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FWX

Fates Warning

Progressive Metal


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Fates Warning FWX album cover
3.34 | 165 ratings | 24 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Left Here (6:59)
2. Simple Human (4:03)
3. River Wide Ocean Deep (6:09)
4. Another Perfect Day (4:43)
5. Heal Me (7:38)
6. Sequence #7 (2:13)
7. Crawl (4:21)
8. A Handful of Doubt (5:06)
9. Stranger (With a Familiar Face) (4:20)
10. Wish (6:38)

Total Time: 52:15

Lyrics

Search FATES WARNING FWX lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Ray Alder / vocals
- Jim Matheos / guitars, keyboards, programming
- Joey Vera / bass
- Mark Zonder / drums

Releases information

CD Metal Blade (3984-14500-2) USA 2004

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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ParallelsParallels
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FATES WARNING FWX ratings distribution


3.34
(165 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
21%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(45%)
45%
Good, but non-essential (25%)
25%
Collectors/fans only (7%)
7%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

FATES WARNING FWX reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by hdfisch
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars Well, how should I comment this new output of them? I'd like to say they became a bit old, not so much regarding power, but more in regards of inspiration. The first song is still quite good with a nice acoustic intro,but starting from track #2 they're sounding more and more like Tool. And I have to say it's a bit weak from an already very settled band to try to emulate the style of a much younger one and trying to find more fans in the younger generation by this. Nothing against trying to be "up-to-date", but this usually implies as well to go more for what's trendy and commercially successful. Maybe the reason why I don't like the record very much is that I don't like Tool's style at all. But even as a fan of them I would not buy it, because then I'd rather go for the original. For me their biggest masterpiece is still "A Pleasant Shade Of Grey", which was a real artistic work in progressive rock/metal. That one I'd recommend to all fans of excellent prog metal. But "FWX" I can only recommend to fellows who like to have a very modern album by them which is compatible with MTV program. For me the pinnacle of this band has been passed since a long time and what I can hear here has not to do anything with that band Fates Warning I know from the 'good old times'.

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Send comments to hdfisch (BETA) | Report this review (#33060) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, October 14, 2004

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars

Background

Based on my experience with progressive music, there are three categories of prog albums based on my listening experience. Category A is the album that blew my mind at first listen and it became my all-time favorite and I kept on playing the CD at my player on and on. Examples of this Cat A includes: Marillion (Fish era), Arena, IQ, Dream Theater, post Syd Barrett Pink Floyd, Yes "Fragile", Yes "Going For The One", Yes "Drama" etc. Category B is the album that was hard for me to accept at first listen but it grew with number of spins and by (typically) spin number 8 (eight) it became my favorite. This album of Fates Warning and also "Disconnected" fall under this category. Other examples include: Gentle Giant (except "Civilian"), Yes "Tales from Topographic Ocean", Yes "Relayer", Pain of Salvation "Perfect Element Part 1" and "Remedy Lane", etc.. Category C is the album that did not attract me to have other spin due to weak composition (lack of structure or melody) or lack of originality of its music (too much influence of other bands). I don't want to give examples of this, actually, as it would create further controversy with other prog listeners. But I have to be honest as I experienced it myself. Examples: Jump (a group that was coached by Mark Kelly), Landmarq "The Vision Pit", RPWL "God Has Failed", first three albums of Spock's Beard, Grey Lady Down, Thieve Kitchen "Argot" (this album is overrated? Dunno). Albums under this category may move to Category B. Disagreement with my view is welcome as we are talking about prog, aren't we?. It's not prog at all if I do not welcome any disagreement or differing views.

Album Review

As for FWX album, my chief reason of putting it under category B was that I did not get used to the kind of music these guys were playing. It was a bit "weird" for me as it's not typical progressive metal music like Dream Theater or Symphony X where I was familiar with. That's why this album did not attract me at all at first listen. It has grown significantly after fourth spin and I can assure you that this album deserves more than four star rating actually. But, I don't want to be that naïve to give five star right away.

If you expect that this album is typical prog met vein with heavy rhythm and riffs, you will be dissatisfied and most probably you do not want to give another chance of listening. You must be open mind with its music, try to accept whatever sounds and melodies the band is playing and have multiple spins if you can not enjoy at first shot. You will then, hopefully, find the beauty of Fates Warning music as I have experienced with this album as well as "Disconnected". In a nutshell, the music of this album is like an "atmospheric progressive metal" with strange (but stunning) guitar, dynamic drumming and high register voice line. I'm really amazed with the musical quality of this album; it's an excellent one!

