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FATES WARNING

Progressive Metal • United States


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Fates Warning picture
Fates Warning biography
Formed in Hartford, USA in 1982 - Still active as of 2019

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. The biggest change would see ALDER replacing ARCH on vocals. "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, 1997'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. "Still Life" (live album) appeared the next year, and "Disconnected" followed two years later.

While the 1989-1996 era (MATHEOS, ALDER, ARESTI, DIBIASE, ZONDER) established the band as one of the "big-three" of progressive metal, "A Pleasant Shade Of Grey" is considered by many one of the band's finest moments. The same line-up (VERA replacing DIBIASE and ARESTI having left the band) would go on to produce "Still Life", "Disconnected" and "FWX" (in 2004), arguably one of their weakest albums. Nearly ten years later and with band members occupied since in other projects (OSI, ARCH/MATHEOS, REDEMPTION) FATES WARNING would return with "Darkness in a Different Light" (2013) and the critically aclaimed "Theories of Flight" (2016), with ZARZOMBEK joining the band in 2007 and ARESTI returning betweeen 2005-2016. In March 2016 the "Awaken the Guardian" lineup (ARCH, MATHEOS...
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FATES WARNING discography


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

2.67 | 150 ratings
Night On Bröcken
1984
3.46 | 192 ratings
The Spectre Within
1985
3.98 | 279 ratings
Awaken The Guardian
1986
3.90 | 252 ratings
No Exit
1988
4.14 | 418 ratings
Perfect Symmetry
1989
4.12 | 384 ratings
Parallels
1991
3.55 | 215 ratings
Inside Out
1994
4.19 | 403 ratings
A Pleasant Shade Of Gray
1997
4.10 | 354 ratings
Disconnected
2000
3.38 | 223 ratings
FWX
2004
3.88 | 302 ratings
Darkness In A Different Light
2013
3.95 | 279 ratings
Theories Of Flight
2016

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

4.29 | 92 ratings
Still Life
1998
3.93 | 16 ratings
Awaken the Guardian Live
2017
4.53 | 18 ratings
Live Over Europe
2018

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

4.82 | 31 ratings
A Pleasant Shade Of Gray - Live (VHS)
1998
4.31 | 13 ratings
Live at the Dynamo
2000
4.18 | 22 ratings
The View From Here
2003
3.78 | 41 ratings
Live In Athens
2005

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

4.23 | 40 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
3.50 | 7 ratings
1984 Demo
1984
3.50 | 6 ratings
Dickie (Demo)
1985
3.94 | 9 ratings
Pale Fire
1994
4.22 | 10 ratings
A Pleasant Shade Of Gray: Part II
1997

FATES WARNING Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Night On Bröcken by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.67 | 150 ratings

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Night On Bröcken
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by OLD PROG

4 stars In terms of Progressive Metal, Fates Warning is a fundamental band. Although initially they were a mix between Iron Maiden, Saxon and Judas Priest and "Night On Broken" (title and cover inspired by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's "Faust") "Night On Brocken" is a 100% US Power Metal album, it must be said that, immediately , they put a lot of Prograssive elements on 100% US Power Metal music. What strikes me most is the magic that "Night On Brocken" has, which makes it immortal. I must immediately note that John Arch although he is an excellent singer is not suitable for a progressive context, being more suitable for expressing power and epicity, which is felt above all in the beautiful third album "Awaken the Guardian", his last album with Fates Warning . In "Night On Brocken", however, this defect is not known, because the songs have minimal progressive moments (given the bands to which they are inspired, one would expect that they have drawn inspiration from their more Progressive albums).

