some blindly slating it, but from listening to this album myself, I feel the criticism it's receiving is somewhat justified.
It's hard to ignore all the shenanigans that has surrounded this album, and in some ways the album shouldn't be judged on it, but, on the other hand, it has been born out of the turmoil and it wouldn't exist without it, so I think the background is important. Because of this, Frequency Unknown, is being beaten down because of what it stands for, which is a rushed, blatant cash in and attempted claim for the QR name with little regard to the fan base. Even before you listen to a note, the reasons behind this release just grind your gears.
From the drubbing on amazon.com I was expecting a train wreck, however, for myself, the original songs are not as bad as that. Highlights include Cold, Slave and In The Hands Of God, but on the whole, the bland, unadventurous, passionless nature of the song writing leaves the whole experience flat and uninspired, Give It To you and Everything especially. The eclectic collection of guest musicians, presumably brought on board to meet the deadline, jar slightly as some performances and solos do not gel in this style of radio styled hard rock. On top of that is the flat, demo style production, a production job so bad that the record company commissioned remixes available to those who have bought the album (one has to like the songs first before bothering with a remix). The only other time I have heard of this is when Nevermore recorded Enemies Of Reality, oddly enough, Kelly Gray produced this album. (On that occasion, I liked the album enough to get the remixes, but not this time.) It's frustrating when you hear unsigned/relatively unknown acts such as A Sound Of Thunder, Unleash The Archers and Bloodshot Dawn produce wonderful sounding albums on a shoestring budget, either self financed or through the kickstarter campaign, and then you have to pay full price for this badly produced album from a professional outfit.
What was heading for a 2/5 has been dragged to a 1/5 because of the money spinning re-records at the end of the disc. They are truly awful. The production is very weak, Geoff has trouble staying in tune and none of them capture the magic of the originals. This is not a good start for a man hoping to steer QR into the future and take the fanbase with him.
I've read high scoring reviews stating it would be a decent Geoff Tate record and I think that holds merit, but this is not a Geoff Tate solo record and should not be considered as such. It has the QR name on it (it could all change come November) and should be put into context with the rest of their discography and against that, FU is quite feeble.
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Initial post: 7 Jun 2013 00:36:20 BDT
Sparky Mead says:
Great review, so true what you have said about the great albums recorded on limited budget. I have heard better quality demos than this effort. You have to wonder about the sanity of someone who puts out material like that, especially with the flat and tuneless vocal delivery on the re-records.
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