The album kicks off with a simple acoustic guitar in ambient style as an intro of "Left Here". The music flows with electric guitar and drumming plus bass line followed by a distanced voice line. There is a symphonic nuance indicated by keyboard sound at background. The drumming style is unique and very noticeable throughout the track. The distorted guitar is long sustain, free form open passage with sort of unusual signatures.

"Simple Human" blasts off the music in "almost" similar vein of prog met music with relatively heavy riffs but the music suddenly turns quieter with unique singing style backed with great bass line. Yes, the bass line is noticeable in this track - it forms like a simple and soft riffs for the music. The guitar is now played differently with some rhythm style plus effects. This track might be accessible to any prog metal fans.

The third track "River Wide Ocean Deep" starts off with simple music with percussion and keyboard sounds accentuated with nice female chanting (really great chanting!) that accompany the male voice line. I observe the long sustain distorted guitar with beautiful effects during this intro part. The voice turns to higher notes backed with dynamic drums and guitar effects. Oh man .. I scream aloud when I listened to this track. What a wonderful song this one is!!

"Another Perfect Day" was I thought a ballad song when I listened to the opening guitar rhythm. But it turns to a powerful guitar riffs in fast tempo that suddenly turns quieter with the voice line entering the music. The interlude part with lead guitar combines the prog metal music with classic rock sound.

"Heal Me" opens with a slow tempo voice line backed with simple guitar fills and bass guitar. The keyboard sound projects a symphonic nuance of this track especially when it's accompanied with a tape loop of drum sound. The full music then follow with great drumming and guitar. The transition piece with tape loop is then follow with fast tempo music in full scale with high register vocal. It's a stunning composition and it will favor most of prog metal lovers. I love drumming work, it's so powerful. The use of acoustic guitar with dynamic drumming during transition / interlude part has enriched this song.

"Sequence #7" is a short instrumental song that contains sound effects and distortion with accentuated bass line, simple guitar fills and distanced voice. It reminds me, for some reason, to some pieces in Porcupine Tree "Stupid Dream" album. It flows seamlessly to next track "Crawl" with medium tempo. Again, I'm fascinated by the drumming sound and distorted guitar.

"A Handful of Doubt" offers another style of music in mellow style at first half. The opening guitar fills and bass line work really well for the singer to enter the music. The last half of the track features full music with faster tempo and high register. Simple yet enjoyable track. Next track "Stranger (With a Familiar Face)" seems to me like a straight forward hard rock tune with some progressive touch especially the drumming part. It's an excellent track though.

The concluding track "Wish" is another excellent track The voice line starts something different: using lower register than any other tracks. Unusual with other tracks, the piano is used beautifully in this song (sounded weird to me: progressive metal with piano? - but it's nice with this track).

Overall Conclusion : Buy this CD. Rating: 4.25 /5 - it potentially might grow to 5 in the future. Keep On Progging! - GW, Indonesia.

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#33066) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, January 01, 2005

Review by AtLossForWords
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Definately not a perfect X (ten).

FWX is as the name suggests, the tenth release from Progressive Metal pioneers Fates Warning. The album features many tones similar to what many Fates Warning fan would expect, but that's kind of the problem. The tracks sound more like songs that didn't make previous albums like a Pleasant Shade of Grey. Fates Warning dosen't seem to be doing anything new or interesting.

The album is structured more like a standard Heavy Metal album than a Progressive Metal album. Progressive Metal is a great genre because the listener wants to hear what's next in the song, not what the next song is. This album does not fullfill that wish. The song structure is simple and unimaginative, kind of like the tones on the album.

The guitars are not doing anything too melodic or too great. Matheos stick much more to a standard rythymn guitar style of playing than lead melodies that he's so known for. The tones are excellent, they are clear with good attack, but there's not really much playing.

The vocals by Ray Alder are probably the spectacle of this album. The vocals are clear and poweful. Alder's voice is qutie variant (the rest of the band isn't). The vocals are really the only reason to listen to this album. The listener may not care much for the album, but no one can deny the quality of the vocal performance on this album.

The bass is simplistic, but it's very present in the mix. It certainly has a role in the album, but it's still not much more important than it is in most metal bands.

The drums are a letdown. The beats are standardized and uncreative. They do follow the format of the album for the most part, a format that's repeatative and boring.

