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Fates Warning - Darkness In A Different Light CD (album) cover


Fates Warning

Progressive Metal

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Second Life Syndrome
4 stars It constantly amazes me how older bands can simply up and jump right back into the music with little or no problems. In fact, sometimes the old guard is what keeps the new guys in their place. You know, so there aren't any egos being thrown around the industry. Fates Warning is back after taking a good nine year break between albums. That is a large hunk of time, but I honestly don't see the strain of that upon this album.

Fates Warning's Ray Alder (Redemption's vocalist, also) is still in action here with a great vocal performance. He does sound a bit tired, I'll admit. I mean, he's getting old, so what can we expect? But his voice is still rich and emotional. So, this isn't the performance of his career, but it certainly is respectable. I think this is generally the case for the entire band, to be honest. These guys don't really need to come out with some innovative new style that will knock our socks off: No, they can simply come out to give us a solid record, and everyone will love it! You know, because it's Fates Warning, and all.

Therefore, this album is great, but no masterpiece. It is a solid rocker that features all of Fates Warning's old tricks, but it doesn't try anything new. For a young band, this would be a problem. For veterans, it's just fine. This ultimately means that we still get the ever-so-silky- smooth rhythm guitars that have a satisfying darkness and complexity to them. We get soulful solos that seem catchy and without much attempt at showboating. It means that the music is complex, yes; but it is also simply enjoyable and immersive.

There is a new drummer in town, however. Bobby J. is an excellent drummer that I think uplifts the style of the band in much the same way the younger generation revitalized Evergrey a few years back. Fills are stunningly performed, bass beats are complex and really catchy, and the overall feel really adds to the music instead of trying to compete for the spotlight. The very first track, One Thousand Fires, is especially where Bobby shines as he lets his feet do the talking with some very creative and technically difficult blast beats.

Fates Warning isn't all about prog metal, though. There are a couple ballads on the record, and even some very proggy ones that go through several different atmospheres before emerging again in a metal piece. Fates Warning is also about excellent lyrics, and I feel they upheld that here, too. The lyrics seem to be about a desire to be light in the world, but instead finding darkness in yourself and in others. It is about pain and hope. Law and grace. Darkness and light. I still have to figure them out a bit more, but I think this a decent summary.

So, Fates Warning is back, and just as good as ever. The music is still excellent with a good boost from new blood, and the overall album is perfectly solid and really enjoyable. It will get stuck in your head, and perhaps that's what these old guys wanted in the first place.

Report this review (#1046462)
Posted Friday, September 27, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars Its been a very long wait for Fates fans, but finally album number 11 is here and it was well worth the wait, as what we here is an instant classic. An album worthy of sitting alongside many of the classics this band has produced in their long career. The first thing that stood out was how heavy and aggressive this album is, I'd say its the heaviest release since No Exit. You can definitely here the song writing approach from the recent Arch/Matheos album on this one. Best way to describe it would be a mix of Disconnected (without the industrial elements) and Sympathetic Resonance. Though even that would not give you a completely accurate picture of this album, as in the Fates tradition there is a clear evolution in sound from album to album. With something new and unique on each release and DARKNESS IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT is no exception. All band members are in top form on this. Matheos and Aresti finally teamed up once more on a Fates album, producing some absolutely monstrous riffs. Joey Vera is exceptional as always, such an underrated bass players. I was very impressed by Bobby Jarzombek's performance, he had the difficult task of taking over the sticks from the legendary Mark Zonder and proves he is more than a worthy replacement. And finally Alder, the man has still got it. As he gets older and his voices changes the man adapts, and here is delivered a performance full of incredible emotion. Every song on this album is a winner. From the opening track One Thousand Fires to the epic closer And Yet it Moves. There is no filler to be found here. I really is so good to have Fates Warning back releasing new music, the legends are back and in top form.
Report this review (#1047334)
Posted Sunday, September 29, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars Fates Warning is an artful combination of simple melodies with complicated riffs. This album is full of beautiful and emotional melodies. In it you can hear sensational and powerful drumming. Ray Alder is one of the legendary voices of progressive metal and he always gives his best.

