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FATES WARNING

Progressive Metal • United States


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Fates Warning biography
FATES WARNING was founded as a heavy metal band, but after a few albums, their progressive tendencies started to emerge. While retaining elements of their metal heritage, their music grew increasingly complex, with much longer tracks and interesting interwoven melodic elements added. They merged their love of YES and RUSH, by combining elements of pure metal, classically inspired crescendos and interludes with jazz fusion like chops. FW has been largely responsible for the infusion of progressive thinking into heavy metal music, unlike its co-founding compatriots of progressive metal, DREAM THEATER. So give yourself the chance to live an emotive experience unlike anything else.

Like KING CRIMSON, the evolution of FATES WARNING can be split into many different period. "Awaken The Guardian" (1986) showed the band's music to be more progressive and complex that first impressions had suggested. "No Exit" (1988) was a ground breaking album for the band as they further explore the realms of progressive metal with the 21 minute long "The Ivory Gate of Dreams". This was followed by "Perfect Symmetry" (1989), considered by many to be the band's most Progressive rock-driven release. The compilation, "Chasing Time", is a great place to start. However, 1998's "A Pleasant Shade Of Grey", which consists of a single 40-minute song, is clearly the best place for a Progressive rock fan. The album start off slowly and needs several careful listenings to be fully appreciated; but then, since part. "Still Life" appeared the next year, and "Disconnected" followed two years later. And now let's wait for their 2003 release.

See also:

- John Arch
- Chinese Firedrill
- OSI

Fates Warning official website

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Buy FATES WARNING Music


Awaken the GuardianAwaken the Guardian
CD+DVD · Remastered · Extra tracks
Metal Blade 2005
Audio CD$11.10
$7.04 (used)
DisconnectedDisconnected
Metal Blade 2000
Audio CD$5.61
$3.49 (used)
Darkness in a Different LightDarkness in a Different Light
Inside Out U.S. 2013
Audio CD$8.00
$5.23 (used)
Inside OutInside Out
Extra tracks
Metal Blade 2012
Audio CD$11.63
$9.99 (used)
FwxFwx
Metal Blade 2004
Audio CD$6.87
$4.00 (used)
ParallelsParallels
Metal Blade 1998
Audio CD$6.98
$3.00 (used)
ParallelsParallels
Extra tracks · Remastered
Metal Blade 2010
Audio CD$11.80
$6.50 (used)
Spectre WithinSpectre Within
Remastered · Extra tracks
Metal Blade 2002
Audio CD$6.67
$5.99 (used)
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FATES WARNING shows & tickets


  • Fates Warning at Webster Theater, Hartford on 9 Oct 2015
  • Fates Warning + Divine Regale at The Palladium, Worcester on 10 Oct 2015
  • Fates Warning + psychoprism at The Chance, Poughkeepsie on 11 Oct 2015
  • Fates Warning at Saint Vitus Bar, Brooklyn on 13 Oct 2015
  • Fates Warning + Magus Beast at Revolution, Amityville, NY on 14 Oct 2015
  • Fates Warning + Reign + Imminent Sonic Destruction at Token Lounge, Westland on 16 Oct 2015
  • Fates Warning + Ion Vein + IronFinger at Reggie's Rock Club, Chicago on 17 Oct 2015
  • Fates Warning + Wretch at Agora Theatre & Ballroom, Cleveland on 18 Oct 2015
  • Fates Warning at Trees, Dallas on 23 Oct 2015
  • Keep It True XIX on 29 Apr 2016

FATES WARNING discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

FATES WARNING top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.64 | 110 ratings
Night On Bröcken
1984
3.44 | 137 ratings
The Spectre Within
1985
3.90 | 209 ratings
Awaken The Guardian
1986
3.86 | 189 ratings
No Exit
1988
4.13 | 315 ratings
Perfect Symmetry
1989
4.10 | 292 ratings
Parallels
1991
3.60 | 156 ratings
Inside Out
1994
4.13 | 291 ratings
A Pleasant Shade Of Gray
1997
4.11 | 273 ratings
Disconnected
2000
3.34 | 172 ratings
FWX
2004
3.93 | 217 ratings
Darkness in a Different Light
2013

FATES WARNING Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.37 | 66 ratings
Still Life
1998

FATES WARNING Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.30 | 10 ratings
Live at the Dynamo
1998
4.83 | 23 ratings
A Pleasant Shade Of Gray - Live (VHS)
1998
4.13 | 15 ratings
The View From Here
2003
3.73 | 33 ratings
Live In Athens
2005

FATES WARNING Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.26 | 30 ratings
Chasing Time
1995

FATES WARNING Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.83 | 6 ratings
Misfit (Demo)
1984
3.14 | 7 ratings
1984 Demo
1984
3.50 | 6 ratings
Dickie (Demo)
1985
3.78 | 9 ratings
Pale Fire
1994
3.90 | 10 ratings
A Pleasant Shade Of Gray: Part II
1997

FATES WARNING Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Darkness in a Different Light by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.93 | 217 ratings

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Darkness in a Different Light
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

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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 Night On Bröcken by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.64 | 110 ratings

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Night On Bröcken
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

2 stars FATES WARNING was formed all the way back in 1982 in Hartford, CT in the midst of the NWOBHM really taking the world by storm. In the beginning the band consisted of the twin guitar assault of Jim Matheos (the only constant member since the beginning) and Victor Arduini, drums handled by Stever Zimmerman, bass by Joe DiBiase and the trenchant vocal duties of John Arch whose well developed tenor head voice earned him comparisons to Geoff Tate of Queensryche and Midnight of Crimson Glory, but as the majority of reviewers of this album have already pointed out, it's Iron Maiden who gets most of the credit for pretty much all of the influences on board on this debut release NIGHT ON BRÖCKEN. The title comes from a mountain in Germany associated with witches in Goethe's "Faust."