The production is excellent, but that has to be expected from a band as big as Fates Warning. The tonality is excellent for all insturments, but the music just doesn't do the production justice. Usually it's the other way around, but Fates Warning have managed to sound better than they really are.

It's not worth three stars, but it's not a total loss. Chances are some Fates Warning fans will find something they like here, but most mid-level fans won't care too much for this one. Two stars seems like the proper rating.

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Send comments to AtLossForWords (BETA) | Report this review (#64785) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, January 14, 2006

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions
4 stars On a perfect day the river is wide and the ocean deep ...

FATES WARNING is one of my favourite Prog Metal bands - maybe not typical for this subgenre (so I'm not an expert). I like Ray Alder's voice because she's not so rough or harsh - perfectly harmonizing with the melodies. Yes - their music is very melodic provided with fantastic hooklines (what I've heard from the band so far). And they often have a psychedelic touch within the songs.

For example the short Sequence or River wide ocean deep which starts very melancholic with decent spacy guitars, synthy soundscapes and some female oriental background vocals. After a while then it changes into a frantic mood - staccato drums, heavy riffs and above all Alder's emotional vocals - a perfect song! Another perfect day remembers me much at Porcupine Tree. But nevertheless a wonderful song with transitions to classic heavy rock. The closing Wish with sentimental piano additions is another highlight of this album.

Furthermore it's not necessary to mention all the other songs - there are no losses. 'FWX' is recommend to fans of melodic prog metal and art rock.

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Send comments to Rivertree (BETA) | Report this review (#81588) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Review by The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I used to hate Fates Warning. I used to despise this band and mainly because of its singer, Ray Alder, whom I used to find annoying and comepletely worthless. I wrote my first-ever review for this website with an album by this outfit as target (A PLEASANT SHADE OF GREY). I gave it three stars, and I bashed the singer and criticize Matheos for his alack of vision, of musical taste. That was a year ago.

Fast-forward till 2007. I've heard all the 4 FW's albums I own again. I still find Alder's voice slightly annoying, but not nearly as much as before. But it's my attitude towards the music that has changed the most: now I like it, I find it interesting, exciting, true prog-metal. Though I said in my earlier review that I liked Zonder's drumming and Matheos' playing a lot, I also said that the man had no song-writing skills and that the track lacked structure, melody, hooks. That was erroneus.

I've asked the Administrator to delete my review of APSOG from the Archives for it was a bad review, written after just ONE listen to the album in question. Nowadays I don't do things that way, and my feelings towards the record have changed, too. So, with this new perspective in mind, I'll procede to give my comments about Fates Warning latest release, FWX.

The album has a slightly different sound than the one FW had us used to. The songs are simpler, and the riffs are more... how could I say it... "grunge-ish"? Yes, that's a good way to say it. Many of the songs bear a light resemblance to the sound of bands like Soundgarden. Gone are the Iron Maiden or strictly metal references, we won't find here any track that reminds us of PARALLELS or PERFECT SYMMETRY. Instead, we got a few passages that sound like Tool, some sound a little like space-rock, but the overall quality of the band is still there. Zonder's drumming is still amazing, top-notch, classy; he never over-plays but restrains himself to a proper use of the hi-hat and cymbals; Matheos' guitars are as unique as always, and the bass does a good job. But what about my former "musical-enemy" Ray Alder? Well, I have to say that, even though the music at times is not up to par to earlier albums, Alder gives us his best performance yet, without relying only in that annoying "last note sustaining" of old and now trying to actually sing, put some melody into his work. I still have some issues with his voice, but I can bear it now.

Left Here (9/10)An acoustic beginning that sounds very close to the start of Transatlantic's "We all need some light" leads us to a strange Pink-Floyd-ish part that suddenly turns into a metallic affair; very melodic, focused start. Distorsion and effects act as background for Alder's appearance. This is not your PARALLELS' Fates Warning. This is something else. The song grows until it reaches a very good chorus, a desperate, hopeless cry. Great song. Could've been a 10 with a little more dynamics.

Simple Human (7/10)A weird song for FW. The chorus sounds a lot like Soundgarden or some grunge band. The main riff is nothing special, nor is the chorus. But the song works.

River Wide Ocean Deep (7.5)Some notes in the guitar that are so dark we think some death-metal is lurking around the corner. Of course when the effects appear that notion fades off our minds. The start of the song is slow and almost percussion-less (if we don't count the machine behind) The drums and heavy guitars appear at around the 4:00 minute mark, with a powerful marching rhythm. Soon the song is over. Not terrific but good.