After nine years, Fates Warning still offers new and creative elements along with their peculiar style. Meanwhile, Jim Matheos has been working with Kevin Moore on "OSI" and in 2011, he released "Sympatheic Resonance" with other FW members except for Ray Alder (John Arch is on the vocals there!). So, without any doubt, you will witness influences from both projects on new Fates Warning.

I like Ray Alder's masterful vocal melodies, especially in "Falling", "O Chloroform" and "And Yet It Moves".

"And Yet It Moves" is the last and longest song on the album; a pure production of progressive metal. It begins with beautiful classical and baroque-like sequence which is another prove that Jim Matheos is full of feelings when it comes to playing and writing music.

This album is a masterpiece of progressive metal that offers feelings, beauty and simplicity hence giving it five stars.

Report this review (#1047527)
Posted Sunday, September 29, 2013 | Review Permalink
2 stars I use to like progressive music and most subgenres have both groups I like and thoose I do not. But until now I haven't found a prog metal band I like. The though is very positive: making very heavy, intelligent and symphonic music but the result is quite negative in my opinion. I just can't like it. Unfortunately Fates Warning's "Darkness in a different light" from this years didn't change that. For me it was the same pale metal, I didn't see the charm.

Fates Warning has been along for a long time and this is their eleventh record. They are from USA and is says to be one of those bands who formed the progressive metal. I hope not this record is significative to their other record. We have five musicians: Ray Alder who sings, Jim Matheos who plays guitar and pruduces, Frank Aresti who also plays guitar, Joey Vera who plays bass and Bobby Jarzombek who hits the drums. Just three days since the record's release I grabbed and listenend, well quite prejudiced.

I didn't become overwhelmed when I heard "One thousand fires"(4/10) but "Firefly" was better and more joyful(5/10). Then it became worse with "Desire", a quite inferior track(3/10) but "Falling" lightened the sky to the better, it was short but nice(6/10). I didn't like "I am"(3/10) and I found "Lighthouse" very dark and depressing(5/10). "Into the black"(6/10) was ok but "Kneel and Obey"(3/10) and "O Chloroform" irritated me. I thank Fates Warning for the last track which saves the record from totally disaster. "And yet it moves"(7/10) is partially amazing with acoustic passages and also great harder parts. If I would recommend anything from this record it perhaps would have been that last track.

Well, finally I have to admit again, I had prejudicies and maybe they were bad for me. I am though sure this was one of the inferior albums of 2013. Two stars!

Report this review (#1052405)
Posted Thursday, October 3, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars As soon as the album starts playing "One Thousand Fires" you know your going to be in for a treat! This album rocks on all levels, great progressive metal and rock Some real nice crunch and heavy guitars mixed in with the Acoustic passages and great musicianship ! Production is Very good. There is no fillers what so ever on this album, some songs are stronger than others, but still a very strong effort. If you love Prog Rock/Metal and have own any of the older FW albums then this a "Must Have" some of my favorites on this album are:

One Thousand Fires I am Lighthouse Into the Black Kneel and Obey

As I said the whole album is great and this will be on my top 10 prog albums this year!!

Report this review (#1053590)
Posted Friday, October 4, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars Though fans of Fates Warning have had some killer side projects to keep them occupied during the nine year gap between 2004's FWX and 2013's Darkness in a Different Light, it's great to finally hear a new album from these American prog metal legends. Vocalists aside, this album features the exact same lineup that crafted the masterpiece of a debut from Arch/Matheos, and it also marks the first time that guitarist Frank Aresti has appeared on a Fates Warning album since Inside Out released back in 1994. Subsequently, Darkness in a Different Light feels like a throwback to the band's catchy, twin-guitar sound of the early nineties', and, as expected from Fates Warning, the result is nothing short of excellent.

Between the technical workouts in "And Yet It Moves", the heavily melodic touch in "Firefly", and the haunting atmospheres in "Lighthouse", Darkness in a Different Light explores all of the band's trademark qualities with some unforgettable compositions to boot. Fates Warning's comeback album may not be the most groundbreaking thing they've ever released, but from a listening perspective, it doesn't get much better than this! An essential pickup for any progressive metal fan.

