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Fates Warning - No Exit  CD (album) cover

NO EXIT

Fates Warning

 

Progressive Metal

3.87 | 176 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars No Exit is the fourth album from american progressive metal band Fates Warning. No Exit saw a big change in the lineup of the band as original singer John Arch was replaced by Ray Alder. John Arch was a very skilled and distinct vocalist and the fans were nervous about the choice of a new singer for the band. It has to be mentioned here that John Arch left the band at his own choice and on good terms with the other members to devote his time to his family. Ray Alder has a very different voice compared to John Arch but he was without a doubt the perfect substitution at the right time for the band. No Exit saw Fates Warning pursue a more technical metal style but the music isn´t tech metal complex.

Side one of the original LP had an intro and four 4-5 minute songs which are all good but not that impressive IMO. The real treat here is the epic 21:50 minute side long track called The Ivory Gate of Dreams which will be the song that holds most interest to progressive metal fans.

The musicianship is generally good and Ray Alder is a great replacement for John Arch. The drums are a big problem for me though. Steve Zimmerman who would be replaced by Mark Zonder after No Exit is a traditional eighties metal drummer. He hasn´t got many tricks up his sleeve and totally lacks the sophistication of Mark Zonder which means that songs that could have been somewhat enjoyable soon becomes a bit annoying. His drumming style just didn´t suit Fates Warning´s increasingly technical playing and thankfully he left after this album.

The production is another major problem on No Exit. I rather enjoyed the eighties production in the previous album Awaken the Guardian but this time it´s just horrible. Totally empty sounding and with no room for emotion. One of the worst emotionless eighties productions I have ever heard.

The cover artwork is pretty ugly if you ask me and doesn´t really invite me in.

After the great Awaken the Guardian I don´t think No Exit really lives up to the standard that album set. The compositions are as such pretty good but the horrible production and the terrible drumming somewhat destroys my experience. Fates Warning have made a good album after all though and I´ll rate it 3 small stars. No Exit was a big transition as Ray Alder entered the band but with the departure of Steve Zimmerman and the inclusion of Mark Zonder on the next album Perfect Symmetry would revolutionize Fates Warning´s sound and propel them into progressive metal stardom. Be sure to check that one out. This one is really only for the fans but it´s a bit too good to only receive a 2 star rating.

UMUR | 3/5 |

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