When I saw this album in my email, I really didn’t know what to expect. Geoff Tate has been all over the board from doing acoustical sets to recording albums with his Operation Mindcrime band. I wasn’t a big fan of the Operation Mindcrime albums and was hoping it wasn’t more of the same.
With Simone Mularoni, the mastermind behind prog metal masters DGM behind Sweet Oblivion, I was pleasantly surprised with the songwriting and lyrics. To add icing on the cake, Geoff Tate sounds good as he has in a long time.
The idea for Sweet Oblivion was to create a musical landscape for Tate which was akin to the sound of the metal albums he released with Queensryche during the ’80s, along with some other different musical influences thrown into sweet the pot.
Musically, this album offers a collection of songs showcasing the great songwriting and performing talents of Mularoni and his cast of musicians and marks a very welcomed return for Tate to a style that he made famous along with his previous bandmates.
Through the joys and magic of modern production, Simone is able to layer and thicken his tracks. He frequently picks out the individual notes within chords, letting them ring over the top of one another, sometimes in jarring discordant ways. such as the opening of the titular second track. At other times, the chords are chunky and powerful. The leads, however, are the sweetest blend of attack, cut, and cream.
I think with Mularoni writing the songs, this album sounds a lot better than if Tate did. Geoff should consider working with Simone against in the future. 8.5/10