Another Perfect Day (9.5/10), the highlight of the album. The acoustic start gives the idea of a ballad, but soon enough the guitars announce a hard-rockin' grungy riff. The main verse is quite melodic, atmospheric, just ethereal guitar chords with Alder actually SINGING here (I applaud that). Then the catchy magnificent chorus, full of energy. An excellent song, with hooks and twists that are sufficient to grab my attention. Energy, that's the word. Driving energy.

Heal Me (7/10) the album becomes an uneven ride after the last song. Alder continues to amaze me by singing like a good singer, not just yelling, but it's MAtheos who can't hold my attention. His songwriting skills are not so evident in here. This song has an arabic riff that sounds a little like "Home" in ultra-masterpiece SFAM by a certain New York band. With time this song grows on the listener and becomes interesting. It's too long for its own sake, but it's good.

Sequence #7 (?/10) one of those instrumentals that nobody understands the point behind including them in the album, besides the band members of course. Very futuristic, electronic, mechanized, like a computer at work. Too short, too unimportant. it was going to be good, but as is the case with many of these "segues", they are just transitional pieces.

Crawl (5/10), with no pause we are into the 7th song, which starts with a rather weak riff. This track sounds "southern", to use an expression. What I mean is, this sounds a little like influenced by dixie-land music, dirty motor-bike rock n' roll, only much slower and uninspired. I dislike that kind of bluesy, southern rock n' roll, but if we add boring riffs to the formula, we have the weakest track in the album. At least it is short.

A Handful of Doubt (8/10) A "Tool-ish" start makes way to a good melodic section with Alder showing me he can be a good singer. The song is moody, dark, (well, the whole album is pretty dark). At around 3:00 minutes the hard part kicks off, with a riff that sounds pesimistic, desolate, even "post-metal-ish" at times. Not a bad song. And very good after that last track.

Stranger (With a Familiar Face) (6.5/10), finally, some speed! the riff is nothing spectacular but it works. Good bass work. This sound a lot like Soundgarden, we only miss Chris Cornell here. The chorus in particular reminds us a lot of the Washington State band. It's just a song. Average.

Wish (9/10), we had to wait till the end of the album for another shining moment. Some very obscure, depressing clean-guitar chords set a mood of pessimism. Alder does a good job of keeping that sad vibe intact. Then the drums and a muted guitar riff join the vocals to create a sedated, not-a-chance feel of utter resignation. The piano addition is welcome to add to the melody. At the end Matheos performs a good solo and the song goes into hard-rock mode, though it is short-lived, for the grey atmosphere comes back again. Outstanding song.

This is, in the end, a good album but this great band that is Fates Warning. I would've given it 4 stars but the album, because of the weak tracks, is difficult to swallow in an entire listen without having the impulse to press the "skip" button once or twice.

So how come I said Fates Warning has won me over and I'm still giving them just a 3? Well, this is the review for FWX, an album that a year ago would've earned a 2 or even just 1 star by me (not really... I can distinguish 1 star albums from the beginning, not one has ever become interesting even after more than 10 listens. But maybe one day.) About A PLEASANT SHADE OF GREY I will soon write, but I'm sure it won't get the same 3 stars I gave it months ago. That album is almost a masterpiece. This one, well, is good. Could've been much better.

Recommended for: Prog-metal fans. Fates Warning fans. But beware: this is not your fast, maiden-ish FW of old. Fans of prog-grunge (whatever that may be?!?) may like this album also. fans of good rock in general. Man, it's not even too metallic!

Not recommended for: People that can't stand Fates Warning of course; people that dislike metal, though this album is, I insist, not overly "metal"; people that hated the grunge-era, when a bunch of Seattle bands kicked the crap out of hair bands and made a revolution in mainstream rock...

... and, believe it or not, I thank them for that.

