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NO EXIT

Fates Warning

Progressive Metal


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Fates Warning No Exit  album cover
3.87 | 176 ratings | 16 reviews | 29% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 1988

Songs / Tracks Listing

01. No Exit (0:41)
02. Anarchy Divine (3:46)
03. Silent Criesn (3:17)
04. In A Word (4:25)
05. Shades Of Heavenly Death (5:56)
06. The Ivory Gate of Dreams: (21:50)
a) Innocence (1:12)
b) Cold Daze (2:15)
c) Daylight Dreamers (3:06)
d) Quietus (4:23)
e) Ivory Tower (3:17)
f) Whispers On The Wind (2:24)
g) Aquiescence (4:23)
h) Retrospect (1:00)

Total Time: 40:08

Lyrics

Search FATES WARNING No Exit lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

Search FATES WARNING No Exit tabs

Line-up / Musicians

- Ray Alder / vocals
- Frank Aresti / guitars
- Jim Matheos / guitars
- Joe DiBiase / bass
- Steve Zimmerman / drums

Releases information

Enigma / Metal Blade Records (D2-73330)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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Remastered · Extra tracks
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FATES WARNING No Exit ratings distribution


3.87
(176 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
29%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
39%
Good, but non-essential (25%)
25%
Collectors/fans only (5%)
5%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

FATES WARNING No Exit reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Enter new vocalist Ray Adler but that's about the only major change from their previous release "Awaken The Guardian". Like it's predecessor "No Exit" is punishingly heavy and quite dark. The band thanks WATCHTOWER and QUEENSRYCHE in the liner notes, and it wouldn't be such a stretch to say this release is like a cross between these two bands.

I have to agree with heyitsthatguy that it seems strange that this record is named after this 41 second opening song, that is a slow paced vocal and guitar piece that is rather forgettable. The first two songs do not do anything to make fans forget about John Arch as the vocals in both are not his best by a long shot. I actually find them almost annoying in the second song "Anarchy Divine" but the guitar throughout is great as the drums and bass provide a good rhythm. "Silent Cries" is one of the best songs on the album and the faster paced sections sound similar to the previous song but it's the quieter, atmospheric passages that make this song so amazing ! "In A Word" is another incredible tune with passionate vocals and wild guitar moments. Great song ! "Shades Of Heavenly Death" opens with pounding drums and guitar that is on fire in this uptempo rocker.The vocals get better as the song goes along. Nice guitar solo 3 minutes in and at 4 minutes the song gets even heavier and darker.

"The Ivory Gate Of Dreams" is a side long track that consists of 8 sections beginning with "Innocence" an acoustic guitar track that is just over a minute long. In "Cold Daze" the power is turned up. Here we go ! This is a melodic, uptempo section with scorching guitars. In "Daylight Dreams" Ray's vocals are at their best even singing in the same style as Mr.Arch. The ending of this section is heavy duty. The "Quietus" section is one of my favourites on the album. Opening with piano this is pastoral until things start to pick up with some good guitar melodies and pounding drums.This all accellerates even more and it sounds awesome ! The section ends as it began with piano. "Ivory Tower" rocks out really good, with guitars galore. "Whispers In The Wind" opens with acoustic guitar as the vocals and drums are added to this slow paced tune. "Aquiescence" is hard, fast and heavy. The ending section "Retrospect" is a minute of acoustic guitar.

This may not be as good as "Awaken The Guardian" but if you liked that record i'm sure you'll like this one as well. I highly recommend this beast !

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#107419) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, January 14, 2007

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars No Exit is the fourth album from american progressive metal band Fates Warning. No Exit saw a big change in the lineup of the band as original singer John Arch was replaced by Ray Alder. John Arch was a very skilled and distinct vocalist and the fans were nervous about the choice of a new singer for the band. It has to be mentioned here that John Arch left the band at his own choice and on good terms with the other members to devote his time to his family. Ray Alder has a very different voice compared to John Arch but he was without a doubt the perfect substitution at the right time for the band. No Exit saw Fates Warning pursue a more technical metal style but the music isnīt tech metal complex.

Side one of the original LP had an intro and four 4-5 minute songs which are all good but not that impressive IMO. The real treat here is the epic 21:50 minute side long track called The Ivory Gate of Dreams which will be the song that holds most interest to progressive metal fans.