The songs are all very valid and powerful, with a really convincing writing (even if some songs are too sought after... In the sense that they have Progressive Power Metal passages [a decade before Angra] that make them a bit heavy). However "Night On Brocken" is an album that can still be listened to with pleasure. The twin guitars (by Jim Matheos and Victor Arduini) are techniques at the right point as long as the power stands out without penalizing the technique also because the rhythmic section (Joe DiBiase and Steve Zimmerman) is really very dynamic and well written and arranged. Zimmerman is an excellent US Power metal drummer who knows how to play jazz scores with a phenomenal naturalness and DiBiase is a truly technical bass player who knows very well how to play things closer to Jazz, as already in this album you can perceive it in different moments. "Biried Alive", "The Calling", "Damnation" and "Soldier Boy" are notable songs, which kidnap your brain for the writing and feeling they contain. However, "Misfit" is the centerpiece. It is a Progressive Speed Power Metal which, although very linear and direct, manages to bring out the Progressive element. "Misfit" was written with John Arch in mind, because it does not present real moments in which he can suffer. "Shadowfax" is an instrumental all played on symphonic-like guitars until it transforms into a Speed Metal which, however, loses the symphonicity of the guitars only for the change of atmosphere, because it seems to become jazzy, which I always peace to point out. Another thing that I like to highlight is the acoustic intro of "Damnation" due to the fact that having inserted the electric bass and being very dramatic, it becomes really epic and enters the head very well. In addition, the attack of electric guitars is thrilling, as is the fact that the rhythms and structure of "Damnation" is not common in the US Power Metal. In this sense, "Damnation" is an excellent example of primordial Progressive Metal. In 2002 a remastered version came out with 4 bonus tracks. Noteworthy are "Last Call" an extraordinary Epic Metal written by Arch alone (and included in the 1984 demo called "Misfit") and the cover of the iron Maiden "Flight Of Icarus".

"Night On Brocken" is not considered a Progressive Metal album. However, it is an excellent album to recommend to understand what Progressive Metal was at the beginning (also to listen to "The Specter Within" and "Awaken The Guardian" [of the first three albums the most Progressive]). Fates Warning are a transversal band, you know. Loved by both Power Metal and Progressive Metal fans. Also because since this debut album they proved to be above average musicians and composers.

 FWX by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.38 | 223 ratings

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FWX
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nº 347

In a career spanning far more than 30 years, few critics will dispute that Fates Warning has been one of the most influential progressive metal bands. Some critics would go further. Their ability never to allow their music to stagnate, constantly evolving by embracing innovative additions to their sound, makes of them the most influential band in the genre. So, as one of the true pioneers of the progressive metal genre, since bursting onto the scene three decades ago, Fates Warning have never stood still. They were always prepared to develop their sound and push the boundaries of their chosen craft. They've maintained a massive respect and loyal following from the music lovers across the all globe.

'FWX' is the tenth studio album of Fates Warning and was released in 2004. This studio album carries on the tradition. Listening to this album there's a sense of energy, verve and creativity running throughout this album, whith the usual trademark of Fates Warning. One of the big plus points for me with this band is that very few of their albums sound alike. Thanks to Jim Matheos' unique guitar style and Ray Alder's pristine vocals, they've an immediately recognisable sound. Still, each album comes with a slightly different mixture. That makes of Fates Warning a true prog metal band.

There's been no such thing as a 'bad' Fates Warning release. They just tend to have different levels of appeal to different listeners. As a result, fans of the band tend to have very different personal favourites. 'FWX' stands as a mix between the more electronic sounds of their last release 'Disconnected' and the melodic accessibility of 'Parallels'.

As on Fates Warning's albums, the main driver is Alder's vocal performance, which is excellent as usual. Alder's voice carries a melodic line that is memorable and catchy. The compositions on this one are based on the collaboration of the three remaining members. Jim Matheos provides the guitar parts, which are for the most part full of melodies. He does bring his heavier side here as well. Moreover, Matheos handles the keyboards in 'FWX', which are used to accent certain parts and help in the forming of bridges here and there. The rhythm section on 'FWX' handles its duties well. Vera and Zonder form an excellent rhythmic section upon which Matheos's guitar work can literally shine on the album.

One thing that we shouldn't expect in a Fates Warning's album is the overplaying. This is the case with 'FWX' too. The melancholic atmosphere is present on 'FWX'. It's formed on the instrumental work of the players and is emphasized by Alder's vocal performance, which seems effortless. Certain songs sound accessible, being a progressive album. Still, 'FWX' demands the listener's attention and quite a few full listens before one can understand it and value it as a whole.

