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Fates Warning - Night On Bröcken CD (album) cover


Fates Warning


Progressive Metal

2.71 | 180 ratings

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4 stars In terms of Progressive Metal, Fates Warning is a fundamental band. Although initially they were a mix between Iron Maiden, Saxon and Judas Priest and "Night On Broken" (title and cover inspired by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's "Faust") "Night On Brocken" is a 100% US Power Metal album, it must be said that, immediately , they put a lot of Prograssive elements on 100% US Power Metal music. What strikes me most is the magic that "Night On Brocken" has, which makes it immortal. I must immediately note that John Arch although he is an excellent singer is not suitable for a progressive context, being more suitable for expressing power and epicity, which is felt above all in the beautiful third album "Awaken the Guardian", his last album with Fates Warning . In "Night On Brocken", however, this defect is not known, because the songs have minimal progressive moments (given the bands to which they are inspired, one would expect that they have drawn inspiration from their more Progressive albums).

The songs are all very valid and powerful, with a really convincing writing (even if some songs are too sought after... In the sense that they have Progressive Power Metal passages [a decade before Angra] that make them a bit heavy). However "Night On Brocken" is an album that can still be listened to with pleasure. The twin guitars (by Jim Matheos and Victor Arduini) are techniques at the right point as long as the power stands out without penalizing the technique also because the rhythmic section (Joe DiBiase and Steve Zimmerman) is really very dynamic and well written and arranged. Zimmerman is an excellent US Power metal drummer who knows how to play jazz scores with a phenomenal naturalness and DiBiase is a truly technical bass player who knows very well how to play things closer to Jazz, as already in this album you can perceive it in different moments. "Biried Alive", "The Calling", "Damnation" and "Soldier Boy" are notable songs, which kidnap your brain for the writing and feeling they contain. However, "Misfit" is the centerpiece. It is a Progressive Speed Power Metal which, although very linear and direct, manages to bring out the Progressive element. "Misfit" was written with John Arch in mind, because it does not present real moments in which he can suffer. "Shadowfax" is an instrumental all played on symphonic-like guitars until it transforms into a Speed Metal which, however, loses the symphonicity of the guitars only for the change of atmosphere, because it seems to become jazzy, which I always peace to point out. Another thing that I like to highlight is the acoustic intro of "Damnation" due to the fact that having inserted the electric bass and being very dramatic, it becomes really epic and enters the head very well. In addition, the attack of electric guitars is thrilling, as is the fact that the rhythms and structure of "Damnation" is not common in the US Power Metal. In this sense, "Damnation" is an excellent example of primordial Progressive Metal. In 2002 a remastered version came out with 4 bonus tracks. Noteworthy are "Last Call" an extraordinary Epic Metal written by Arch alone (and included in the 1984 demo called "Misfit") and the cover of the iron Maiden "Flight Of Icarus".

"Night On Brocken" is not considered a Progressive Metal album. However, it is an excellent album to recommend to understand what Progressive Metal was at the beginning (also to listen to "The Specter Within" and "Awaken The Guardian" [of the first three albums the most Progressive]). Fates Warning are a transversal band, you know. Loved by both Power Metal and Progressive Metal fans. Also because since this debut album they proved to be above average musicians and composers.

OLD PROG | 4/5 |


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