The musicianship is generally good and Ray Alder is a great replacement for John Arch. The drums are a big problem for me though. Steve Zimmerman who would be replaced by Mark Zonder after No Exit is a traditional eighties metal drummer. He hasnīt got many tricks up his sleeve and totally lacks the sophistication of Mark Zonder which means that songs that could have been somewhat enjoyable soon becomes a bit annoying. His drumming style just didnīt suit Fates Warningīs increasingly technical playing and thankfully he left after this album.

The production is another major problem on No Exit. I rather enjoyed the eighties production in the previous album Awaken the Guardian but this time itīs just horrible. Totally empty sounding and with no room for emotion. One of the worst emotionless eighties productions I have ever heard.

The cover artwork is pretty ugly if you ask me and doesnīt really invite me in.

After the great Awaken the Guardian I donīt think No Exit really lives up to the standard that album set. The compositions are as such pretty good but the horrible production and the terrible drumming somewhat destroys my experience. Fates Warning have made a good album after all though and Iīll rate it 3 small stars. No Exit was a big transition as Ray Alder entered the band but with the departure of Steve Zimmerman and the inclusion of Mark Zonder on the next album Perfect Symmetry would revolutionize Fates Warningīs sound and propel them into progressive metal stardom. Be sure to check that one out. This one is really only for the fans but itīs a bit too good to only receive a 2 star rating.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#176921) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Review by Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'No Exit' - Fates Warning (8/10)

Save for the twenty one minute long 'Ivory Gate of Dreams,' there isn't too much of a progressive theme to be found on this album. There is certainly some progressiveness to the other songs, but that's the song that gives this release such a ground breaking element to it. Until then, there really wasn't too much of a progressive metal scene going on. Having a song cycle of such epic proportions thrown into a genre that was generally (at the time) about drinking, women and drugs was quite a shock to the system.

However, everything considered, I'm still not a big Fates Warning fan. I find Ray Alder is a technically accomplished vocalist, but I simply don't like his voice all too much. This might be however, a result of my other major problem with the band; their lack of attention to actual melody. The vocal melodies on this album (and alot of Fates Warning's other work) seem like they were just put in for the sake of having a singer. Some of the acoustic parts of 'The Ivory Gate of Dreams' however offer an exception to this, which is always a refreshing change to listen to.

The aforementioned epic is a real journey through many different emotions; melancholy through rage. It's very surreal and while I didn't really think it worked especially well altogether on my first few listens, months after buying, I realized that there are so many recurring themes that weave their way through the music that make it a sort of song cycle you have to listen to from start-to-finish to really get a kick out of it.

The other tracks on the album range from very good to mediocre. The epynomous intro to the album segues into the most memorable 'single' track on the album, 'Anarchy Divine,' with some absolutely amazing guitar solos. 'Silent Cries' doesn't do much for me, but the other two songs have some very cool moments, especially the fifth track before the epic begins, 'Shades Of Heavenly Death.'

This album would probably interest metal fans more than actual prog fans, but seeing as I am both, it's definately not a poor addition to my collection. While I would certainly not compare it to the stands of Dream Theaters 'Scenes From A Memory' or Symphony X's 'New Mythology Suite,' it's definately a good listen. Think an American, more progressive version of Iron Maiden.

