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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 Videos (YouTube and more)


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FATES WARNING discography


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

2.71 | 178 ratings
Night On Bröcken
1984
3.44 | 220 ratings
The Spectre Within
1985
3.96 | 319 ratings
Awaken The Guardian
1986
3.89 | 289 ratings
No Exit
1988
4.13 | 463 ratings
Perfect Symmetry
1989
4.07 | 425 ratings
Parallels
1991
3.54 | 241 ratings
Inside Out
1994
4.16 | 447 ratings
A Pleasant Shade Of Gray
1997
4.08 | 386 ratings
Disconnected
2000
3.37 | 249 ratings
FWX
2004
3.84 | 336 ratings
Darkness In A Different Light
2013
3.95 | 310 ratings
Theories of Flight
2016
3.59 | 87 ratings
Long Day Good Night
2020

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

4.27 | 101 ratings
Still Life
1998
3.93 | 21 ratings
Awaken the Guardian Live
2017
3.93 | 29 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
4.21 | 24 ratings
The View From Here
2003
3.80 | 43 ratings
Live In Athens
2005

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

4.22 | 41 ratings
Chasing Time
1995

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

3.86 | 7 ratings
Misfit (Demo)
1984
3.57 | 7 ratings
1984 Demo
1984
3.29 | 7 ratings
Dickie (Demo)
1985
3.94 | 9 ratings
Pale Fire
1994
4.20 | 10 ratings
A Pleasant Shade Of Gray: Part II
1997

FATES WARNING Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Awaken The Guardian by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.96 | 319 ratings

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Awaken The Guardian
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by Lesanderd

5 stars With Awaken the Guardian, the magicians from Fates Warning closed their so-called classic trilogy with excessive perfection, those three initial albums were influenced by the most conventional Heavy Metal, with an important British imprint, and in all cases with the extraterrestrial John Arch to the microphones. With Awaken the Guardian they recorded their most complete and complex album to date, maintaining, of course, the same roots and the same concepts shown in their two previous works, but on this occasion going one step further in terms of themes, artistic developments. and conceptual designs. Awaken the Guardian is a tremendously mystical and esoteric work, an absolutely magical album in its entire design, surrounded by an aura of contemplation and spirituality worthy of mention. It is a delight to be able to enjoy absolutely immortal songs from this album such as "Guardian", "Exodus" or "Prelude To Ruin", without forgetting equally important, darker and more mystical pieces, like "Fata Morgana" or "The Sorceress" In short, another classic from his discography, another album of incalculable value, a work that undoubtedly helped to consolidate the progressive metal scene with absolutely clear and marked postulates. Without a doubt one of the most resounding and definitive albums in the history of Heavy Metal.
 FWX by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.37 | 249 ratings

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FWX
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars FWX has an attractive title but finds the band in the music identity crisis. Though it does have a couple of good melodies such as on the Incubus-like sounding "Another perfect day" it's hard to attribute the recording to Fates Warning without hearing the voice or having the cover album in front of you. The band has never been that close to alternative rock that sometimes pretends to be metal because of chugging guitars. The sound is more polished without progressive decorations letting more traditional rock composition to dominate. Even having said all that, it's far from disaster. The material is average, playing is decent. Definitely a let down for progressive metal listeners and an opportunity for the new generation of FW fans or maybe their girfriends to start accepting this band?
 Disconnected by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.08 | 386 ratings

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Disconnected
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars Shrinking down to 3 full-fledged band members, Fates Warning continue with what they designed with their previous album and they still succeed. The band could update its sound to absorb alternative metal, even with an industrial metal keyboard texture (in the second track, "One"). The band also got heavier, a lot of riffing is present. Keyboards are more present, act as a normal band instrument. Untypical to the band, there are several laid-back keyboard driven instrumental moments, someone would call them dull, the other one an important atmospheric element.

After the first instrumental into, the second track offers a waving rhythm that sticks with you and suits the melody. It is well developed and kudos to the ornate drumming style. "So" is a slow heavy ballad and quite dramatic thanks to the synth texture. The long tracks belong to the better half of long FW output mainly thanks to good playing. Another solid FW progressive metal album.

