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Fates Warning

Progressive Metal

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Fates Warning Still Life album cover
4.27 | 101 ratings | 5 reviews | 48% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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Live, released in 1998

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc One: A Pleasant Shade Of Gray (51:51)
1. Part I (2:09)
2. Part II (3:35)
3. Part III (3:56)
4. Part IV (4:35)
5. Part V (5:27)
6. Part VI (7:04)
7. Part VII (4:46)
8. Part VIII (3:36)
9. Part IX (4:38)
10. Part X (1:11)
11. Part XI (3:31)
12. Part XII (7:24)

Disc 2: (55:38)
1. The Ivory Gate Of Dreams (20:54)
2. The Eleventh Hour (8:14)
3. Point Of View (4:33)
4. Monument (6:46)
5. At Fates Hands (6:47)
6. Prelude To Ruin (3:38)
7. We Only Say Goodbye (4:43)

Total Time: 107:29

Line-up / Musicians

- Ray Alder / voices
- Jim Matheos / electric and acoustic guitars
- Joey Vera / bass and backing vocals
- Mark Zonder / drums, percussion and other sound effects

- Jason Keaser / keyboards
- Bernie Versailles / electric guitars (on Disc Two)

Releases information

Metal Blade Records (3984-14188-2)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to M@X for the last updates
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FATES WARNING Still Life ratings distribution

(101 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(48%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (9%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

FATES WARNING Still Life reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is an excellent live set from Fates Warning that contains two discs of the band's performance recorded live in Europe, April 16-26, 1998. Disc one is a full performance of the band's concept album A Pleasant Shade of Gray in its entirety. Disc Two contains other material that includes the performance of an epic The Ivory Gate Of Dreams. A Pleasant Shade of Gray can be considered as a masterpiece album as it has a perfect flow of music combining high and low points with balanced moods created mostly from floating style. Coupled with great live performance and excellent sound production - as if it's a studio album - I have no little doubt to put Disc One with full five star rating. On Disc Two, even though the band maintains the great performance, I can only give a four star rating because some compositions are not that truly stand-outs.

Disc One : A Pleasant Shade of Gray

By the time I write this review, I have not heard the studio version of this concept album. But, I'm amazed with this live set as overall the music is truly wonderful, performed non-stop in its entirety from part I to part XII. If by listening to live set only I can enjoy the music really well, I conclude that the album must be a masterpiece one. It has wonderful arrangements and excellent structure. Each part connects tightly to the overall structure in a cohesive way. The music is not a typical progressive metal vein with heavy guitar riffs, rather it has some psychedelic and symphonic blend performed in floating style from start to end. For those who do not favor metal music, you don't need to worry as you won't find heavy riffs or fast tempo music.

The disc starts off with an ambient nuance where the music flows softly in floating style using simple guitar fills and keyboards, augmented by voice from the crowd. Ray Alder's voice enters the music in a powerful way. At the end of the lyrical passage the music flows in an energetic way to Part II. It's an interesting music to enjoy, especially when I observe the beats of the music - indicated by Mark Zonder's acrobatic drumming. Part III is still in an energetic style but it has different beats with some vocal accentuation. The guitar work of Jim Matheos is so obvious. Joey Vera also performs his inventive bass guitar work excellently.

Under Part IV there is some variation especially on how the guitar is played during opening part, not typical to any progressive metal style. It even reminds me to neo prog music. Ray's vocal is cool, really! Part V brings the music with a unique blend of guitar, drums, bass and vocals in an excellent harmony with energy. Under Part VI the music turns into ambient nuance and quieter passage with simple guitar fills backed by long sustain keyboard sound at the back. I like the melody when Ray's vocal communicate with the audience and responded by the audience. "Here we are!!". Again, guitar is floating beautifully. It's like a psychedelic music! It's good to have this Part VI with this kind of composition. Even the bass lines seem like floating as well. With the symphonic nature of keyboard sound, do we call this music is progressive metal? I doubt it man .!!

The music on Disc One flows wonderfully until it reaches concluding track Part XII. It's a masterpiece work - so I give five stars for Disc One.

Disc Two

It's another excellent disc which starts with an epic The Ivory Gate Of Dreams (20:54) . It's basically like a straight forward hard rock music performed lively with high energy. It starts mellow with transparent voice of Ray Alder accompanied with guitar fills, augmented with audience crowd. It moves into energetic style with increasing audience participation. (Well, it seems like the show was performed in a small venue but the environment sounds really good). It's good enjoying the electric guitar solo here - it really rocks! On Disc Two Bernie Versailles plays additional guitar on top of Matheos.