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Send comments to The T (BETA) | Report this review (#114739) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, March 09, 2007

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is FATES WARNING's tenth studio album and their twentieth anniversary as a band. I don't think there is any doubt that the band was filled with confidence as they recorded this album having just completed a successful tour with QUEENSRYCHE and DREAM THEATER the year before. They even produce this album themselves as Jim and Ray took on that responsibility. I love the cover art of an older couple sitting on their lawn chairs watching a tornado out in the field. The band thanks former lead guitarist Frank Aresti (nice), Mike Portnoy, Nick D'Virgilio, Bernie Versailles and Nick van Dyk. Like on the "Disconnected" album Jim and Ray share the song writing duties while Jim takes care of the music. On a sad note this will be Mark Zonder's last album with the band. This record has a similar sound to "Disconnected" but it's more straight forward with shorter songs, some being almost radio friendly in the verse, chorus, verse mode. I have to say the song writing is again steller. Jim plays keys as Kevin Moore is not involved in this one, so there is less keyboard work as well.

"Left Here" opens with the sounds of crickets as gently played guitar comes in. It starts to build as synths and drums arrive followed by the grinding guitar of Matheos. Zonder and Matheos are amazing ! Some beautiful guitar melodies to end it. "Simple Human" comes out swinging and someone is going down. This song is both heavy and catchy. "River Wide Ocean Deep" is dark with lots of atmosphere to open, a lot of tension as well. A female vocal melody comes and goes. The song breaks out a couple of times with some scathing guitar to end it. The lyrics are very interesting about three different women or three different moods of the same woman. In the first verse she has loving eyes, open arms and a soothing voice. In the second verse she has vacant eyes, withered arms and a thundering voice. In the third verse she has wild eyes, clutching arms and a drowning voice.

"Another Perfect Day" has an uptempo intro that settles down to a pleasant, feel good song. Nice. I am reminded of PORCUPINE TREE as the guitar is strummed before turning heavy. "Heal Me" is ballad-like for 2 minutes (Ray does a nice job) before turning heavy with Vera and Zonder shining brightly. "Sequence #7" is an instrumental with samples and programming like OSI. "Crawl" is a good one with heavy bass, guitar and drums. "A Handful Of Doubt" is a good mid-paced tune with some heaviness that comes and goes. "Stranger (With A Familiar Face)" is more uptempo with a blistering guitar solo from Jim. This song smokes ! "Wish" has a steady rhythm with some keys from Matheos. More scorching guitar.

Overall a great record that doesn't live up to "Disconnected" but has some fantastic songs on it anyway. "River Wide Ocean Deep" is probably my favourite with "Left Here" and "Another Perfect Day" rounding out my top three for now.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#128977) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Review by Isa
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars |D| Possibly one of my (brother's) worst blind purchases of prog metal.

It seems that reviewers are overall split pretty evenly on whether this is a quality release or an uninspired flop of an album. While I wouldn't say this is a complete disaster, I definitely belong more in the group of the latter. This was also, unfortunately, my first full fledged Fates Warning experience, which made me think I didn't like this pioneering prog metal band for a bit of time until I discovered more of their discography.

Really, objectively, this is a pretty decent album in terms of how the instruments are together, music theory wise. Many of the instrumental passages are almost up their with that of their earlier work with Parallels and Perfect Symmetry. But there are two major things make this album fall flat on its face. Most prevalent are the fail-tastic vocal melodies, which are some of the worst I've heard so far in prog metal. On many tracks we have an energetic riff from the guitar with long, slow moving vocal parts that seem completely out of place with everything else that's happening with the instruments. Just listen to the chorus of the second song, Simple Human; "yeah ah yeah" lasting almost a full two measures over energetic fast moving part. It just doesn't fit. I don't mind Alder's voice itself, but his singing style sounds more like that of those obnoxious alternative rock bands from the nineties, as do some of the guitar parts. The second big thing that I dislike is the overall predictability and repetitiousness of the music overall. On one hand, the band incorporates many great progressive nuances in this album, but the basic parts are overused at best, and are not very interesting to begin with. Usually a track starts with a nice intro, but once the verse and chorus set in, I feel like I've heard the whole rest of the track already, and usually I actually have.

When doing my recent objective listen before this review, I'd listened to the first three tracks and couldn't figure out what exactly about it made the music as weak as I had remembered it. Then upon hearing Another Perfect Day, the only track I'm really fond of on the album, it became abundantly clear; it really did have to do with the quite terrible vocal melodies. And other than the also decent Heal Me, this was how the rest of the album was. Had they been written differently, this could have been a quite powerful and enjoyable album, and it's too bad such a menial thing should bring down the quality of an entire work, as it does for me. I especially disliked Simple Human, River Wide Ocean Deep, and Crawl, which really did sound like simple alternative rock with slight progressive nuances.