Report this review (#1061515)
Posted Thursday, October 17, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars At the time of this review Darkness in a Different Light was Fates Warning's highest rated album. Fact or coincidence? I attribute it the new-ness of the album, which was reviewed first by the fans hungry from a 9-year wait. Well it is a solid later-stage Fates album, certainly no worse than the predecessor, FWX: not overlong, dense, technical, instrumentally multi-dimensional (drums are trademarkedly all over the place) and loosely structured, but less chaotic than the Arch/Matheos project (essentially the same ensemble with a different vocalist). Its more trippy than overtly melodic, the most melodic part being the emotional vocals of Ray Alder, who is back to top form after his subpar effort on Redemption's latest.

But to call this a triumphant return to form would be an overstatement. Sonically it's similar to FWX and Arch/Matheos. Nothing here stands out, like the classics on earlier albums, and there's no successful experimentation like on Pleasant Shade of Grey and Disconnected.

Report this review (#1068137)
Posted Monday, October 28, 2013 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
3 stars And Yet it (just about) Moves

Almost 10 years since the disappointing FWX album, Fates are back with a new release and a very strong line-up, combining old faces (Frank Aresti, Joey Vera) and a new entry (Bobby Jarzombek). "Darkness in a Different Light" could well be the conclusion from listening to the 56+ minutes of "new" music, but I prefer to keep a slightly more optimistic view.

Surely, the typical-Fates, heavy openers in "One Thousand Fires" and "Firefly" leave a promise for a strong follow-up but this new album suffers from recycled ideas ("I Am" is a copy of "One" from Disconnected), too much resemblance to associated acts (OSI) and reveals some contemporary influences such as Opeth (see "Into the Black") and Tool that don't strengthen its personal character. Musically, the heavy riffing is a continuation of APSOG and Disconnected, with the Sabbathy/groovy sound that Matheos has employed since 1997. The middle part of the album is simply indifferent, if not bad, but a glimmer of hope comes with "O Chloroform" and the only memorable composition "And Yet it Moves", which clocks at 14 minutes and saves the day. Acoustic guitar intro, an inspired main theme, galloping riffs on heavy bass lines and a decent melodic refrain with plenty of variation - now that sounds more like it. The re-introduction of acoustic guitars takes away the momentum for a while but the track recovers shortly after.

If you liked the album Disconnected, you would probably enjoy this; an improvement over FWX, but nowhere near the pre-2000 solid works. Not recommended to a new comer to Fates, but still a decent return to light for the fans...

Report this review (#1086590)
Posted Saturday, December 7, 2013 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Crossover Prog Team
4 stars Sometimes it is hard to remember just how long this band has been around, but they were formed in 1982 with their first album out in '84. Some 20 years on from that they decided to take a break, although they all stayed active in different groups (and sometimes working together). Now, some nine years after 'FWX', they are back. This is the first FW release by this line-up, but there has only been one change with Bobby Jarzombek (drums) taking over from Mark Zonder, but the rest of the gang are here, with the line-up completed by Ray Alder (vocals), Jim Matheos and Frank Aresti (guitars) and Joey Vera (bass). Yes that's right, no keyboards or samplers, these guys have gone back to their roots and have created a complex metal album that is full of riffs and interplay.

One of the things that has always marked these guys out as being a little different to many in their field is that they have always concentrated on the songs and refused to let their own musical prowess take them away from that. The result in this case is an album packed full of songs, with only one being long, with plenty of room for everyone to shine as long as it doesn't detract from the overall feel of the piece. Ray has been fronting this band for some 25 years now but he doesn't show any sign at all of slowing down, and still hits the notes with ease and displays great breath control. It is an infectious album that is full of punch and vigour, and something that can be enjoyed from the very first time it hits the player. For fans of the band, and for fans of all types of infectious metal with a commercial prog element to the approach.

Report this review (#1087670)
Posted Monday, December 9, 2013 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Darkness In A Different Light" is the 11th full-length studio album by US progressive metal act Fates Warning. The album was released through InsideOut Music in September 2013. There have been quite a few years between this album and "FWX" from 2004. A lot has happened in those years though. Drummer Mark Zonder left Fates Warning in 2005 and the remaining members of the band busied themselves with various other projects like OSI, Arch/Matheos and Redemption. Mark Zonder hasn´t returned on "Darkness In A Different Light" and has been replaced by Bobby Jarzombek. Lead guitarist Frank Aresti, who left Fates Warning after "Inside Out (1994)", is the other "new" member of the lineup as he makes a return on "Darkness In A Different Light". The "usual" suspects are bassist Joey Vera, guitarist Jim Matheos and lead vocalist Ray Alder. Except for Alder this is exactly the same lineup that recorded the "Sympathetic Resonance (2011)" album by Arch/Matheos.