The Eleventh Hour (8:14) returns the music into Fates warning style with ambient guitar work and floating voices. Ray Alder's voice sounds excellent in the middle of the track where he sings in high register notes. Point Of View (4:33) is a straight forward rock music. Another track that is of interest is At Fate's Hands (6:47). It's an excellent composition combining symphonic nuance and progressive metal. It's an adrenalin exploder, I think. At least, it applies to me, mate.

Disc Two is an excellent rock live record. Overall rating for Disc Two is 4 out of 5 stars.


It's an excellent live record. Musicianship, performance, and song compositions are really top notch! This is not a typical progressive metal vein. Fates warning has its own way in expressing their music. Sonic quality of the CD is wonderful - it does sound like a studio album, really. Overall rating is 4 out of 5 stars. Highly recommended live record! Keep on proggin' ..!

Progressively yours,


Review #302

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars FATES WARNING's first double live album was recorded in Europe between April 16-26 1998, and I must say the fans at this concert are extremely energetic and enthusiastic.

The first disc is the entire "A Pleasant Shade Of Gray" record. And I do like the live version more than the studio recording. The crowd is so into this concert ! Some great bass work from Vera on "Part 3" and the intro of this song reminds me of ALICE IN CHAINS.The contrast between this heavy riff section and the mellow section where Adler sings "Pleasant shade of gray..." is a definite highlight. "Part 4" is a beautiful, transporting like song that gets heavy towards the end. It rocks ! It's moments like these that make me feel so blessed to know FATES WARNING. "Part 5" opens with some good bass and check out the drumming of Zonder ! There is so much tension in this song as if it's going to burst. It's cool to hear the crowd singing along to "Part 6". It's quite uplifting 4 minutes in with Adler's great vocals and Matheos' amazing guitar work. The crowd is going nuts as if in anticipation of "Part 7". I'm sure at this point in the concert that if Adler said "shoe horn" the crowd would roar their approval. After some keys are played we are treated to a scorching guitar solo. Zonder attacks his drum kit with reckless abandon as heavy riffs follow. "Part 9" is a beautiful ballad with soaring guitar. "Part 11" is an absolutely ripping song. "Part 12" is the final song and the background synths open it as the tension starts to build. Some terrific bass and blistering guitar in this amazing finale.

Disc two features a second lead guitarist in Bernie Versailles a former FATES WARNING member along with keyboardist Jason Keaser. The epic "The Ivory Gate Of Dreams" starts things off. I prefer the studio version to this one. The crowd is yelling and clapping as acoustic guitar is being played.This song has some brutally heavy passages that are contrasted with mellow ones. 8 minutes in is my favourite section. "The Eleventh Hour" is great and the heaviness comes in around 3 minutes as the crowd starts chanting. "Point Of View" has some amazing drumming and blistering guitar solos. Nice. "Monument" has some incredible guitar work after 3 minutes. "At Fates Hands" is becoming one of my favourite FATES songs. It's guitar heaven after 3 minutes. "Prelude To Ruin" is a heavy as hell monster ! Adler does an amazing job on this one that Arch originally sang on. "We Only Say Goodbye" is a great song to end this beautiful live set with. Great tune !

Well overall this is a must have not only for FATES WARNING fans but for Metal fans in general. 4.5 stars.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
4 stars A live monument

This live double album provides a good overview of the Ray Alder years of Fates Warning. Every studio album from the Alder-era (up to the point of this recording) is represented here together with one snippet of an old John Arch-era song. The Prog Metal fan is bound to be pleased with the set list as the band's two most epic pieces of music are featured: the album length, 12-part A Pleasant Shade Of Gray and the 20 minute plus, eight-part The Ivory Gates Of Dreams are both performed in full. The former runs to over 50 minutes and occupies the whole first disc of this live album. It is a faithful rendition of the studio counterpart.

The second disc features a nice collection of Fates Warning classics including the superb At Fate's Hands from the breakthrough album Perfect Symmetry, three songs from the very good Parallels album and one of the best songs from Inside Out. I would perhaps not say that these selections are the band's very best songs, but it is indeed a fine set.

Highly recommended!

Latest members reviews

4 stars This is the recommended Fates Warning live album capturing band at the top of their powers just after they released their most progressive and ambitious concept album. I was curious to see if there are any pre-Alder era and unfortunately, nothing like that. It's a small complaint though for we ... (read more)

Report this review (#2948760) | Posted by sgtpepper | Thursday, August 31, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars After a successful career of 14 years, Fates Warning decided to release their first live album. Disc 1 is simply "A Pleasant Shade of Grey", their 52-minutes masterpiece, released on their last studio album. I haven't heard the studio version, yet but live it's really good, except the slow tr ... (read more)

Report this review (#63519) | Posted by W.Chuck | Saturday, January 7, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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