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Fates Warning - No Exit  CD (album) cover

NO EXIT

Fates Warning

 

Progressive Metal

3.82 | 171 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

heyitsthatguy
4 stars 4.5 stars actually!

Fates Warning, to me, is the first truly progressive metal band. Queensryche is a great band, but I only see them as progrelated, because on Mindcrime, the only thing that really makes it "prog" is the concept and the few overly long songs, and trust me, many bands have done both on the same album without being "prog" (undeniably an influential album though) This album has its historical value though, although being not very well known. This was the first album where Fates Warning took their Rush influences to a new level, with rapid shifts in songs like Shades of Heavenly Death and the massive Ivory Gates of Dreams, the first progmetal epic (although one could argue 2112). This is pivotal in that Dream Theater toured with them around this period, and was a vital step in influencing their evolution from When Dream and Day Unite to Images and Words (although coming out before the former) , the pivotal and most influential progmetal album arguably to date, which thus spawned the whole prog metal movement. Hate it or love it, it's here for a while. Anyways, enough history lessons, onto the review.

1. No Exit- essentially, an intro to the next track/rest of the album. Why they would choose to name the album after an intro track is beyond me, but at 42 seconds, there isn't much to be said about this, other than the fact that it marks Ray Alders' vocal debut, and can have many comparisons drawn between he and Geoff Tate of Queensryche.

2. Anarchy Divine- first actual track, exploding with guitars, and already the time signature fun begins. Lyrically, one could link this song's theme to that of Mindcrime, and I'm sure they full well knew that when writing it. Still, fantastic track, reminiscent of previous albums

3. Silent Cries- seems like a continuation of the previous track, if I hadn't seen the track change on my CD player, I wouldn't have known the difference. This means its similar soundwise to the previous song. I find Adler's voice in the chorus somewhat annoying at times, and he on this album particularly sometimes tries to hit the high notes, and succeeds, but without being coherent. A more typical metal track, not too progressive, but stil a good song

4. In a Word- starts with haunting acoustic guitars, only to be somewhat ruined to a degree by the triggered snare and booming echoey bass pedal that seemed to plague the time period. A good song, somewhat ballady song with some haunting melodies

5. Shades of Heavenly Death- kicks off with almost a semi blast beat and a Slayerish type riff, which quickly changes, and the prog fun begins! For such a short track, this song cycles through many parts, all different in time signature and tempo. Great track, second favorite off the album

6. The Ivory Gate of Dreams- amazing song, and arguably the first sidelong progmetal song (again, discounting 2112, as the progmetal genre did not exist yet) Starts with beautiful guitar and a great recurring theme that comes back in the middle in piano form, and finally at the climactic end in guitar solo form, before going back into the same part acoustic part that it started on. Very highly overlooked in the progmetal community, this track set the basis for all progmetal epics to come, which, in some way or another, reflect the ideas used in this song, particularly Dream Theater's A Chang of Seasons.

Overall: Lyrically, the band seems to have evolved, with Aresti and Matheos seeming to veer away from the fantasy themes that they seemed to dabble in in John Arch's presence, particularly in The Ivory Gate of Dreams, which seems to be almost Rush like, although apparently is based off of Greek mythology in some way or another.

Soundwise, there are ups and downs. The bass can barely be heard in this album, 4.5 stars actually!

Fates Warning, to me, is the first truly progressive metal band. Queensryche is a great band, but I only see them as progrelated, because on Mindcrime, the only thing that really makes it "prog" is the concept and the few overly long songs, and trust me, many bands have done both on the same album without being "prog" (undeniably an influential album though) This album has its historical value though, although being not very well known. This was the first album where Fates Warning took their Rush influences to a new level, with rapid shifts in songs like Shades of Heavenly Death and the massive Ivory Gates of Dreams, the first progmetal epic (although one could argue 2112). This is pivotal in that Dream Theater toured with them around this period, and was a vital step in influencing their evolution from When Dream and Day Unite to Images and Words, the pivotal and most influential progmetal album arguably to date, which thus spawned the whole prog metal movement. Hate it or love it, it's here for a while. Anyways, enough history lessons, onto the review.

1. No Exit- essentially, an intro to the next track/rest of the album. Why they would choose to name the album after an intro track is beyond me, but at 42 seconds, there isn't much to be said about this, other than the fact that it marks Ray Alders' vocal debut, and can have many comparisons drawn between he and Geoff Tate of Queensryche.

2. Anarchy Divine- first actual track, exploding with guitars, and already the time signature fun begins. Lyrically, one could link this song's theme to that of Mindcrime, and I'm sure they full well knew that when writing it. Still, fantastic track, reminiscent of previous albums

3. Silent Cries- seems like a continuation of the previous track, if I hadn't seen the track change on my CD player, I wouldn't have known the difference. This means its similar soundwise to the previous song. I find Adler's voice in the chorus somewhat annoying at times, and he on this album particularly sometimes tries to hit the high notes, and succeeds, but without being coherent. A more typical metal track, not too progressive, but stil a good song

4. In a Word- starts with haunting acoustic guitars, only to be somewhat ruined to a degree by the triggered snare and booming echoey bass pedal that seemed to plague the time period. A good song, somewhat ballady song with some haunting melodies

5. Shades of Heavenly Death- kicks off with almost a semi blast beat and a Slayerish type riff, which quickly changes, and the prog fun begins! For such a short track, this song cycles through many parts, all different in time signature and tempo. Great track, second favorite off the album

6. The Ivory Gate of Dreams- amazing song, and arguably the first sidelong progmetal song (again, discounting 2112, as the progmetal genre did not exist yet) Starts with beautiful guitar and a great recurring theme that comes back in the middle in piano form, and finally at the climactic end in guitar solo form, before going back into the same part acoustic part that it started on. Very highly overlooked in the progmetal community, this track set the basis for all progmetal epics to come, which, in some way or another, reflect the ideas used in this song, particularly Dream Theater's A Chang of Seasons.

Overall: Lyrically, the band seems to have evolved, with Aresti and Matheos seeming to veer away from the fantasy themes that they seemed to dabble in in John Arch's presence, particularly in The Ivory Gate of Dreams, which seems to be almost Rush like, although apparently is based off of Greek mythology in some way or another.

Soundwise, there are ups and downs. The bass can barely be heard in this album, but the guitars are the heaviest they've ever been with FW. As I mentioned earlier, there is still that triggered snare that seemed to work its way even into Images and Words, which was done in the nineties. Ray's vocals are very operatic, but he has a tendency to try to go too high, and as a result, it occasionally blocks out the music and you can't understand what he's saying

Overall, a must have for any prog metal enthusiast, and a great addition to any progressive collection, if not for The Ivory Gate of Dreams and Shades of Heavenly Death alone!

heyitsthatguy | 4/5 |

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