The Key – The debut album from Operation: Mindcrime

Released September 18, 2015
Frontiers SRL
 

“Former Queensryche frontman rediscovers his ingenuity – The music is inventive and also has lyrical substance, and Geoff’s voice is dominant, revelling in the freedom to explore his own visions… intelligently entertaining progressive metal.” – TeamRock.com (Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, PROG)

“With the original ‘Operation: Mindcrime’ album rightly regarded as an all-time metal classic, comparisons are perhaps a little futile. However, taken as its own entity, incredibly, and against the odds, ‘The Key’ is a brilliant piece of work… Leaving soap opera dramas and court room sagas behind to focus on the music, Tate has clearly been re-energized, making an album to silence the detractors. Operation: successful.” – My Global Mind

“I now find myself eagerly anticipating what is to unfold on the next album… It should go without saying but I’ll say it anyway; this is not an album you put on at a party. For that I suggest something like AC/DC’s Rock Or Bust; no people, this is an album that deserves your undivided attention. Pour a glass of your favourite wine, sit back in your most comfortable chair, dim the lights and immerse yourself in this new world created by musical mastermind Geoff Tate.” – Full Throttle Rock

“Geoff has proved once and for all (as if any proof were needed) that he can not only survive without Queensryche, but that he has the talent and ability to continue to explore the musical form with which he made his name. ‘The Key’ is a hugely impressive opening gambit in an ambitious trilogy and part two (which is already recorded) cannot arrive soon enough.” – Sonic Abuse

“Operation: Mindcrime’s The Key will speak to the hardcore Queensryche and Geoff Tate fans, who enjoy the challenge of listening to an album over and over to unlock the mystery and discover the stories within the story. Fans may miss Queensryche’s signature harmony guitar solos, which are completely absent on the effort. But Tate makes up for it with a superb vocal performance and with some well-written and layered songs that harken back to the sounds Queensryche laid down on 1986’s Rage For Order and on their 1988 masterpiece Operation: Mindcrime.” – Loudwire

“Musically and lyrically ‘The Key’ is intriguing throughout… There is everything here you’d expect from a release featuring Geoff Tate but it’s also an album that noticeably attempts to tear up the rule book and create something both fresh and challenging.” – Uber Rock

The Key is a good album. It mixes melody with power and musicality with thought provoking lyrics. It is pop sensibility with sheer hard rock mayhem. There are no rules, yet the result is, for the most part what Queensryche fans have been begging him (Geoff Tate) to do for years.” – Classic Rock Revisited

“This disc takes me back to 1988 – in a great way and I cannot wait to see what else Tate and company develop and throw at us in the future.” – 100 Percent Rock Magazine

“Rather than trying to recapture the past, Tate should be commended for “Reinventing The Future” with Operation: Mindcrime.” – Hard Rock Daddy

“This record sounds like the bridge between the past and the last few QR releases before Geoff left… Geoff has found a band that shares his passion and if anything is close to a “classic Queensryche cd”, it would be this record. From start to finish, this record really delivers for the most part and is the best thing that Geoff has put out since Hear in the Now Frontier. This could be seen as the ‘comeback of 2015’.” – WickedChannel.com

“Re-Inventing The Future” is probably the best song Geoff has recorded since his QUEENSRYCHE days, and believe it or not, I am referring to the good days of the Seattle-based band, so you better not be close-minded. The rhythm guitars have that ‘classic’ vibe, the multiple vocals harmonies are simply awesome and the spoken parts serve their concept aspect of the music on the side of the subtle but still effective orchestrations.” – Metal Kaoz

“It’s certainly an ambitious album. An adventurous one. It is one which harks back to Mindcrime – especially in the sequenciality of the album’s ‘chapters’ – but also takes a completely different approach. For a start, it is a lot less claustrophobic. It is an album that breathes, especially as it progresses. It has an almost organic feel. And a feeling that Tate is not always in complete control; that he has let his assembled group of like-minded musicians go with the flow and he has been happy to join them in swimming both with and against its tide. One of its strengths is how Tate himself is prepared to take a back seat and let the music tell as much of the story as he does through his lyrics… To be brutally honest, as an longstanding (and very much old school) Queensrÿche fan, I genuinely did not know what to expect from Operation: Mindcrime and ‘The Key’.  I did not know if I was going to like it.  I did not know if I wanted to like it. As it is, I’m already looking forward to the next instalment and unlocking whatever mysteries Mr Tate has in store for us…” – Planet Mosh

“…after hearing ‘The Key’ in its entirety, it turns out that Geoff Tate does still have something new and worthwhile to say. In a nutshell, ‘ The Key’ mixes the atmospheric prog of Promised Land with the alt. metal-lite of Tribe, but with modern influences. Possibly even more substantial, though, is that it actually sounds like Geoff and company care about making a quality album. Almost the entire album is full of chill prog rock that features great hooks, subtle background flourishes, catchy guitar melodies, and even a great modern performance from Geoff Tate – the second half of the album is especially good.” – Sputnik Music

“‘The Key’ is an artistic statement that is characteristically and quintessentially Geoff Tate. Like its illustrious namesake and predecessor (‘Operation Mindcrime’ itself) it is also an album of which it can justly be said that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. You get the sense that despite his past glories with Queensryche, if Parts II and III maintain the quality, intensity and vibe of ‘The Key’, ‘Operation: Mindcrime’ could well turn out to be a career defining project for Tate and, ultimately, his crowning achievement.” – Uber Rock
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