Really this isn't a complete disaster of an album, particularly with some quite competent instrumental sections, but there was little I can say I really enjoyed from the album other than Another Perfect Day (especially that great chorus!). The vocal melodies and predictability just ruin it for me overall. Thus, I simply can't recommend this album to anyone but Fates Warning fans alone.

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Send comments to Isa (BETA) | Report this review (#226138) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, July 12, 2009

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
2 stars Running out of steam

FWX (or Fates Warning Ten) is Fates Warning's latest album to date and represents the late period of the band's diverse career. As such FWX is most similar in style to Disconnected and A Pleasant Shade Of Gray but inferior to those in quality. It is not a bad album in its own right, but it is clear that the band was running out of steam at this point and the album does sound rather uninspired compared to previous albums. Indeed, I would say that FWX is the least good of all the Ray Alder-era Fates Warning albums. So, I don't think it was a coincidence that the band decided to stop after this album and that there has not been any more Fates Warning albums since. In 2003 (the year before the release of FWX) Jim Matheos reunited with original Fates Warning singer John Arch to record Arch's solo EP A Twist Of Fate and the two epic songs found on that EP sound very much more inspired than anything from FWX. Maybe this was what motivated Matheos to put Fates Warning on ice and record a full length album with Arch in 2010?

The album starts on a high note with its best track, Left Here. This song has about the same quality as the average song from the previous two albums, but the rest of FWX is weaker and it tends to become a little bit samey towards the middle. The band sounds a bit tired and uninspired even if they have not lost they vocals and instrumental skills and talents. There is a nice acoustic touch to some songs and some electronic touches, but very little in terms of adventurous song structures and the like.

If Fates Warning will ever record another studio album together, I hope that it will not be similar to this one but rather a return to the sound of the band's classic period in the late 80's and early 90's.

FWX is recommended only for fans and collectors of the band, but they will surely enjoy it to some degree as did I.

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#570788) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, November 19, 2011

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "FWX" is the 10th full-length studio album by US progressive metal act Fates Warning. The album was released through Metal Blade Records in October 2004. "FWX" was recorded by the same lineup who recorded the two predecessors "A Pleasant Shade of Gray (1997)" and "Disconnected (2000)". This time around Kevin Moore (Dream Theater, Chroma Key, OSI) doesnīt guest on keyboards though. The keyboards and the programming are instead handled by guitarist/main composer Jim Matheos.

While the music on the two predecessors is among the most progressive the band have yet released, "FWX", for the most part, follows a different route. The album is generally more vers/chorus oriented and thereīs a slight alternative influence on the album too. To my ears Some tracks sound closer to Ray Alderīs and Joey Veraīs side-project Engine than they sound like Fates Warning tracks. A track like "Another Perfect Day" reminded me quite a bit of Enchant, so "FWX" is generally a bit of a different sounding Fates Warning album.

The album is well produced although I think Ray Alderīs voice features a somewhat unpleasant metallic production. But thatīs been the case on the two precessors too. Whatīs more disturbing is the quality of the vocal melody lines, which are not very catchy. That worked alright on the more progressive predecessors because the quality of the music was so high, but here the instrumental part of the music too often falls into anonymous territory. The musicianship is as always on a very high level, but itīs not often the bandīs great skills are put to their full use.

So overall "FWX" is a bit of a disappointing release by Fates Warning. Itīs a bit hard to follow what the band were aiming at with the album but the bottom line is that it isnīt really working. "FWX" features glimpses of greatness and there are definitely both memorable and enjoyable parts on the album, but they are generally few and far between. Still a band like Fates Warning never fall flat on their face even on an album where they donīt deliver their most well written or interesting material, so a 3 star (60%) rating is still deserved.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#1298938) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, October 30, 2014

Latest members reviews

1 stars Fate's Warning is my favorite progressive metal band. I love all their material until that point. This album is bad, It's not even prog. but an ordinary Rock album, yes the musicianship is great. Mark, Jim and Ray do what they do best. but the songwriting and the compositions simply dont stand up. ... (read more)

Report this review (#372522) | Posted by BlindGuard | Tuesday, January 04, 2011 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Too much like OSI. So this was my 2nd Fates Warning album, after Awaken the Guardian, and my visceral first reaction was, "what's all the fuss about". It was alright, but it never grabbed me. It wasn't until after I heard the other albums and then Fates Warning became one of my favorite ba ... (read more)

