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


Fates Warning

Progressive Metal

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siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
3 stars FATES WARNING without a doubt has crafted some of the most daring and forward thinking progressive metal albums as a pioneer in the fledgling musical style that gestated through the 80s but the band's efforts over its near 40 year existence have been quite patchy with some triumphant highs and some uninspiring lows but overall this band has proved it has the power to reinvent in sound time and time again. Returning to the scene four years after "Theories Of Flight," FATES WARNING unleashes its 13th studio album LONG DAY GOOD NIGHT with a return to Metal Blade Records after it departed after 2004's "FWX."

LONG DAY GOOD NIGHT is a lengthy beast with 13 tracks that clock in at a whopping 72 plus minutes and features the same lineup of stellar musicians since 2013's "Different In A Different Light." Despite the four year gap, little has changed in the sound of FATES WARNING and the band finds itself on automatic pilot delivering the classic progressive metal sound that they have become famous for with Ray Alder's signature vocal style leading the twin guitar attacks and atmospheric time signature changes into familiar territory. The album's tracks mostly feature standard rock running times with the exception of the opening eight minute "The Destination Onward," "The Way Home" at almost eight minutes and the 11 minute plus "The Longest Shadow Of The Day."

As we reach the year 2020 it's becoming more obvious that some of these classic artists who were so innovative in the past have reached a point where they have literally exhausted the creativity cookie jar as LONG DAY GOOD NIGHT lacks the punch that many of the band's most innovative albums like "Parallels" or "A Pleasant Shade Of Gray" displayed. FATES WARNING is one of those bands that has been quite good at maintaining an overarching mood for their albums with an uncanny ability to take the sum of the parts of the individual tracks and make them something larger however that is clearly lacking on this 13th release which after a couple listens seems to yield a diminishing return rather quickly.

Musically speaking, the boys are still top notch musicians and although there is nothing inherently bad about LONG DAY GOOD NIGHT as the tracks all display that classic FW prog metal sound in all its extravagant prowess, what seems to be missing from this album is any sort of innovation or new direction and as a matter of fact many of these tracks seem like leftovers from previous sessions that just got strewn together at the last minute. It's hard to diss a FATES WARNING as they are all worthy of investigation and all display stellar technical workouts that these seasoned musicians exhibit without missing a beat but the fact is that FW has set the bar fairly high for musical perfection and seems to have fallen down the ladder a few rungs in its attempt to stay relevant.

If this album had come out ten years ago it might seem much more dynamic than i find it now. This isn't a matter of quality matter, it's a matter of sounding like something that lines up with the here and now and unfortunately LONG DAY GOOD NIGHT which perfectly retreads already conquered musical territories just seems a tad too generic for my liking and the fact that the album sprawls on for over 70 minutes just makes me quite tired by the time it ends as if it's a chore to sit through rather than feel the desire to revisit. Considering the band plans on touring with the has been band Queensryche in the spring suggests that FATES WARNING may have reached its own expiration date.

For anyone who is content with a stagnation of the creative process and are content to revisit a style of prog metal that is becoming more and more anachronistic each passing year, then this won't disappoint a bit for my liking i find this album to be business as usual and a bit underwhelming. Still though, we know FW has the knack for reinventing itself time and time again so i won't exactly write this band off quite yet however after four years i was expecting something a bit more interesting than a simple retread of been here done that. Oh well! 2020 has yielded some other unexpected gems so onto the shelf this goes destined to exist on the forget it and move on file. Oh, and those AOR ballads like "Now Comes The Rain" - ugh.