"Darkness In A Different Light" is quite different from "Sympathetic Resonance (2011)" though. Most of the tracks on the 10 track, 56:41 minutes long album are "regular" length and most feature clear vers/chorus structures even though Fates Warning as usual twist and turn that concept and end up with an adventuours result. The 14:03 minutes long album closer "And Yet It Moves" is the only really long track on the album and even that track is divided into parts, that make it sound like several tracks put together to form one longer track. I´m actually slightly disappointed by that track. I think it´s clumsily put together, and the song structure lack the elegance that is usually a Fates Warning trademark. It´s too bad because taken section by section there are some brilliant moments in that track. The rest of the album is thankfully of the usual high quality that Fates Warning are known for. With Frank Aresti returning, the clean guitar/distorted guitar sound of the late eighties/early nineties and the melodic guitar solos are back in the band´s sound and while the albums that didn´t feature those elements had their own charm, I must admit, that I´ve missed them. The subtle use of dissonances that the band have experimented with on the last couple of albums are also a part of the sound on "Darkness In A Different Light", but it is generally the most melodic album by the band since "Inside Out (1994)".

To my ears highlights on the album include the opening trio of tracks "One Thousand Fires", "Firefly" and "Desire" and the dark ballad type track "Lighthouse". The latter is pretty strong even though it is strangely non-melodic. The aforementioned subtle dissonances are on full display here though and work really well within the context of this particular track. Despite my reservations "And Yet It Moves" should also be counted among the standout tracks on "Darkness In A Different Light".

The limited edition of the album features a bonus disc containing four tracks. An extended version of "Firefly" (almost 3 minutes longer than the version on the album), "Falling Further", which sounds like an outtake from the recording sessions and live versions of "One" and "Life in Still Water", which are both tracks from previous releases. The extended version of "Firefly" is a bit more progressive in nature than the version that ended up on the album, but I´m a bit indifferent towards it and the two live tracks don´t feature a very good sound quality and what to my ears sound like out of tune singing, so it´s actually only "Falling Further" that´s really interesting in my opinion. It´s a very catchy and mainstream oriented track. Somewhat in the same vein as tracks like "Eye to Eye" and "Through Different Eyes".

Fates Warning are an exceptionally well playing act and lead vocalist Ray Alder is as skilled and powerful sounding as ever. Bobby Jarzombek is a skilled replacement for Mark Zonder, even though the latter´s unique drumming style can never be fully matched. At times Jarzombek´s drumming seems to imitate Zonder´s playing style and while the drumming style suits the music well, I could have wished for a more personal touch from him.

"Darkness In A Different Light" features a professional and well sounding production and while it doesn´t exactly blow me away like some of the band´s earlier albums have done, it´s still a step up from the rather mediocre "FWX (2004)" and a pretty great welcome back to one of the most important progressive metal acts on the scene. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

Report this review (#1101958)
Posted Sunday, December 29, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars And Yet It Moves...

Are You Kidding Me? Of Course It Moves, Grooves And Proves That Still After A 9-Year Absence Fates Warning Are Still One Of The Most Lethal, Talented Progressive Bands Around.

Excited, amazed and astonished to hear earlier in 2013 that Fates Warning would be making its way back into the studio to construct a new album after being away (as a group) for so long...9 1/2 years to be exact. Undoubtably though, there have been certain side projects/official bands by the existing Fates Warning army to tie us 'Fates Faithful' over like Jim Matheos partnership with the incredible Kevin Moore (ex-Dream Theater) forming OSI. Powerhouse vocalist, Ray Alder has not been silent either being the permanent frontman of the highly successful prog metal band'Redemption' and even Bassist Joey Vera released a solo album in 2007 with 'Circles' under the 'A Chinese Firedrill' moniker. lastly, of course there is 'Arch/Matheos' releasing the album, 'Sympathetic Resonance,' which many would not contend with the thought that it was like having another FW album to add to their lengthy discography seeing as how the Arch/Matheos project contains all existing FW band members of today except Ray Alder. All side projects aside in my opinion, it just doesn't compare to the relinquishing of the official Fates Warning line up (minus Mark Zonder) punching out the powerful album, Darkness In A Different Light' for 2013 with Alder at the helm. This is where it's at and presently it is in the now. Thank god.

