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Fates Warning - Disconnected CD (album) cover


Fates Warning


Progressive Metal

4.10 | 353 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Now this is more of what I was hoping to hear. When I made my first Fates Warning album purchase, I wanted to get "Perfect Symmetry" but "Parallels" was cheaper. I also sampled "Disconnected" and I liked what I heard. But as "Parallels" was the follow up album to their highest rated album, I bought that one. And I was not impressed. Recalling my feelings about "Disconnected" I ordered it and breathed a sigh of relief. It sounded good!

This album is a far cry from the "watered down Queensryche" (my impression of "Parallels") I heard on my previous purchase. This album is heavy. It rocks. And it sounds progressive in a way that is different from both Queensryche and Dream Theater. The guitar sound kicks posterior, the drums have some wicked odd time signatures, the bass shows up nice and heavy, the keyboards add atmosphere, and Ray Alder has really come into his own here, offering a great example of the kind of metal voice I like with the ability to sing smoothly and subtly or gruffly and powerfully.

The opening track "Disconnected (Part 1)" isn't much to talk about. It's one of those puzzling pieces that some bands will use to open their albums. It's a short instrumental that is basically a strained guitar effect and that goes nowhere. It pops up again later on Part 2 as an intro to the song. I find it annoying actually, though in the context of a song intro it is tolerable and perhaps even a bit interesting. On its own it brings to mind the image of a statue repeating the same slow swipe across its face with a straight-edged razor.

But forget that. The good stuff begins on track two with a heavy metal tune played to a beat that will make you trip if you try to dance. One thing I didn't like was that, as I mentioned about many songs on "Parallels", "One" starts out heavy but immediately goes light for the first verse. Fates Warning repeat this so often it sounds formulaic for the band. But if I forget about that other album, then it works fine on this song. The song has guts and energy and ends up on my playlists fairly often.

"So" follows in the same rock-out heavy vein but there's more room time-wise to be a little more experimental. Though Ray Alder no longer sounds like a cousin of Geoff Tate, I kind of think he sounds a bit like Gary Cherone of Extreme when he sings the chorus.

"Pieces of Me" is another metal rocker and sounds awesome, but I really like "Something from Nothing". It's eerie, haunting, making use of keyboard atmospherics and spoken voices from speakers (voices isolated from the listener as they come from a speaker and not directly from a human mouth to the ear). The song uses mood to build atmosphere and releases heavy energetic moments and lighter more positive-feeling moments. It's likely my favourite Fates Warning song so far, though "One" sure makes a good impression on me, too.

"Still Remains" should be the stand out track from this album, clocking in at over 16 minutes. However, I find it wanders about looking to establish some kind of mood and ends up doing too much wandering before it gets going anywhere. The lyrics aren't interesting as it seems this song is about a guy who has only photos in an album left after the end of a relationship with a woman he can't let go off. Pretty mundane. There are interesting moments but I don't find the song as cohesive as "Pieces of Me".

The razor scratch begins again for "Disconnected (Part 2)" and then the music calms down with some piano as a recorded voice of an old man speaks with sadness and lament about something in the past. The rest of the song is pretty good but that annoying guitar (not so bad at the end) finishes the track before a voice on a telephone says, "I guess we got disconnected".

Overall an impressive album for me. I like the heaviness and the more progressive aspects that are appreciatively different from Dream Theater and Threshold. It's nice to hear variety within a genre. I have no hesitation to recommend this to anyone with an interest in metal that's not too abrasive and harsh but more melodic and still heavy, and also those who like progressive metal as a whole. Four stars!

FragileKings | 4/5 |


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