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#202456) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "No Exit" is the title of a very important album in Fates Warning's history - first of all, it is the first album with Roy Alder on the lead singer's role; it is also the effort in which the FW sound that took a string of three albums to develop and endeavor finally achieved its definitive shape. Regarding the latter factor, this is where the band generated the capitalization of the epic metallic ambitions that the following two studio albums would epitomize in full splendor. The album opens up with a brief exposure of dark doom in the namesake prologue: the Gothic guitar textures and sinister singing properly elaborate a gloomy atmosphere with eerie undertones. Next is the first proper song, 'Anarchy Divine', which serves as the impressive presentation letter from the new kid in the band: Roy Alder shines right from the first sung lines, with the instrumentalists building a complex development of riffs and unusual time signatures. In fact, you can tell that the whole band as a unit shines more brightly than ever. 'Silent Cries' comes next, starting with a solid attack during the first thematic riff, but soon enough the track reveals itself as a more complex exhibition of prog-metal inventiveness. Just by listening to the sequence of these first 3 pieces you can hear the furious birth pains of the genre as a robust musical path, and let's consider that we are talking about material that doesn't even complete an 8 minute span altogether. By all means, it is quite clear that the progressive (and metallic) sub-genre was born as a mature being itself. 'In A Word' instills a more ceremonious mood in the album's framework. This piece is closely related to the band's earlier material, as well as Di'Anno-era Maiden and late 80s Queensryche: the final result bears a distinguished mood to it, although I can't help feel a bit frustrated at the premature arrival of the fade-out. This track surely deserved a more epic delivery? but what do I know anyway? The album's first half ends with 'Shades Of Heavenly Death', the longest piece comprised in it. Now? this is epic! With a sort of speed that equals anything done by Metallica or Megadeth at the time yet with a more polished approach and a more accomplished compositional drive, the FW guys move steadily and enthusiastically through various moods and motifs that merge passion and darkness in a most dynamic way. The dual acoustic guitar interventions some time after the 4 minute mark (plus a mysterious chorale) are spine chilling, not interrupting but complementing the overall explicit energy. Once again, a fade-out settles the score but this time I feel that the piece has been properly completed. The album's second half is occupied by the suite 'The Ivory Gate Of Dreams', which can be tentatively described as the "missing link" between Iron Maiden's 'Ryme Of The Ancient mariner' and Dream Theater's 'A Change Of Seasons'. The opening verses consist of a beautiful prelude on classical guitar. It doesn't take long before the full band stages a clever metallic attack (Zimmermann's finest hour, IMHO) divided in various series and featuring varying levels of rocking power. At the 6'30" mark, a slow section intrudes and states a reflective note for a brief moment before a new electric section gets in ? anyway, the reflective ambience remains intact. The suite's lyrics are also some of the best ever in FW's history: "Ivory towers appear beyond the gate / Invisible fortresses of escape / Traversed by ramparts made of hopes and fears / Impervious to reality" ? poetry!! Want some more poetry? Check this: "When reality obscures the dream / Makes the mind a grave of memories / That wander like the lonely breeze / Whose whispers echo through ruins rust / Of towers torn and dreams turned to dust". Lovely!! The magical introspection of the 'Whispers on the wind' section segued to the previous section's radically abrupt end beautifully signals the image of a person's awakening. There is also poetry in this sort of instrumental arrangements. In fact, at this point, the piece escalades toward an impressive climax that gives enough room to Alder's highlighted singing. The suite ends where it began, a classical guitar epilogue as serene as it is touching. It makes total sense: a lovely closure for a lovely groundbreaking album.

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Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#262367) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, January 24, 2010

Review by jampa17
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Prog metal at it's best

Fates Warning is one of those bands that stand tall after the change of orientation in prog during the middle 80's. I felt their music a lot more interesting and creative than Queensryche and they use to be overlooked by many people. Well, this album shows the quality of the musicians, the great concept of the merging in between metal and progressive rock. The result is a great album that deserves a better place here.

Well, the band kicked out the great singer John Arch, but even that was a bad choice, the new singer, Ray Alder, shows quite well why he took the role. More controlled but still aggressive and acrobatic, his vocals brought new life to the already creative and intricate music this band played at the time. It was 1988, the music world was changing, and they survived and evolved into a better band.

Jim Matheos is one of the most underrated guitar players in the history of rock. He is creative and his quality of songwriting is all there. The focus of the album is the epic song The Ivory Gates of Dreams, that last more than 21 minutes and it's an entertaining piece of wonderful music, full with energy, power, melody and time signature changes.

While the quality of sound is not the best, is quite good enough to enjoy. If you like metal or prog metal, you cannot pass this by. Give it a try. And for those who don't know yet this band, at least during this era, they were like a raw version of Dream Theater, a little less bussy in the technique department and more focus on the emotional-dramatic side of things. Music with energy and sense is what we need more often, and this kind of songwriting is not very common to find. Please, don't let this chance to pass you. This is an album to hear and enjoy. 4 stars is fair.

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Send comments to jampa17 (BETA) | Report this review (#273707) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
3 stars The start of the Prog-era

No Exit was the first Fates Warning album featuring singer Ray Alder and thus in many ways the start of a whole new era for the band - a more progressive era. Think Judas Priest circa Stained Class, but more progressive and without Priest's distinctive identity. Alder does indeed sound a bit like Rob Halford but again without Halford's distinctive identity. In addition to Judas Priest, one can also detect a Rush influence.

Like early Queensryche, the progressive ambitions of Fates Warning were not immediately apparent. The first half of this album consists of shorter songs that are quite conventional Metal songs not far away from the style of Queensryche. It is on the second side of the album that the progressive ambitions of the band become clear. The Ivory Gates Of Dreams is a 22 minute, eight-part epic with a nice acoustic guitar intro and a multitude of riffs. It toke many listens for me to sink in, but now I like it a lot. It is also featured on the very good live album Still Life.