'FWX' represents a semi-return to more traditional song structures in contrast to the depth conceptual work of their previous releases. The album begins with 'Left Here', a mid-tempo track mixed with acoustic and electric guitars. The programming and effects adds a classy touch without overpowering the song. The best thing of Fates Warning is Alder's voice. He adds to Matheos's music warmth and longing. 'Simple Human' is a heavier track. Again, Alder brings power to the vocals. The song isn't all that exciting but still is Fates Warning. 'River Wide Ocean Deep' is an ambient track with effects of a female Arabian-like voice. 'Another Perfect Day' is an acoustic driven slow song. It's not very metal, but still is a progressive music. 'Heal Me' is quite varied in dynamics and emotion and has some great added sounds and instruments. The vocal performance is perfect, as usual. 'Sequence' is short and one of the heaviest and more traditional metal tracks. The chorus tends to get a bit repetitive but doesn't spoil the overall quality of the track. 'A Handful Of Doubt' is another ballad-like song, very emotional. It begins with the acoustic guitar driving the song and then opens up to the full ensemble in the middle of the song. 'Stranger (With A Familiar Face)' is the heaviest, or most up tempo track. This song almost has a return to the 80's power prog sound but it's great nonetheless. 'Wish' is another very ambient track. There is an excellent piano section on this track and we have a Matheos' good guitar solo.

Conclusion: Fates Warning doesn't make 'bad' albums. Whether 'FWX' is one of their best albums will depend if you like the emphasis they have chosen this time around. 'FWX' might not be one of their best albums, but personally I'd rate 'FWX' as one of their most coherent and consistent albums since 'Parallels'. It's true that overall, it isn't very exciting. However, Matheos puts a lot of effort into making the songs as structured with good breadth and depth by including programming and other sounds than traditional metal. All in all, this is a very mature release. In reality, 'FWX' is a prog metal album that balances prog and metal in a simple and catchy way, being heavy enough for the tradicional heavy metal fans and progressive enough for the prog-rock/metal addicts. In my humble opinion, there just isn't a weak moment on the whole album. The production is pristine perfect and polished with the typical Matheos' feel and emotion. So, once again, these veterans of the American progressive metal scene have put out a highly recommendable release.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Disconnected by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.10 | 354 ratings

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Disconnected
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Review Nº 331

'Disconnected' is the ninth studio album of Fates Warning and was released in 2000. The line up on the album is Ray Alder, Jim Matheos, Kevin Moore, Joey Vera and Mark Zonder.

Fates Warning was founded in 1983 and is seen by some as the band that started the progressive metal sub-genre. They're one of the quietest progressive metal bands around. They have a very good and strong following of fans, but they aren't very well known and popular by listeners of metal, like Dream Theater is. Fates Warning is a true progressive metal band that values the music first. These guys are into making solid songs and albums, effectively using their individual talents without however, showing off in the process. This is a special and original prog metal band, indeed.

Fates Warning has made it a habit changing their sound between albums, and very few of their albums sound alike. Still, they all sound unmistakably like Fates Warning. Their previous album 'A Pleasant Shade Of Gray' was yet another intriguing new stylistic change and an almost hour long conceptual album. So, not surprisingly, 'Disconnected' sees Fates Warning change their direction again, although the shift isn't as dramatic as it happened in some other cases.

Like its predecessor, 'Disconnected' is a conceptual piece. It's not some head-trip, just another album about life and society. So, most should be able to relate to it. What is interesting is that the band refrains some of the material on the album, almost as if it were once cycle that begins and ends in largely the same, dull pallor. This is manifested by the two parts of 'Disconnected'. The album's theme is about being disconnected from people and society, and so, the feeling of being lonely and abandoned runs throughout the entire album. Therefore you shouldn't expect a lot of joy and happiness, either lyrically or musically, when you are listening to the album. There is a lot of atmosphere on this album as well as heaviness. It's amazing music that can be described as intelligent and where each note is where it belongs.

As far as music is concerned Fates Warning writes progressive rock songs full of melodies, emotion, attitude and groove on this album. Interestingly, 'Disconnected' has its share of heavy moments, which of course are always welcome, in a band like this. The music on 'Disconnected' is truly progressive in nature as it connects with the listener well. The mood effectively changes from one song to the next. 'One' and 'Pieces Of Me' are the up-tempo tunes of the album, thus being in a way the two potential hits. 'So', 'Something For Nothing' and 'Still Remains' are much closer to the standards set by the prog metal sub-genre both in feel and length. Personally, I find both, lengthy and shorter songs, to work well together, allowing 'Disconnected' to have a wonderful flow, when listened from beginning to end.

