To say that Alpha Tiger vocalist Stephan Dietrich sounds like Geoff Tate (ex-Queensryche) would be an understatement. The two are almost identical to the point where if I told you that Beneath the Surface was an unreleased album from somewhere between The Warning and Rage for Order, you’d probably believe me - especially if I told you that the whole thing was digitally remastered. A hardcore fan would notice that Alpha Tiger isn’t as technical or as progressive as old Queensryche, but he’d be fooled for a minute. This isn’t to say that Alpha Tiger doesn’t have the skill to pull off something on the level of The Warning. These guys know how to play and they have the chops to pull off an old-school Heavy Metal album that rocks as hard as anything else from back in 1985. Their biggest hurdle is the similarity in sound and style to Geoff Tate in the vocal department. It makes you want to write this band off as a Queensryche clone and that really isn’t fair. This is some good old-fashioned Heavy Fucking Metal that isn’t too technical but still has enough fancy fret-work to remind you how prevalent talented guitar players were back in the day. I had to listen to this multiple times to get a firm grip on what was going on with this band and each time I listened to it, I had to remind myself that I wasn’t listening to old Queensryche. If you can get past the obvious comparisons, Beneath the Surface is a good album. Alpha Tiger needs to work on differentiating themselves from Queensryche (particularly now that they are both on Century Media) but other than that, they’re a solid act with a lot of potential.
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