Report this review (#300029) | Posted by Phoenix87x | Tuesday, September 21, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Let's start saying that FWX is for Fates Warning a great step back! We're very far from their last two masterpieces A Pleasant Shade Of Grey and Disconnected. I think that the main reason of this is the absence of Kevin Moore, who collaborated with them on the last two albums. In fact the role o ... (read more)

Report this review (#184124) | Posted by The Cerberman | Tuesday, September 30, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Could still have had more! It's good listening to a new album from a band that started my interest in this style. This is a strong album with a bit more focus than their last. I found Disconnected a little bit too, well, disconnected. There seemed to be a bit too much of a lame-ish Tool influ ... (read more)

Report this review (#173890) | Posted by praj912 | Saturday, June 14, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars FWX is one of the best prog metal albums you'll hear, along with the exceptional A Pleasant Shade of Gray. These guys make music, they don't care if some... guy has not enough gray cells to understand what they say, they make their statement anyway, and they do it with mathematical precision, great ... (read more)

Report this review (#73583) | Posted by vladimir | Thursday, March 30, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is not the Fates Warning I expected to hear! It kinda reminds me of Dream Theater's Octavarium and Tool's Lateralus when i first gave this CD a spin. I was a bit dissapointed. The music in this album didnt really catch me at first.. but it kinda grew on me as i gave it a couple more listen ... (read more)

Report this review (#54250) | Posted by JayDee | Tuesday, November 01, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars When I heard on the new Fates Warning album, I was really excited of having it. And when I got the CD, at first, I was a bit disappointed. Maybe I was just used to listening to prog metal the way like Drram Theater is playing it. But then again after frequent plays, I have learned the deepness ... (read more)

Report this review (#46478) | Posted by kickz | Monday, September 12, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars When i first started to listen to FWX my first impression was this is going to be a fantastic album due to great opening track 'Left Here', but track two 'Simple Human' i felt had a poor opening riff followed by vocals which just didn't seem to suit the song and as the song continued it didn' ... (read more)

Report this review (#44406) | Posted by The Accolade | Friday, August 26, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars For many years, Fates Warning was an enigma to me. I was sufficiently prog savvy to know the name, and had heard one rather pedestrian live track. But that really was the extent of it. Then, in 2002, things changed. I listened to 'Disconnected'. I was astounded. I was blown away. I needed more ... (read more)

Report this review (#36566) | Posted by | Wednesday, June 15, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars this is another great album by Fates Warning, in my opinion, they have never put out anything other than a great album. I will admit, at first I wasn't very impressed, the cd sat in my car for a month or two. But when I popped it in again and started listening to it, I realized that It was v ... (read more)

Report this review (#33069) | Posted by | Friday, February 04, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Well, when I first listened to this album I found everything that Disconnected leave unfinished. Down tempo guitars, a very complex drum rithm and a sadden voice. Fates Warning might be the most underrated band because they deserve way more that they have. And that kind of feellings you may fi ... (read more)

Report this review (#33068) | Posted by | Thursday, February 03, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It took a lot of time and effort for me to get used to the present style of this band. Albums like Disconnected or The Perfect Symmetry did not really ring a bell of excitement, though were at least accepted as worthwhile releases. But this one changed it all. Definitely their most mature albu ... (read more)

Report this review (#33067) | Posted by V0lcaN0 | Thursday, January 13, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Oh my god i truly love this anbum! Very intuitive, as always with this band, one can almost go a bit spoiled..Jim Matheos is one of the worlds greatest songwriters. Not the best album they have made thou. My Favourite is to this day still Perfect Symmetry. Best song is i think "River wide, oce ... (read more)

Report this review (#33064) | Posted by | Saturday, October 23, 2004 | Review Permanlink

4 stars We'll its been 4 yrs in the making. This album is solid. As with prog in general it takes a while before you can truly appreciate it, ie: train of thought. Plainly, this album is a mature, well-thought, stuctured, ambient, and lyrically sound. This is accessible without tying to be. Its a ... (read more)

Report this review (#33063) | Posted by | Friday, October 22, 2004 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Being an "old school" Fates Warning fan ("The Ivory Gate of Dreams" is still their best composition, I don't care if you don't like heavy music), it has been hard to keep following the band. I actually much prefer Alder's (/w Vera) Engine albums (which "Crawl" on this new album sounds like it ... (read more)

Report this review (#33062) | Posted by | Thursday, October 21, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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