Getting into Fates Warning's latest conquering, 'Darkness In A Different Light' I feel isn't gonna be a hard go (listen) for someone who is a true FW fan and who loves the Prog Metal genre while being a complete guitar driven enthusiast when it comes down sound preferences while constructing a 'metal' album per say. That's right ladies and Gentleman, there is not one keyboard/synth note played on this album at all! Darkness In A Different Light is an album that runs on the euphoria of dual-wielding guitars with plenty of distortion effects for versatility by the axe flailing Frank Aresti and Jim Matheos, who in my humble esteem are the heart of FW machine, but if Aresti and Matheos are the heart of the darkness certainly Ray Alder and Bobby Jarzombek are the energy while Joey Vera adds that extra needed toughness with a snarling almost pig-like, bass Guitar playing/sound. These characteristics of each band member is very evident throughout much of the entire album. Darkness In A Different Light is an album that is full of character, power, versatility and well written lyrics making it a poetic gem in the Prog metal world. Here's why.

Upon listening to the opening track 'One Thousand Fires' immediately its like being shot out of a cannon with no guide, but in a very good way because after the nearly 2 minute intro of pure power laden Guitars, Bass and Drums we are greeted with Ray Alder's incredible vocals which add melodic grace, emotion, versatility and command to change the overall tempo of the song. As soon as I heard the opening lyrics 'So We Begin, A Perfect Launch...A Perfect Wind' I got chills of goosebumps shooting down my backside cause I knew Fates Warning were back. Hearing Ray's desperate, powerful emotional voice on 'One Thousand Fires' made me feel safe and excited like I knew the record was gonna be amazing once I sifted even deeper through it. Needless to say I was right and 'One Thousand Fires' is one hell of a great opening track and really sets the tone so nicely making it definitely one of my personal favourite tracks on the album. Its an absolute whirlwind. Venturing a bit further we are greeted with 'Firefly.' Now this is a track that could very well be tailored for radio play due to its steady hammer-on's (non complex) guitar riffs with a beautiful, melodic chorus sung by Alder. This was the leading single off the album the band decided with their record company (InsideOut) to use as a promotional catalyst. An incredibly wise choice and if one was lucky enough to grab the 2-disc Special Edition another version of 'Firefly' is available for one's listening pleasure. 'Firefly' is extended by additional Two-minutes with an extra guitar movement that is both soft, slightly distorted and fairly elegant by Aresti and Matheos while Alder adds some additional vocals creating another mood dimension to the song....that is more emotion I should say. Personally I prefer this version to the original and I think many other Prog-Heads out there will as well. Moving on to the third track of the album is 'Desire' and there is a lot to be desired about this track, namely it's interesting eerie opening distorted guitar lick by Aresti while shooting forward with a cacophony of guitars and drums making 'Desire' one of the most uneven tracks tempo wise on the album. However, the main Chorus of the song 'Drowning In My Own Desire!!! All Your Needs To Aspire'' is good but not totally amazing and it doesn't hold a candle to Firefly's superior melodic verses, comparably speaking. Next is 'Falling' which is a beautiful, soft ballad track that is very short in length, but is very purposeful cause it gives the Listener a little break in the action. 'Falling' is completely a vocal/acoustic track while drums and Bass take a league of absence. If you were like me, upon hearing 'Falling' your gonna wish it was longer and that is my only discrepancy with the track; however, once again that bonus disc (disc 2) proves to be wonderful again cause we are treated with 'Falling Further.' 'Falling Further' is amped up into a highly commercially sounding track even more so than 'Firefly' which is nothing like 'Falling' at all, but its a very good extension of just how different 'Falling Further' is from its original predecessor. You could think of 'Falling Further' fitting into the 1991 classic 'Parallels' album beside 'Eye To Eye' in the track listening. It could work...maybe? In any case, the short original number 'Falling' does make for a very clever transition by leading into the track 'I Am,' which is one of the best and strongest guitar performances on the album. 'I Am' is all power and everything musically/instrumentally is kicked in to higher gear offering lengthier time signatures and soloing done by Aresti while Vera's bass growls at you like a wild animal. The intro to 'I Am' is awesome as well with Jarzombek's drums slowly creeping louder and faster as the whirlwind starts to unfold. Also, Alder's voice is nothing short of incredible on this track and some would argue that it's his best vocal performance sung since 'Blink Of An Eye' off the 'Redemption' album, 'This Mortal Coil.' Certainly, Alder belting out " IIIIIIam!!! Tearing Walls Down...I Am!' is both infectious and highly addictive. I had the vocal chorus of 'I Am' stuck in my head for months believe it or not, but for good reason of course cause its both engaging and richly powerful. A true Prog-Metal tune.

