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Fates Warning - Long Day Good Night CD (album) cover

LONG DAY GOOD NIGHT

Fates Warning

 

Progressive Metal

3.61 | 68 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Mebert78
5 stars If Long Day Good Night is Fates Warning's last album as has been suggested in recent interviews (please say it ain't so!), then the progressive metal pioneers are definitely going out on a high note. A very high note, in my opinion. Perhaps even as high as the note hit by Ray Alder in the middle of the band's 1988 single, "Silent Cries." Yes, I know that's pretty high, but it's true. And, frankly, I wouldn't expect anything less from this brilliant band.

This eclectic album -- which is the band's 13th studio release and the longest of their career at over 72 minutes -- has everything its fans have come to love over the course of the group's nearly 40-year career, while still exploring new ground as well. The epic disc kicks off with "The Destination Onward," a reflective rocker that sneaks up on the listener with some soft ambient sounds before eventually exploding into an all-out assault by guitarist Jim Matheos, bassist Joey Vera and drummer Bobby Jarzombek. The band's label Metal Blade describes the song as a "dynamic romp that covers a lot of ground," and I would agree. "It's been long since I've been home; and like a dream these thoughts return to me," Alder delicately sings in the opening lines, setting the tone for a ton of home-themed lyrics throughout Long Day Good Night. In a way, it's fitting since the band could be calling it a day after this album, which means they'll likely be spending a lot more time at home. But Fates' farewell is a subject for another day, because I promised myself I wouldn't cry while writing this review. "The word 'home' came up a lot -- whether missing home or just being comfortable there," Alder said in the band's biography on MetalBlade.com. Whatever the reason, the "home" theme makes for some introspective lyrics that are among the best in the band's catalog.

From there, the varied album continues to bring the goods with the blistering "Shutter World," the catchy headbanger "Alone We Walk," and the almost pop rock "Now Comes the Rain" -- the latter of which, with its water theme, reminded me of Alder's solo album, What the Water Wants, from 2019. Next up is one of my favorite tracks: "The Way Home." For me, it's the album's mountaintop much like "The Light and Shade of Things" is to the band's last album, Theories of Flight, from 2016. The new tune starts almost as a lullaby before transitioning to a heavy ending that has some of the most amazing melodies you'll find from Fates Warning. "Escaping pain, forsaking light; can we find the way home?" Alder intensely belts out on the song's final lines. After that is "Under the Sun," which sees the group utilize a string section for the first time. This little diddy is probably as pop as these prog rockers can get, which of course has caused some mixed reactions online, but I absolutely love it. In fact, I've caught myself singing the song's chorus more than once, so I'm obviously among those who dig it.

The album then picks up the pace again with its first single, "Scars," which to me is classic Fates Warning. It's the kind of song we've heard from the band before, but done as good as they've ever done it. Think of singles from their past albums -- such as "Simple Human" on 2004's FWX or "I Am" on 2013's Darkness in a Different Light -- but even better. Other late highlights are "When Snow Falls," a trippy track that features drums by Gavin Harrison of Porcupine Tree and The Pineapple Thief, and "The Longest Shadow of the Day," a roller coaster of a song with some intricate solos by the band's touring guitarist Mike Abdow. Lastly, the disc finishes with "The Last Song," an acoustic tune that might be the group's goodbye. "The writer writes his final wrong; this is the last song," the album abruptly ends.

My closing thoughts are that Long Day Good Night has the muscle to rank among the band's greatest efforts -- albeit probably not as high as masterpieces like 1997's A Pleasant Shade of Gray and 2000's Disconnected, which are my all-time favorite albums by Fates Warning. There's a lot to love about this disc, and I'll be treasuring these tunes for decades to come. Kudos to this legendary group for consistently making great music for as long as they have. If there was a Progressive Metal Hall of Fame, a whole wing would be devoted to these guys.

Also, if this is indeed Fates Warning's finale, I'm crossing my fingers and toes for an encore. But if it doesn't happen, I want to thank the band members (past and present) for everything. Their music always feels like home to me. And, as we all know, there's no place like home.

- Michael R. Ebert (progzombie.blogspot.com)

Mebert78 | 5/5 |

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