 A Pleasant Shade Of Gray by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.16 | 447 ratings

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A Pleasant Shade Of Gray
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars While I'm not convinced that this is my favourite FW album, it is their most progressive one and no wonder it's so highly rated among prog-metal fans. I used listen to FW in a random track mode and since the main motive is spread around the album, it started to get on my nerves at some point. If you can get past this subjective melody appreciation, you still have a lot to explore here - a concept album that isn't necessarily coherent among songs but contains some of the best variety on a FW album. The addition of a keyboard player (Kevin Moore) adds half of a new dimension, Kevin never overshadows the original band (well he does in the part VIII where he plays a piano solo) but it creates a mightier sound. A good addition to any prog-metal collection.
 Still Life by FATES WARNING album cover Live, 1998
4.27 | 101 ratings

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Still Life
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars This is the recommended Fates Warning live album capturing band at the top of their powers just after they released their most progressive and ambitious concept album. I was curious to see if there are any pre-Alder era and unfortunately, nothing like that. It's a small complaint though for we still have 5 albums to choose from. Also, guitar playing is handling by one person only. The sound is good and playing tight with singing better than on some studio records in my opinion. I prefer the second side with more tracks variety but both CDs are of high quality. Go for it if you can! ;)
 Inside Out by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.54 | 241 ratings

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Inside Out
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars Agree with most of reviewers who call it "Parallels 2". The sound is the very similar, there are strong progressive moments and on the flip side, the weaknesses of the previous album such as certain awkward radio-friendly (fortunately) short compositions. After many years, we don't have any song overlapping 7 minutes. Ironically, I'm not able to pick one song that stands above the pack; it's rather proficient drumming and versatile electric guitar playing that draws your attention from the first track onward. Having said all the above, there isn't a significant drop of quality either, having this album about half a star lower than Parallels.
 Parallels by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 1991
4.07 | 425 ratings

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Parallels
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars The modified sound signatures continue on the "Parallels". The first track is really promising as there is not only virtuoso playing present but also a well defined track behind despite the lack of catchy melody.

The next song "Life in still water" shows the first sign of a general problem - the band is stretching a 30-second idea to almost 6 minutes trying to execute it multiple times and decorate it with drums. It's OK if you just focus on playing but it also shows sloppy songwriting. The problem continues to reappear until the end of the album. How do longer pieces fare on this album? Well. they are not epic and filled with notes any longer as during the classic metal era. They are no less ambitious though, as you can hear progressive playing with little repetition and shifts in dynamics. Fates Warning, more than on the previous album, flirts with commercial appeal as observed in quieter moments such as "We only say goodbye" and in particular "The road goes on forever". To me, the singer's voice does not fit this style of music because it remains disruptive. I have mixed feelings about this album but would generally recommend it to FW fans.

 Perfect Symmetry by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 1989
4.13 | 463 ratings

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Perfect Symmetry
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars First thing you notice with this album is the radical change of drumming sound and strategy. The sound is dry and quite thin. I don't hear the bass drum that well. When it comes to technique, there aren't any Iron Maiden elements any more, in fact, solely by listening to the drum track, you would attribute it to a progressive AOR metal band. As a consequence, the album feels slower than any other previous output. FW reached the critical point when playing gets superior to the material. Though they try at experimenting with variations and there is even a violin-led part, they fail to make a cohesive impression. The best track is the drum overplayed "Part of the machine" although the most complex track comes with the overblown "At fates hands" with almost five (apart from the bass player) showing off at the same time.

While I do recognize this as a step in the FW evolution, I could never memorize more than a few motives off this album rather than an entire track. For progressive metal heads, this is the 80's FW feast to digest.

 No Exit by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 1988
3.89 | 289 ratings

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No Exit
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars While "Awaken the guardian" was still with one foot firmly rooted in heavy metal, on the simply titled "No exist", the music is elevated to another level, called accessible 80's progressive metal without excesses of the 90's prog-metal. Instrumental playing is robust, tight and heavy. Compositions are rhythmically varied, the drummer excelling in hitting irregular fills here and there. The guitar tandem crafting a lot off riffs, alternating between heavy, prog and trash but fortunately mainly heavy and prog. Unfortunately, the singer who sings as if he were crying at the microphone, ruins the performance. I liked the previous singer more and this one had yet to command his voice. My favourite song is the ultra-heavy "Shades of heavenly death" that really anticipates some dark 90's prog metal. The long epic is solid and remarkable mainly for its instrumental playing, less for the contents itself.

This album belongs to the top prog-metal releases by Fates Warning, however I doubt it would have had so much traction had it been released in the 90's.

 Awaken The Guardian by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.96 | 319 ratings

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Awaken The Guardian
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars Contrary to the majority of reviewers, I see only a small difference between this and their previous effort. Playing is more refined, the band feels more comfortable in a proggy heavy-metal clothing but still it remains a sophisticated heavy-metal album with ambitious twists. Vocals are top-notch, all over the album. The band have their first half-ballad on the acoustically supported "Guardian". The next track has a top start with 2-minute prog instrumental mark and then the trademark falsetto intro. This is one of the best and perhaps rhythmically the most diverse track by then. Not the melodic one but exploring different chord moods. "Exodus", the longest track, proves how the band improved in the instrumental sections, which is not about overplaying but rather finding the right balance of playing, music development and not forgetting the feeling.
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