A good start of Fates Warning as we know it, but it would get better on subsequent albums.

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#557388) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars It was only to be expected that Fates Warning's first album after the departure of John Arch would be a rather transitional affair, but new frontman Ray Adler hits the ground running and the band do much better under the circumstances than many other groups would have. The first side of the album consists of a series of solid and entertaining enough songs which, despite being fun, have an air of "playing it safe" about them.

All doubts are dispelled, however, with the concluding side-long epic The Ivory Gate of Dreams, in which the band tackle the most complex and challenging progressive metal they'd concocted to date and come up with a true classic of the genre, a piece to rival Rush's 2112 in its importance to prog metal. The first side of the album is three and a half stars, the second is five, so let's say four and a half as a fair compromise.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#588863) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, December 15, 2011

Review by b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 3.5 really

With No exit released in 1988 Fates Warning beggins a new era, here appear for the first time the excellent vocalist Ray Alder who gives a new dimention to Fates Warning pieces from now on. I can say that I'm a fan of this band , collected almost everything they have across the years and love them for 20 years now. This album to me is a mixed between Queensryce and Watchtower, both bands appear in the liner notes on tanks section. The music is powerful with lots of guitar breaks, Jim Matheos must be one of the most overlooked guitar player in the history. A legendary album for sure with many great moments, but I can't say is on par with their next one Perfect symmetry to me their best album from first era. Very good songs here with a plus on ending track The Ivory Gate of Dreams - a 22 min sheer beauty. This song is among the best Fates Warning ever done, has it all, great guitars, piano, fabulos vocal parts, top notch druming from Steve Zimmerman , the last FW album where apper. Lost of tempo changes, time signature all meted ina heavy progressive way. This album is solid but I can't say is in my top 3 from them, still great to be discovered by younger genration , Fates Warning were considered and are considered the fathers of prog metal since late '80's. So to me only 3.5 stars.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#921883) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, March 03, 2013

Latest members reviews

5 stars Ray Alder is an excellent vocalist. John Arch is also fantastic, so you cannot go wrong with either. Their vocals sound different, but they both fit well into the progressive metal genre. No Exit is a fresh start with a new vocalist, but it is hard hitting with lots of bite delivered in epic fash ... (read more)

Report this review (#1224459) | Posted by javajeff | Saturday, July 26, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Until the moment this album was released, I knew about Fates Warning and even I had some interest for them, but they wasn't a band of special interest for me. It was with this album that they took a giant step the become a favorite band for me.The adding of Ray Adler as lead singer is an importat e ... (read more)

Report this review (#239265) | Posted by Tritone | Monday, September 14, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars There is truly No Exit... The true tip of Fates Warning at their creative and progressive peak. This album is an onslaught of classic progressive metal, and by and far ahead of most their other releases in terms of pure aggression and bite. Soft atmospheric opener No Exit betrays your ears a ... (read more)

Report this review (#218615) | Posted by Alitare | Wednesday, May 27, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This album marks a transitional period for Fates Warning. Singer John Arch had left the band after their Awaken The Guardian album and tour so this marks the first album the band released with Ray Alder. I consider Alder to be one of my favorite vocalists in the prog metal genre (as well as und ... (read more)

Report this review (#215162) | Posted by Stooge | Tuesday, May 12, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I don't know what was going on with Fates Warning at this point in their lives...but I sure like it! When I let friends listen to this CD, they are blown away. Well, until the vocals. "Enter Young Man...Welcome". Ray Alder's voice is enough to scare away most people, but lucky for me I had ... (read more)

Report this review (#125815) | Posted by metalmaniac67 | Thursday, June 14, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#87780) | Posted by heyitsthatguy | Monday, August 21, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars In my opinion this is among the best progressive metal albums ever recorded. It has a very rare combination of energy, hunger, originality, and masterful songwriting and arrangement. It roars like a powerful metal album yet is layered with unpredictable drumming and complex textures you just do ... (read more)

Report this review (#52000) | Posted by mdorovich | Sunday, October 16, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This album was my exposure to progressive metal and something a bit more complex than 4/4 verse chorus verse chorus bridge chorus hair metal I'd been previously exposed to. As the first track started (an almost a capella piece by Alder), I thought I had made a mistake. Once the album began, I f ... (read more)

Report this review (#36366) | Posted by | Sunday, June 12, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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