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Fates Warning - No Exit CD (album) cover


Fates Warning


Progressive Metal

3.91 | 251 ratings

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5 stars Enter young man!

There is an exit. There is a way. A way for deliberate thoughts and unrestrained emotions. This record was among my first prog metal albums I got acquainted with, when I started my journey into the realms of progressive music. After two spins or even three, it seemed to me rather complex and a bit messed up. I remember, nevertheless, the waves of thrill during forth try. "Under the brooding sky and watchful eyes". It's quite dark and heavy music not crossing the borders with extreme styles. As on the most Fates Warning albums lyrics deal with painful and sorrowful issues nd as always are quite psychological with much sense put between the lines. Despair, melancholy, and even aggression a bit, are the shades of emotions that color the musical canvas of No Exit album.

There's no sense in praising abilities and skills of musicians or their consistency. You know, Jim Matheos has always known how to select right musicians. And Ray Alder, a newcomer for that moment of time, shows it perfectly. His voice range, emotiveness and mastery are just second to none (But don't forget - I'm a huge fan of yelling and wailing). There couldn't be better substitute for John Arch. Those screams on Anarchy divine are absolutely punching and striking. What an anger! On the other hand - that mellow flows in the beginning of Innocence part of The Ivory Gate Of Dreams.

Concerning songs. No weak points for sure. If you're not agree ? contact me. Joking aside, every single song (it means, little piece No Exit - too) is no filler. Elaborated structures, fresh riffs, stunnig solos and haunting melodies are all present song. And not to forget the atmosphere and emotional flow.

No Exit is short song, a kind of introduction or opener, if you like. Slow dissonant arpeggios topped with sinister voice. Lyrics are concise and rather reflective. In my point of view they're about vanity of existence.

The next song, Anarchy Divine is rather aggressive and rebellious. It demonstrates the heavier side of the band. That intro riff with shifted accents and reduced beats reminds of dark and heavy Iron Maiden. Solos are very accomplished, especially the ones by Frank Aresti with all his legato staff. Instrumental part is relatively ling. Although the song is only 3 minutes long, vocals enter at the 2 minutes point after fast riff. Lyrics deal with repression and resistance of a personality.

Silent Cries. Melodious yet heavy and progressive. There is plenty of time signature changes. Just listen to the riff after the chorus (and the chorus as well). On this song bass lines of Joe DiBiase really stand out. Some punches here and there. Verses and choruses have exciting contrast which intensifies the emotional tension. To my mind these quite psychological lyrics are about the universal neglect towards the opened, young and eager minds (which can be both harmful both for personality and society).

In A Word is a very melancholic piece. Gloomy and mellow at times, but the tension builds up to the chorus. Very nice acoustic Jim Matheos extremely contributes to such melancholy. Atmosphere is a bit similar to Iron Maiden's Remember Tomorrow. The choruses are kind of hanging over you with a lot of pressure. The sense of lyrics to my mind consists in searching for one's own way: is it real to make your life as you wish? Or you are doomed to struggle with cold and grey reality with no exit?

On Shades Of Heavenly Death the first man to stand out is Steeve Zimmerman. Really great drum intro. Then enters that thrashy riff. The song is the heaviest one on the record, and also one of the proggiest. It contains different riffs and rhythms, multiple time and time signature changes. Also you can check 3:50 point with Sabbatish riff. The comes that absolutely sinister part: abrupt distortion punches and classical inspired acoustic arpeggios with synthesizer making atmosphere in the background. There's no sense in explaining the lyrics, 'cause the last lines can do it really better: "Crowned voids forever rule. In worlds lived and learned of fools. Conformity's the teachers' tool."

Am I going to write a giant paragraph 'bout premiere d'oeuvre The Ivory Gates Of Dream? Just listen to that 22 minutes of grandeur. This piece has it all. The first real progressive metal epic. Lyrics? Is it good to be a dreamer or not? Daydreaming or planning? You're to decide. Magnificent musical journey.

So, to draw a conclusion I'll emphasize, that this record is extremely underestimated and deserves a special place in every progressive metal and metal collection.

ArtuomNechuev | 5/5 |


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