'Disconnected' has only seven tracks. It contains some of the lengthiest and most complex tracks that Matheos has ever penned, with 'Disconnected', Pt.1 and Pt.2, being album opener and closer. As always, his compositions are intelligent and the band behind him is equally competent. Vocalist Alder once again proves to be a key element in the unique sound of the band. It's quite hard to describe each piece on the album individually but it seems 'Disconnected' made a unified statement with lyric heavy songs and emotionally charged instrumentation. The band's solid rhythm section, consisting of Zonder and Vera, investing a different level of credibility to the song craft of Matheos and the trio successfully create the musical tapestry surrounding Alder's vocals. Zonder's odd-metered drumming once again relying heavily on intricate cymbal work is further developed by Vera's throbbing bass lines. Matheos seems to experiment with Fripp's influence adding more riff-based textures to his songwriting. He doesn't play any extended guitar solos, but his work is dense and blends nicely with other instruments. Once again, Moore plays keyboards, as well as piano and computer synthesizers, and his atmospheric touch creeps into each track, and gradually all this, add a blurry grey colour to the album. I always was a great fan of his keyboard working. Again he shines within this band.

Conclusion: 'Disconnected' has excellent compositions and where 'Something From Nothing' and 'Still Remains' are the absolute highlights. There's a sad note to most of the songs, but never to the point of becoming depressive. Production and sound quality sometimes have a bit of a mechanical quality to them, but I think this is in keeping with the line of the album and thus is probably intentional. I can admit 'Disconnected' it's a hard album to get into, but it's dangerously perfect and contains millions of variations and textures as major ingredients which other bands could only dream of let alone incorporate in their own songs. This album blends all the elements that I love about progressive rock music. Obviously, this is a band very concerned with songwriting and arrangements, unlike so many of today's prog metal bands, who take guitar riffs, double bass, drums, speed and so-called complexity as starting points and worry about the quality and originality of their songwriting, only later. So, overall, it still remains an impressive album for me.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 A Pleasant Shade Of Gray by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.19 | 403 ratings

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A Pleasant Shade Of Gray
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars As much as I've resisted giving all of the highly rated Prog Metal and Tech/Extreme Metal albums here on PA a listen, there are a few 90s "classics" that are making me rethink my attitude. Omnio, Dream Theater, Voivod, and this one, from Fates Warning, have all provided me with albums that I surprisingly quite enjoyed--and A Pleasant Shade of Gray may be my favorite. I consider the album really one epic divided into 12 parts, all contributing significantly to the overall feel and story. No where do I find the "metal" tendencies to be repelling or bombastic. In fact, the pacing and use of so much spaciousness are quite surprising to me. The singer is so clean and easy to understand--and perfectly matched to the music he's singing over. The album's one song has even impressed me enough to find its way into my list of Top LP Prog Epic--sitting at #16--for the whole decade!
 FWX by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.38 | 223 ratings

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FWX
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

3 stars Released in 2004, 'FWX' is the tenth studio album by progressive metal pioneers Fates Warning, and much like previous releases 'A Pleasant Shade of Grey' and 'Disconnected', it shows a band who are continuing to develop and experiment, with more focus on a heavier sound and more traditional song-structures.

Unlike its predecessors, there's only a minimal use of keyboards and sequencing here, which is a shame as I felt on the last two albums that the band had a great and well-rounded sound, and I was hoping they'd continue in that vein. Especially as, instead of relying on tried and tested prog metal traits such as excessive flashy guitar solos, there was a heavy emphasis on atmosphere, and a fantastic interplay between guitars and keyboards, working together instead of trying to out-perform each other in shredding competitions.

However, this is still a good release, and Fates Warning's "less is more" approach works well for them here. Sole guitarist Jim Matheos can write some incredible and compelling riffs, Ray Alder's powerful vocals suit the heavier style of the album, and the simpler arrangements make the songs easier to digest. The polished production gives the music a loud and vibrant sound too.

Overall, 'FWX' is far from Fates Warning's best album, but tracks like 'Heal Me', 'Simple Human', 'Crawl', 'Stranger (With a Familiar Face)' and the haunting and melancholic 'A Handful of Doubt' are all worth checking out, and given time, this album can grow on you, it just depends on whether you have the patience to let it or not.