The second half of Darkness In A Different Light doesn't let up nor shut down the listener in any way. All of that versatility with amped up, distorted guitars, soft vocal melodies and amazing tempo changes are kicked off with 'The Lighthouse.' 'Lighthouse' proves to be the most slow and eerie track on the album. It's a special and unique song because it really showcases Fates Warning's versatility with their approach to creating mood and a ton of atmosphere on the Darkness In A Different Light album. Indeed, this is where that so called 'different light shines ever so brightly with 'Lighthouse.' It's haunting, slightly acoustic sound approach immediately hooked me in its clutches and it was love at first listen. One could compare this song to 'River Wide Ocean Deep' off FWX because of its slowly driven, eerie guitar atmospheres that surely sets up the listener for a big crescendo, which insures the listener something big and fast is gonna happen later on. 'Lighthouse' gets full marks for atmosphere and really gets the listener nicely sedated only to be absolutely rocked by the next track that ensues which is the upbeat and strong, 'Into The Black.' This is a track that for the first 4 minutes starts off pretty cheery and punchy with the guitars and drums, but then gets a bit more angry and tense due to Ray's pommeling emotional vocals. Overall, 'Into The Black' has one of the most ripping guitar solos on the record exactly 3mins in, but as I said earlier after that 4min mark Ray Alder takes you on a very dark and tense journey, but it sounds absolutely amazing with his syncopated vocal delivery approach. Definitely some of Alder's best vocal performances exist on 'Into The Black' but sadly not on 'Kneel and Obey.' For me personally, 'Kneel and Obey' is my least favourite track on the album, although it is not a bad song musically speaking with the Guitar work or Drums, but vocally it's a bit of a challenge to listen to or get through at times mainly with the main chorus of the song. Actually, Alder's approach vocally on this track makes him sound like he has an extra 'Y' chromosome in his genetic make up because I certainly got a case of down syndrome when trying to listen to 'Kneel and Obey' vocally. Alder's voice is just off key or off kilter on this track and sounds morbidly out of tune, especially with the main chorus of the song. Meanwhile, my feelings are not the same for the next track to follow being, 'O Chloroform.' My goodness is this song so well constructed as well as created, and a lot of that has to do with the clever song/lyric writing from Mr. Kevin Moore, who in many ways has been one of my music heroes for quite some time now and I am so glad he was able to be featured on at least one track off FW's latest opus. In my opinion, even though the lyrics don't all together make perfect sense subject matter wise, 'O Chloroform' still has this incredible flow to it lyrically and it's a song that is oddly poetic as well. Those who have familiarity with Kevin Moore's music with OSI, Chroma Key and a bit of Dream Theater know that usually Mr. Moore's lyrics are all kinds of strange, period. 'O Chloroform' is without exemption from the wacky, inner workings of Kevin Moore's lyrical mind and hearing lines like "And Know one takes over when you sleep Ten hours of eternity, Tell yourself and call yourself a refugee, we're suffering so long". This put a huge smile on my face because there are so many underlying messages with Moore's lyrics and he allows you, the listener to think outside of the box a little bit. Not to mention, 'O Chloroform' is unbelievably catchy musically as well. It's not just the vocals and lyric content that will grab you to love this song it is the expert soloing done my Matheo's and Aresti. The dual guitar sound on O Chloroform is grand and about 2mins into the song Matheos will knock you on your you know what with a soft, melodic guitar solo that will sedate you momentarily cause the entire song it's self has more tempo changes then all the songs on the album...except one... 'And Yet It Moves.'

