What happens when you take one of the best progressive vocalists and hook him up with one of the highly regarded producer and guitar player from the genre? Sweet Oblivion is the answer. DGM's guitarist and producer of many progressive albums: Simone Mularoni joined forces with the legendary former Queensryche and current Operation: Mindcrime singer Geoff Tate. Simone Mularoni's Empyrios and DGM keyboard player Emanuele Casali and Hollow Haze drummer Paolo Caridi complete the project.
For me being a selective Queensryche fan; I lost them after Operation: Mindcrime II, skipped Q2K and am probably one of the few who saw the beauty of Hear In The New Frontier, Sweet Oblivion comes as a revelation. For me the album sees the return to, or perhaps the honouring of the time, before Operation Mindcrime. Simone Mularoni perfectly recreates the atmosphere and musical intensity of the mid-eighties, only adding a modern feel to the compositions. Listen to the title track; guitars bass and drums take you back to times of long ago (positively intended) preserving the perfect base for Geoff Tate's vocals. Also the semi ballad My Last Story is a showcase for the light trembled voice of Tate. During the real ballad; Disconnect it shows Tate still has the charisma to produce the wonderful vocals of this dedicated song.
Reading the part above it is obvious Tate is in great shape and still sounds like the young progressive god he once was, but let's not forget the more than impressive part of the man I think who is all behind this album; Simone Mularoni. The man who took DGM to another level and is a highly regarded guest musician and producer for other progressive acts. Mularoni shines with Queensryche related melodies and riffs. Listen to his solo in The Deceiver and you know you are listening to one of the best progressive guitarists in the moment, or the fine instrumental part of Transition and you know you get the best of both worlds during the album.
After a few listens I have to conclude, I am very impressed by the debut album of Sweet Oblivion; I hope there will be more in the future. Musically and production wise very high standard compositions that are topped with the excellent vocals of a still amazing vocalist.
Really hoping for a European adventure to support the album.
****+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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