 Live Over Europe by FATES WARNING album cover Live, 2018
4.53 | 18 ratings

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Live Over Europe
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by MaxnEmmy

5 stars To my taste, this band is much more organic and enjoyable compared to other bands in this genre. The absence of keyboards is a plus, as some prog metal bands tend to rely on too much schmaltz with their electronic oscillators blips and bleeps. I prefer the keys/guitar balance achieved by Redemption which happens to have employed the same vocalist for many years. The setlist is heavily weighted toward newer material which is appropriate. It should be noted that the vocals and guitar on this live recording are excellent. Overall nicely balanced and heavy. The band knows how to write and perform hard rock/metal with a melodic sense and shows why they have lasted for decades in a fickle industry of hyped up acts which are more superficial. 4.5 stars.
 Chasing Time by FATES WARNING album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1995
4.23 | 40 ratings

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Chasing Time
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Chasing Time" is a compilation album by US progressive/power metal act Fates Warning. The compilation was released through Metal Blade Records in July 1995. Fates Warning were formed under the Misfit monicker in 1982 but changed their name to Fates Warning in 1984. Up until this release they had released seven full-length studio albums. Each of those albums are represented with at least one track on "Chasing Time" (some with more). In addition to the original studio tracks "Chasing Time" also features a two previously unreleased tracks in "At Fates Fingers" and "Circles". The former is an instrumental and re-arranged version of "At Fates Hands" from "Perfect Symmetry (1989)" while the latter was recorded in 1993 but shelved. Some parts of the track would later appear as part of other tracks on "Inside Out (1994)". On a maybe less interesting note "We Only Say Goodbye" from "Parallels (1991)" appears here in a remixed version.

So "Chasing Time" is more or less a best of compilation with a few rarities thrown in to make it a worthwhile purchase for the hardcore fans of the band too. The latter part of the band´s audience need not go out of their way to get "Chasing Time" in my opinion though, as the rarities are only moderately interesting. "Chasing Time" is more a release for the casual listener, who gets an easy way to get into Fates Warning without having to listen to seven full albums of music, and for that purpose the compilation works really well. You get a fairly good idea of the music style on each of the band´s releases. The tracklist is not chronological, which might confuse new listeners, but to my ears the choice to arrange the compilation like that actually works pretty well. You can always argue if the right songs where picked for the tracklist or not, but as it is it´s a pretty good presentation of Fates Warning up until 1995. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

 Live Over Europe by FATES WARNING album cover Live, 2018
4.53 | 18 ratings

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Live Over Europe
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by javajeff

5 stars If this ends up being the Fates Warning swan song, it will be a perfect ending full of stellar performances. With several sing along moments with the crowd, I am sure people had a blast at this concert. The sound quality is excellent, and the collection of songs in this juggernaut will keep Fates fans satisfied for years. You get a double album with well over two hours of music, and what is most important about this release is that it contains live tracks from their most recent studio release Theories Of Flight. So you get live releases of Seven Stars, From the Rooftops, and the incredible The Light and Shade of Things. The future of the band is unknown at this time, and Ray Alder has a new album coming this month with Redemption. With Theories Of Flight being so good late in the band's history, it would be great to see them continue on with more studio releases. Anyone new to the band can start here since this can act as a Fates Warning compilation. Then possibly work backwards with Theories Of Flight, Parallels, Perfect Symmetry, and my favorite, A Pleasant Shade of Gray. For Fates Warning fans, this is a must get. Many of the songs reside on some of the best Progressive Metal albums of all time. However, it is hard to give a live album masterpiece status. Consider this rating as where it stands in relation to other live albums.
 Awaken The Guardian by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.98 | 279 ratings

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Awaken The Guardian
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by Crimson Guardian

5 stars "Awaken the Guardian" was a revolutionary record for heavy metal, one of those records that helped to change the way of considering the genre forever, as well as one of the albums that literally started Progressive Metal. Along with the coeval "Rage for Order" of Queensrÿche, but, unlike the latter - who experimented on a hi-tech and futuristic sound, - Awaken the Guardian went deeper, effectively breaking the classic heavy metal form and deflecting it towards the Baroque of progressive. A Baroque intended not as empty pomposity, but as an artistic idea instilled in the music. In 1986, simply no one in metal (apart from the thrasher Watchtower, but in another way, more on the rhythmic deconstruction typical of fusion) sounded like Fates Warning. A heavy/power metal transcended in progressive metal: complex, articulate, difficult, twisted and quite unique. The remains of Maiden (audible in songs like Fata Morgana) are precisely such: reflux, remains, echoes of a classic heavy metal that is, in practice, transcended, exceeded and diverted (see - for example - the emblematic Prelude To Ruin).

