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Fates Warning - Awaken The Guardian CD (album) cover


Fates Warning


Progressive Metal

3.98 | 289 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
5 stars In my original review of this album I mentioned that "Awaken The Guardian" was John Arch's legacy, well I have to say that his solo album "Twist Of Fate" is definitely his legacy. It's so personal for John and he sounds better than ever. "Awaken The Guardian" is the best of the Arch-era FATES WARNING albums though. I can't tell you how much I love his vocals, and how much I love this record.

"The Sorceress" is a great opener. It's dark and grungy with those SABBATH- like riffs, and Arch's amazing vocals. Heavy stuff with Matheos and Aresti offering up dual riffs. Zimmerman is an underrated drummer in my opinon. He shines here. "Valley Of The Dolls" is faster paced with powerful guitar melodies and riffs. A headbanger. Again I think of SABBATH with those low end guitar riffs. John lets out some screams on this dark and heavy tune. "Fata Morgana" brings MAIDEN to mind with the fat bass lines and galloping rhythm. Arch's vocals are very strong on this one. Zimmerman is getting to know his drum kit quite well, and the guitar melodies are again very SABBATH-like. Now we have the masterpiece "Guardian" opening with acoustic guitar that is replaced with some excellent axe work, then acoustic guitar again, and back and forth. The vocals are simply jaw-dropping. I'm sure this is what heaven will sound like. Phenomenal ! This song is just so powerful ! Beautiful guitar solo 5 1/2 minutes in and it's just killer when it speeds up.

"Prelude To Ruin" is another mind blowing tune like the last one that was also written by Matheos and Arch. The dynamic duo. Very heavy, and Joe DiBiase is playing some thunderous bass. This song smokes.Guitar solos aplenty and at 7 minutes an amazing vocal melody from Arch. Not worthy ! "Giants Lore (Heart Of Winter)" features more grind it out music, and guitar solos that are anything but tasteful. I love it ! Heavy riffs too. And Arch cries out the lyrics. "Time Long Past" is a cool instrumental with acoustic guitar and electric guitar playing together. This is the advantage of two lead guitarists. "Exodus" is IRON MAIDEN sounding with lots of time changes. I like when it settles after 4 minutes and John sings slowly but powerfully. Then all hell breaks loose. This is pulverizing music at it's best !

This is dirty, dark and rough compared to their albums that would follow, but that's just part of it's charm. One of the best Metal albums I have ever heard.

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |


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