It's hard to believe this band would go on to become one of the most innovative progressive metal bands of the ages on this release. First of all there is nothing progressive here at all and it is debatable if there is really anything original at all to be heard. To me this sounds like an Iron Maiden demo in a parallel universe where Bruce Dickinson was in the band at the beginning and recorded a demo or two. I have a highly sensitive ear to plagiarism and it doesn't get any stronger than on this first album. Not only does Arch nail Dickinson's vocals in tone, register and intensity but the guitars and bass perfectly mirror Maiden's thundering galloping and chord progressions. The three albums "Number Of The Beast," "Piece Of Mind" and "Powerslave" are the fertile grounds of choice to copy here and it sounds to me like they simply rearranged riffs, leads, drum rolls etc to create newly assembled songs with new titles.

Just a few examples: "Kiss Of Death" uses a "2 Minutes 2 Midnight" riff and "Rhyme Of The Ancient Mariners" gallop. "Night On Bröcken" employs a "Quest For Fire" drum roll which is followed by the band almost exactly like the original. "Shadowfax" copies "Losfer Words (Big 'Orra)." I could go on and on about which track rips off which riffs, lead, drum roll etc but.... yawn! The acoustic "S.E.K." may be the most original piece on here sounding like something different but unfortunately it only lasts over a minute. This one is an extreme disappointment. Not progressive. Not original. Not even a decent copycat job. I can stand it from time to time when a band simply nails every aspect of the band they are ripping off but in the case of NIGHT ON BRÖCKEN i find it hard to even sit through it without cringing. If you want a really good Iron Maiden clone band then go straight to Russia's АРИЯ (Aria) who not only matches Maiden's intensity and skill sets but also adds some original touches to the mix. This, i'm sorry to say, does none of that. For completists only.

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 Darkness in a Different Light by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.93 | 217 ratings

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Darkness in a Different Light
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator 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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 FWX by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.34 | 172 ratings

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FWX
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

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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 No Exit  by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 1988
3.86 | 189 ratings

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No Exit
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by javajeff

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 fashion. It is easily Fates Warning's most underrated album and a strong candidate as one of their best. Jim Matheos and company have delivered another solid album that starts off a bevy of other future masterpieces. The highlight of course is the 22 minute epic The Ivory Gate Of Dreams, which was actually broken up into 8 separate tracks on my expanded edition. This is a must buy for anyone that likes Fates Warning or Progressive Metal.

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 Darkness in a Different Light by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.93 | 217 ratings

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Darkness in a Different Light
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by progbethyname

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...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 stay...at least for a while.....and yet it does move...after all.

5 stars (My album of the year for 2013)

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 Darkness in a Different Light by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.93 | 217 ratings

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Darkness in a Different Light
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator 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 hasnīt 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. Iīm actually slightly disappointed by that track. I think itīs clumsily put together, and the song structure lack the elegance that is usually a Fates Warning trademark. Itīs 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 bandīs sound and while the albums that didnīt feature those elements had their own charm, I must admit, that Iīve 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 Iīm a bit indifferent towards it and the two live tracks donīt feature a very good sound quality and what to my ears sound like out of tune singing, so itīs actually only "Falling Further" thatīs really interesting in my opinion. Itīs 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 latterīs unique drumming style can never be fully matched. At times Jarzombekīs drumming seems to imitate Zonderīs 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 doesnīt exactly blow me away like some of the bandīs earlier albums have done, itīs 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.

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 Darkness in a Different Light by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.93 | 217 ratings

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Darkness in a Different Light
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

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.

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 A Pleasant Shade Of Gray by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.13 | 291 ratings

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A Pleasant Shade Of Gray
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Fates Warning's A Pleasant Shade of Gray earns points for ambition, presenting as it does a single multi-part song, but it fails to make that song compelling enough to hold my attention. In particular, I find the repetitive and tedious Part VIII so irritating that it ends up as a roadblock to my enjoyment of the piece as a whole. It's good that the band were trying to do something different - in particular, for a lot of the time the album is more sedate and sombre and less traditionally "metal" than most preceding Fates Warning work - but it isn't quite my cup of tea.

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 Inside Out  by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.60 | 156 ratings

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Inside Out
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

4 stars With Plenty to Inspire

Re-phrasing the refrain from "Pale Fire", I deny to accept that Inside Out has been overlooked just because it falls between two legendary Fates releases, Parallels and APSOG. Rather than tagging this as a continuation of Parallels, we'd better take a look inside - shall we?

Inside Out has a great fundamental advantage: it flows uninterrupted from the first moment you hit play till the last notes of "Afterglow". The music and melodies follow the recipe of Parallels, while the inspired lyrics continue the deep emotional search of their makers. The majority of compositions are restricted to 4-5 minutes without extended solo sections, overly virtuoso passages but rather treading safely on beautiful melodies and one of the best vocal performances Alder has delivered. The distinct Fates character with the trademark twin-guitar metallic sound is enriched with an AOR and 80's Rush feeling, investing heavily on an accessible sound.

A characteristic example is "Pale Fire" as the backing (clean) and front (distorted) layers of guitar-playing mingle so successfully that most of the tunes in the album stick to your mind and you replay that album once more - this happens with only a handful of albums in my collection. There are no real highlights in Inside Out as all songs seem to be part of the same story-telling; an album that shows Fates at their most mature, even if the super-elaborate/technical aspects have taken a back seat.

Highly recommended.

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