JUNE 24th 2019

Review by Ruben Mosqueda

Geoff Tate has returned with some new music.  After a very prolific though, uneven trilogy of concept albums, he was enlisted by Sweet Oblivion to lay down some vocals for the self-titled album. Sweet Oblivion WILL please the die-hard Queensrÿche fans that long for a return from Tate to the ‘glory years’ sound of The Warning, Operation:Mindcrime and the commercial Empire. If that is what you’ve been waiting for then, Sweet Oblivion will certainly hit the spot. The music found on Sweet Oblivion is more ‘progressive’ than the classic Queensrÿche material, if you can imagine Queensrÿche meets Symphony X meets Vanden Plas, that’s what Sweet Oblivion sounds like.

Sweet Oblivion is not a ‘new band’ per se, it’s more of a ‘project’ built around Italian guitarist [known for his work with DGM] Simone Mularoni, who wrote some brilliant material for this album. I don’t know if Tate was the singer in mind for this collection of songs, but he certainly fits right into this seamlessly, it’s not forced or contrived like a lot of these albums created via file sharing. While it’s a polished album, it retains enough grit, that it’s not so pristine that it sounds sterile and lifeless. Sweet Oblivion can go toe to toe with Empire, it’s that great to the ear.  

I love this album more with each listen, the song “True Colors” got me hooked from the first listen, it’s a tune that could have been wedged in on either Operation:Mindcrime and Empire---it’s that good. “Hide Away” is another fantastic song that leans in the direction of the Queensrÿche classic deeper cut, “Anybody Listening”.  “Disconnect” is a ballad unlike anything Tate has been a part of ages, I don’t get that excited about these kind of songs these days, but this is well written and brilliantly executed. Top to bottom Sweet Oblivion is solid effort, it doesn’t break new ground but goes in the trajectory that Queensrÿche should have continued after Promisedland. Queensrÿche past and present should give this album a try, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.