Fates Warning had already started their progressive revolution with their previous record, the relevant "The Spectre Within" (1985), in which heavy metal was taken to excess, with songs that formed complex mini-suites composed of numerous time changes and daring vocal lines. However, although it was already an unusual and particular album, it was still too conceived in the classic heavy metal style (halfway between heavy metal and prog metal) and the singer John Arch, although he managed to find his own style, still too much debtor - in some songs - of Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden. But it's with "Awaken the Guardian" that the decisive leap takes place, an incredible leap that definitively projects us into the world of progressive metal (the style can be defined as progressive power metal), in the concrete sense of the term: the songs present a twisted and convoluted structure (forming a configuration of "songs in songs"), complicated riffs follow one another over many time changes (on odd time signatures) and intersecting with abstruse, tortuous and imaginative vocal lines (John Arch is halfway between Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden and Jon Anderson of Yes, using his voice as a real instrument to create a specific mood), the lyrics are symbolic, allegorical and profound (with the use of figures of speech such as alliteration); but everything manages to flow in a fluid way, a shimmering becoming between arcane and nostalgic, magical and dark , dreamy and melancholic moods. Although the album is not openly a concept, it is almost a thematic concept with the idea of the "Guardian" that goes through (almost) all the songs. The "awakening of the Guardian" would probably mean the strength to continue living despite everything, to face the fears and adversity, both concrete and existential (finding the meaning of being in the world).

Basically, an absolute masterpiece of Progressive Metal and Heavy Metal (as well as US Power metal), a unique and unmissable record that has helped to change the world of metal forever.

 Awaken the Guardian Live by FATES WARNING album cover Live, 2017
3.93 | 16 ratings

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Awaken the Guardian Live
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Seems like a long time since I've done so much fist pumping and head-banging while driving my car, talk about distracted driving! FATES WARNING is my favourite Prog-Metal band and John Arch is right at the top as one of my all-time favourite vocalists. To commemorate the 30th anniversary of one of the greatest Prog-Metal albums ever created in "Awaken the Guardian" the band decided to bring back the original lineup and do a couple of shows. One in Germany at the "Keep It True XIX 2016" festival and one in Atlanta at the ProgPower XVII festival. You can get the deluxe version which features both concerts but with pretty much the same set list except for one song switched out, or the double disc that I have of the German show which has the complete "Awaken The Guardian" album played live on disc one and the encores on disc two which feature two tracks from the debut "Night On Brocken" and two from the followup "The Spectre Within".

They stay fairly true to the original songs and if you know the album "Awaken The Guardian" then you will experience that same dirty, muddy and heavy sound that fans heard back in 1986. John would leave after this album and eventually audition for DREAM THEATER who had just lost their original singer. John would later appear on stage with FATES WARNING in 1994 then disappear from sight. That is until a call from FATES WARNING lead guitarist Jim Matheos asking John if he'd be interested in singing for a new project he was putting together called OSI. Hard to imagine Arch singing with that band but anyway he declined but his interest in singing became renewed and he contacted Jim about doing some recording. Mike Portnoy wanted in and add Joey Vera(FATES WARNING) on bass and we were blessed in 2003 with a John Arch solo album called "A Twist Of Fate". And it's a 5 star monster in my opinion. By the way Arch and Portnoy were friends before DREAM THEATER was even a band.

Arch would later join Jim again for that ARCH/ MATHEOS album that kicked some serious ass. I have to say that Arch simply blows me away with his vocal melodies or wordless melodies whatever you want to call them. He's part Cheyenne and I don't know if that's part of it but I love when he does that. It's a big reason why THE PINEAPPLE THEIF's "Your Wilderness" was so amazingly good because Bruce decided to add a lot of vocal melodies. I won't bore everyone with a track by track review since I've reviewed all of these songs at some point in the past. The two that stand head and shoulders above the rest off of "Awaken The Guardian" are "Guardian" and "Prelude To Ruin" and yes that's where all my carrying on took place usually while driving my car(haha). I love that they included four songs from the first two albums for the encore even though both of those recordings are only 3 star works in my opinion. "Damnation" is absolutely stunning and one of my favourites from them. It's all good though as Arch, Matheos, Aresti, DiBiasi and Zimmerman put on one heck of a show. Congrats guys! What a performance! The album cover is gorgeous as well as they change it up a little from the original.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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