Personally, I could write an entire memoir length book on just how much I love the last and grand-epic final' track off the Darkness In A Different Light' album. '...And Yet It Moves' quite simply has everything that I look for in a Progressive Metal song; in fact, if I were to include a short list of songs from various artist that capture the true essence of what Prog Metal is and how it's evolved so nicely over time to someone, who wanted to learn a thing or 2 about the genre, you can be sure I'd put 'And Yet Moves' by Fates Warning on that list. It's a song I feel that is just that good. All the tangibles are there including a wide atmosphere of obscure yet sophisticated time-signatures, beautiful vocal choruses and rich instrumentation that add mood and versatility which can never leave the listener feeling dull or bored out of his/her mind. 'And Yet It Moves' is 14mins long and it feels like its actually half that length because of just how beautifully put together this song really is. I think most listeners will feel engaged and interested every minute that passes by when listening to 'And Yet It Moves.' You have the soft and graceful flamenco guitar sounding intro, which is really a nice calm before the storm on the song itself cause shortly after your whisked into a dual guitar frenzy with punchy bass lines and powerful drums that will force anyone who has that metal spirit to get a slight case of whiplash from excessive head- banging or nodding if you prefer. Furthermore, the transitions from slow to fast do not stop there cause at the 9:15 minute mark of the song your taken on another gorgeous, melodic acoustic guitar performance by Matheos while Aresti adds a nice electric guitar sound to counterbalance the mood of Matheos's soft, acoustic guitar movement. Mainly though, throughout the entire 'And Yet Moves' track it hard to overlook just how well each band members unique and talented skills are portrayed and displayed so well for that matter. Ultimately, I feel I have to give more praise and accolades to Ray Alder once again because the way he sings on 'And Yet It Moves' he gives it everything he has and I felt everything he was singing, mainly cause his heart was truly on his sleeve and the emotion conveyed was evident in every pitch and tone of his voice. Overall, And Yet Moves is the pinnacle of Fates Warnings masterful approach to creating exciting and still very relevant Prog Metal music.

Thus, I obviously didn't have much negative to say when describing FW's latest installment, 'Darkness In A Different Light' and for good reason. This is a masterful album and some can say that this is an FW comeback album, and if this is so I believe that with 'Darkness In A Different Light' it puts Fates Warning right back up on the top of that grand Progressive Metal Totem Poll. There is now no doubt or gap in my mind that Fates Warning's music is still relevant and still very strong. I award this album no less than 5 stars based on the true merits of my opinions, that 'Darkness In A Different Light' is a masterpiece with in the Progressive Rock genre as a whole. I am certainly delighted that the FW machine are back and it looks like they are here to least for a while.....and yet it does move...after all.

5 stars (My album of the year for 2013)

Report this review (#1129821)
Posted Monday, February 10, 2014 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Having been vacuum for about nine years since its FWX album in 2004, finally Fates Warning released its eleventh studio album last year (October 2013). Actually my emotional relationship with the band started long time ago when I found a bunch of CDs of their albums at second hand market at Jalan Surabaya, Jakarta. I was actually at a big surprise with the band as the music was quite different then typically labelled progressive metal sub-genre. For sure, this is not the kind of Dream Theater or Symphony X or Threshold and the like. The key attraction of the music to me was the accentuated vocal line of Ray Adler combined with stunning guitar work of Jim matheos, known as the band leader, and of course with its drummer. But now the drummer has been changed in this album. The album itself took so long from its first creative work of composing since 2009 until it hit the store in 2013 - so it's about four years.

But, the result is something worth waiting for as the music is really carefully composed using the norms of what have been the characteristics of the band's music. I personally enjoy the music from start to end. It kicks off with a blast of One Thousand Fires (7:20) in fasst tempo with heavy but thin guitar riffs and powerful drumming. The Ray Adler vocal is still powerful and fit very well with the music. The second track Firefly (4:57( is even heavier in riffs but slower ini tempo with much groove than the opening track. The riffs sometimes remind me to the classic rock typical riffs. The third track Desire (3:58) starts in an ambient mode through soft guitar fills. The music is now slower with clearer vocal line. On the fourth track you would be surprised with a very nice musical break Falling (1:34) with only guitar and vocal, serving its role as a bridge to the next track I Am (5:05) which is a kind of psychedelic in style at the intro part. But then it moves to a heavy riffs music to welcome Adler's vocal work. It sounds really good after the tracks that start with something heavy and then moves slowly until musical break and returns back to heavy riffs. Until this I am really excited with the music.

