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Sweet Oblivion with Geoff Tate: Relentless
Sweet Oblivion Featuring Geoff Tate - Relentless Album Art

Sweet Oblivion with Geoff Tate: Relentless

Melodic Heavy Metal
3.5/5.0

Introduced to us almost two years ago, Sweet Oblivion is a project developed by Frontiers Music to give another platform to legendary American vocalist Geoff Tate of Queensryche fame. While the self-titled debut Sweet Oblivion album was overseen by Frontiers President Serafino Perugino, the main songwriting and production fell to DGM guitarist Simone Mularoni. With the second effort, Relentless, the baton has been passed to another Italian metal veteran, Aldo Lonobile (Secret Sphere, Timo Tolkki's Avalon, Archon Angel).

Geoff Tate - Click For Larger Image

Geoff Tate

Apparently, Tate himself was more involved in songwriting this time around, and asked that Lonobile would write a song which the vocalist could sing in Italian. It's not indicated in the promotional one-sheet, but my best guest is that Aria is that song. (But don't quote me on that.)

Originally, the Sweet Oblivion project was to not only elevate Tate's vocal presence in the current metal universe, but to do so by having songs written contextually in the same vein as early Eighties Queensryche. This time around, for Relentless, this premise receives a very subtle mention.

Nevertheless, the fundamental appeal of the Sweet Oblivion project is most certainly Geoff Tate and his vocal presence and style. Most definitely, you have to be a Tate fan to enjoy Sweet Oblivion. His voice is then wrapped up in what can only be reduced to as European melodic heavy power metal. Lonobile's song composition is large on strong and sharp guitar riffs and ripping solos combined with sublime injections of keyboards which offer subtle piano to symphonic embellishment. The arrangements can be heavy, expansive, and dense which, in some songs like Strong Pressure or Once Again One Sin, can make Tate's voice seem stunted or pushed down. Tate appears better within Another Change, the groove-laden Wake Up Call, and the smoother ballad I'll Be The One.

All said, once more Sweet Oblivion and Relentless accomplish their goal, giving another melodic metal platform to venerable and consistent metal vocalist Geoff Tate. Recommended for Geoff Tate fans everywhere.




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The Bottom Line

Once more Sweet Oblivion and Relentless accomplish their goal, giving another melodic metal platform to venerable and consistent metal vocalist Geoff Tate. Recommended for Geoff Tate fans everywhere.

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