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Band lineup: Geoff Tate (vocals, keyboards, saxophone), Kelly Gray (guitars, vocals), Scott Moughton (guitars, vocals), John Moyer (bass), Simon Wright (drums), Brian Tichy (drums), Scott Mercado (drums) and Mike Ferguson (drums).
The New Reality is the third and concluding chapter of Geoff Tate's inaugural trilogy under the Operation: Mindcrime moniker. I must admit that I haven't been so overwhelmed by the musical outcome of the two first records in this series and even if those episodes comprise a couple of good songs altogether I think there have been far too many bumps up and down from start to finish in order to verify this once admired and celebrated singer's creative process.
So what does this final part bring to the table then? I would claim that it basically bears a strong resemblance to both part 1 and part 2 (The Key and Resurrection), which generally means that it's a blend between more or less everything that Mr. Tate has come out with since the millennium change and certain noticeable elements to hit the atmosphere of Queensrÿche's Operation: Mindcrime record.
In some way this record comes out a little bit repetitive, even if it's indeed not a monotonous effort when taking everything into account, because the music is often just floating gently down a river of tranquility with emphasis on keyboards and computerized sounds in order to bring a specific gloomy aura to the whole thing and maybe the storytelling is taking too much room as well and thereby forms the music instead of the opposite.
There is hardly anything really and truly exciting going on and I miss songs with some extra energy or a kind of kick-ass feeling that can function as a spark for the entire record and it's pretty much only a couple of tracks that contain any up-tempo fragments at all and, very much similar to this album's two predecessors, a whole lot of the songs could go down well as theme music to a late night subway station sequence in a '70s movie.
Even if my words above seem to come out on the negative side I can't say that this is a bad creation and perhaps this is just one of those records that you have to listen to a hundred times before you will eventually find its supposed true greatness and by then maybe also find out what a great effect the saxophone has to this music. To do that takes incredible dedication though and in 2017 I believe that people generally don't have such loyalty anymore and most of Geoff Tate's long-time fans will probably prefer listening to his work on Queensrÿche's classic albums instead.