What follows is then a mellow music with nice guitar fills combined with vocal in under Lighthouse (5:22). Right here I feel like not under the progressive metal mode as it sounds like a symphonic prog. It's really beautiful this break at 6th track and then it moves to Into the Black (5:07) in medium tempo at the beginning, it then moves in crescendo. I really love the 8th track Kneel and Obey (5:05) because it combines the heavy part of progressive metal through the guitar riffs but also it has guitar fills in the vein of psychedelic. The music is very enjoyable with medium to slow tempo music. To me this sounds like the first time Fates Warning has ever made this kind of style. I really enjoy from start to end of this track even though it sounds quite simple. I would say this is a radio-friendly track. The chorus is heavier especially when it features stunning guitar solo ( I guess it's played by Matheos). I always replay this track when the album reaches this. It's cool. The concluding two tracks are also excellent: O Chloroform (4:13), and And Yet It Moves (14:03).

Overall, this is an excellent addition to any prog music collection. If you want something different from progressive metal sub-genre, this is the best choice, I believe. I salute the band for making this well-crafted album after a very long vacuum period. It's a four star rating album, for sure. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Posted Saturday, November 1, 2014 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars FATES WARNING are my favourite metal band and so it's great that they are back after a nine year absence. Mind you having that Arch/Matheos album to enjoy did more to scatch that itch than this particular album. Still this is another very good album from the boys and i'm really impressed with new drummer Bobby Jarzombek, and even more impressed that guitarist Frank Aresti is back. One of the most enjoyable aspects of this album is hearing Matheos and Aresti playing their different parts as they compliment each other so well. I did pick up the special edition with bonus tracks and the two live songs("One" and "Life In Still Water") are what I appreciate the most.

"One Thousand Fires" is such a good choice for the opener as they really bring a lot of energy with this one. I like how the soundscape swirls and check out the massive bass a minute in as the guitars grind away. A calm quickly follows then vocals. Some nice guitar after 3 minutes but my favourite section is that beautiful soundscape after 4 minutes followed by a ripping guitar solo. "Firefly" has a really good heavy sound to it as the vocals join in. Some powerful riffs before 3 minutes as the second guitar comes in. Vocals and that previous sound are back before 4 minutes. "Desire" and the next track don't do much for me. This one starts off well with the atmospheric guitar before it kicks in then settles right back with vocals. Each time it turns fuller I just don't like it. "Falling" is a short(thankfully) ballad with fragile vocals and acoustic guitars. Why? Sorry I just don't get why we get a ballad on a metal album. "I Am" makes up for it though. This is a top three for me. It's almost TOOL-like with the dark atmosphere and powerful under-current. It's building until it breaks out hard. Love the drumming. Vocals join in as well. Great track!

"Lighthouse" opens with a relaxed sound with reserved vocals but there's this tension that continues and I keep thinking it will break out. A cool tune. "Into The Black" features guitar that cries out over top as the drums pound away. I like when it settles in before a minute then it picks back up with vocals. A ripping guitar solo before 3 minutes then it settles back again before building. A top three for me. "Kneel And Obey" has this heavy base to it which I really enjoy. Vocals come in and check out the guitar before 3 minutes as he lights it up. "O Chloroform" opens with the atmosphere then the guitar comes out of that followed by drums and a heavy sound. Vocals too then it settles back before 2 1/2 minutes but not for long. I like this one especially that background sound. Atmosphere ends it. "And Yet It Moves" is the over 14 minute closer and my final top three. It opens with what sounds like a classical guitar as a second one joins in. Bass joins in then it kicks in beautifully just after a minute. Some cool sounding guitar licks arrive then vocals 4 minutes in. They are kicking ass 6 minutes in. A calm with strummed guitar after 9 minutes. Some atmosphere too as laid back vocals join in. The guitar comes and goes grinding away. It kicks in heavily after 12 1/2 minutes then back to that earlier sound.

Man I have enjoyed this a lot but for me it doesn't measure up to that Arch/Matheos release or earlier albums like "Disconneted", "Perfect Symmetry" or "Awaken The Guardian".

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Posted Saturday, June 27, 2015 | Review Permalink

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