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Fates Warning - A Pleasant Shade Of Gray - Live (VHS) CD (album) cover

A PLEASANT SHADE OF GRAY - LIVE (VHS)

Fates Warning

 

Progressive Metal

4.43 | 27 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

aapatsos
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
5 stars Gray video - flawless performance!

I am not a fan of DVD, video or VHS productions - I almost never buy them and never reviewed any! However, it would be a shame if this VHS is not given the proper attention or at least one review.

The content reached my hands when I bought a Greek metal magazine accompanied by this VHS tape somewhere between 1998 and 2000... Actually, this might have even been free with the magazine... I also have a strange story with APSOG - I have the studio version, the live version in the brilliant ''Still Life'' live album, this VHS and I was lucky enough to see FATES WARNING perform it in its whole live on stage back in 2000. I really can't pick which version I like the most...

Reflecting its title, the video is set on a totally gray background. Apart from the majority of the video which captures the band performing APSOG in its entirety, there are some ''theatrical'', directed cuts, very pleasant to watch. These partly picture a well-dressed man in various scenes of his life, in a house, sitting on a bench or by the sea. The common element in all these scenes I believe is loneliness and that's what the director probably tries to represent. The only colours that are used throughout this video are white and gray (not a surprise), matching exactly the atmosphere of the music.

As mentioned above, the majority is devoted to the band performing the album. The venue is relatively small and creates a very warm atmosphere, with the audience being very enthusiastic and contributing substantially to the show. The sound, even though in VHS form, is very good and all the instruments can be clearly heard in the appropriate amount of detail. The performance of the band is at the highest level - personally I believe they were at their peak during these years. The music of the original album can hardly be differentiated from this live performance, almost to a point that someone could even doubt about the authenticity of this live recording...

The technical skills of the band members are revealed in all their splendour in this video (for those not familiar). Both the individual and team performance is close to perfection, showing the very good collaboration in the band and the chemistry between the musicians. However, this video is not only about the masterful drumming of Mark Zonder (a la Neil Peart) and the flawless deliverance from Ed Roth and Jim Matheos; the atmosphere still remains the most valuable asset of the live performance.

I don't feel I need to comment on the style of the music or the quality of the recording - please see the reviews for the studio album and the respective live album for this reason. If I had to pick highlights, I would go for the parts 7 and 8 that expose the brilliance of these musicians.

One of the best progressive metal albums performed in a flawless, uplifting manner - if you have never watched them performing APSOG live, this is a very good substitute. Essential to friends of top-level progressive metal.

aapatsos | 5/5 |

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