Report this review (#2463363)
Posted Friday, November 6, 2020 | Review Permalink
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 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 (

Report this review (#2481521)
Posted Tuesday, December 1, 2020 | Review Permalink
4 stars FATES WARNING comes back to us 5 years after "theories of flight", to drive the point home, to realize that they have not changed? A bit of both I would say, the titles are very professional, a bit short and on the same sauce in general; the battery is performing well; the voice is almost clearer over time, the guitar I don't talk about anymore, it's a bit like the sound and the imprint of FATES WARNING! So what to say apart from that, some titles attract the ear more like the entry "The Destination Onward" which brings directly and gently on the memories of "Parallels", like "The Way Home" and its small progressive digression , like of course the mega title "The Longest Shadow of the Day" with layers of everything you need to go to intimate musical territories, territory that you would like to keep to yourself. In short, a consecration album more worked than it seems and which makes me insist that the FATES WARNING are the fathers of progressive metal before their time! Low profile.
Report this review (#2527352)
Posted Tuesday, March 23, 2021 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Long Day Good Night" is the 13th full-length studio album by US progressive metal act Fates Warning. The album was released through Metal Blade Records in November 2020. Itīs the successor to "Theories Of Flight" from 2016 and features the same four-piece core lineup as the predecessor. Guitarist Frank Aresti is not involved in session work this time around, but Michael Abdow returns to play a couple of guitar solos.

Stylistically the material on "Long Day Good Night" continues the relatively riff heavy but at the same time melodic progressive metal of "Theories Of Flight (2016)". Fates Warning havenīt had a history of releasing the same album twice, but this time itīs close. Maybe theyīve finally locked into a groove because "Theories Of Flight (2016)" also felt very much like the sibling album to "Darkness In A Different Light (2013)". Personally thatīs fine by me, because both of the two direct predecessors were high quality progressive metal releases as only Fates Warning make them. To my ears "Long Day Good Night" is like listening to the early 90s mainstream heavy rock/metal oriented Fates Warning releases, but with an added metallic heaviness, providing the music with a more contempoary edge (the same can be said about the more heavy and meaty sound production). The soaring melancholic choruses of the early 90s are in place, but the riffs and the heavy busy drumming still make "Long Day Good Night" quite a different sounding release to the mentioned albums from the 90s.

Although "Long Day Good Night" features both heavy riffs and rhythms itīs overall a very dynamic release, with loads of mellow and more subdued moments too. Again this is nothing unusual for Fates Warning and upon conclusion "Long Day Good Night" is in many ways Fates Warning by numbers. I know that has a very negative ring to it, and thatīs partially intentional, because while "Long Day Good Night" is another high quality Fates Warning album and tracks like "The Destination Onward" and the 11:29 minutes long "The Longest Shadow Of The Day" (which opens with a 6 minutes long instrumental section) are strong compositions, there are tracks featured on the album which fall under the filler catagory (the mainstream oriented "Under The Sun" is even a little weak) and at 72:35 minutes of playing time it can be argued that the album is too long for its own good. I would have prefered a 40-50 minutes long playing time with only the sharpest and the most memorable material featured. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is still deserved though.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

Report this review (#2539505)
Posted Saturday, May 1, 2021 | Review Permalink
The Crow
3 stars With Long Day Good Night, Fates Warning proves to be in good shape!

With a very powerful production where each instrument sounds perfectly (highlighting, of course, the excellent Jarzombek drums), the Americans bring us a collection of good metal and progressive hard rock, but without hesitating to also offer quieter and more ambient passages, which could sometimes also be included in the pop-rock genre.

Unfortunately, Ray Alder is not my type of singer, since in my opinion he screams too much and lacks texture in his voice, and the album suffer from an excessive length and an adbundance of filler tracks.

Nevertheless, Log Day Good Night is an enjoyable album which shows that after all this years, the guys of Fates Warning have much to say!

Best Tracks: The Destination Onward (amazing drums, and great guitar riffs), The Way Home (complex and interesting instrumental development), Under The Sun (maybe not their best song, but for some reason I like it), Scars ( impressive riffs for what is perhaps the roundest song on the album) , Liar (I like this hard rock style a bit more badass) and The Longest Shadow of the Day (great bass solo, superb drumming and OSI-like guitars)

My Rating: ***

Report this review (#2571445)
Posted Thursday, June 17, 2021 | Review Permalink

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