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FATES WARNING

Progressive Metal • United States


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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


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)

2.68 | 153 ratings
Night On Br鯿ken
1984
3.46 | 194 ratings
The Spectre Within
1985
3.98 | 286 ratings
Awaken The Guardian
1986
3.90 | 258 ratings
No Exit
1988
4.14 | 428 ratings
Perfect Symmetry
1989
4.12 | 392 ratings
Parallels
1991
3.54 | 220 ratings
Inside Out
1994
4.16 | 413 ratings
A Pleasant Shade Of Gray
1997
4.09 | 361 ratings
Disconnected
2000
3.38 | 228 ratings
FWX
2004
3.88 | 310 ratings
Darkness In A Different Light
2013
3.96 | 287 ratings
Theories of Flight
2016
3.83 | 38 ratings
Long Day Good Night
2020

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

4.29 | 94 ratings
Still Life
1998
3.94 | 19 ratings
Awaken the Guardian Live
2017
4.03 | 23 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 | 42 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
 Long Day Good Night by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.83 | 38 ratings

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Long Day Good Night
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by Mebert78

5 stars If Long Day Good Night is Fates Warning's last album as has been suggested in recent interviews (please say it ain't so!), then the progressive metal pioneers are definitely going out on a high note. A very high note, in my opinion. Perhaps even as high as the note hit by Ray Alder in the middle of the band's 1988 single, "Silent Cries." Yes, I know that's pretty high, but it's true. And, frankly, I wouldn't expect anything less from this brilliant band.

This eclectic album -- which is the band's 13th studio release and the longest of their career at over 72 minutes -- has everything its fans have come to love over the course of the group's nearly 40-year career, while still exploring new ground as well. The epic disc kicks off with "The Destination Onward," a reflective rocker that sneaks up on the listener with some soft ambient sounds before eventually exploding into an all-out assault by guitarist Jim Matheos, bassist Joey Vera and drummer Bobby Jarzombek. The band's label Metal Blade describes the song as a "dynamic romp that covers a lot of ground," and I would agree. "It's been long since I've been home; and like a dream these thoughts return to me," Alder delicately sings in the opening lines, setting the tone for a ton of home-themed lyrics throughout Long Day Good Night. In a way, it's fitting since the band could be calling it a day after this album, which means they'll likely be spending a lot more time at home. But Fates' farewell is a subject for another day, because I promised myself I wouldn't cry while writing this review. "The word 'home' came up a lot -- whether missing home or just being comfortable there," Alder said in the band's biography on MetalBlade.com. Whatever the reason, the "home" theme makes for some introspective lyrics that are among the best in the band's catalog.

From there, the varied album continues to bring the goods with the blistering "Shutter World," the catchy headbanger "Alone We Walk," and the almost pop rock "Now Comes the Rain" -- the latter of which, with its water theme, reminded me of Alder's solo album, What the Water Wants, from 2019. Next up is one of my favorite tracks: "The Way Home." For me, it's the album's mountaintop much like "The Light and Shade of Things" is to the band's last album, Theories of Flight, from 2016. The new tune starts almost as a lullaby before transitioning to a heavy ending that has some of the most amazing melodies you'll find from Fates Warning. "Escaping pain, forsaking light; can we find the way home?" Alder intensely belts out on the song's final lines. After that is "Under the Sun," which sees the group utilize a string section for the first time. This little diddy is probably as pop as these prog rockers can get, which of course has caused some mixed reactions online, but I absolutely love it. In fact, I've caught myself singing the song's chorus more than once, so I'm obviously among those who dig it.

The album then picks up the pace again with its first single, "Scars," which to me is classic Fates Warning. It's the kind of song we've heard from the band before, but done as good as they've ever done it. Think of singles from their past albums -- such as "Simple Human" on 2004's FWX or "I Am" on 2013's Darkness in a Different Light -- but even better. Other late highlights are "When Snow Falls," a trippy track that features drums by Gavin Harrison of Porcupine Tree and The Pineapple Thief, and "The Longest Shadow of the Day," a roller coaster of a song with some intricate solos by the band's touring guitarist Mike Abdow. Lastly, the disc finishes with "The Last Song," an acoustic tune that might be the group's goodbye. "The writer writes his final wrong; this is the last song," the album abruptly ends.

My closing thoughts are that Long Day Good Night has the muscle to rank among the band's greatest efforts -- albeit probably not as high as masterpieces like 1997's A Pleasant Shade of Gray and 2000's Disconnected, which are my all-time favorite albums by Fates Warning. There's a lot to love about this disc, and I'll be treasuring these tunes for decades to come. Kudos to this legendary group for consistently making great music for as long as they have. If there was a Progressive Metal Hall of Fame, a whole wing would be devoted to these guys.

Also, if this is indeed Fates Warning's finale, I'm crossing my fingers and toes for an encore. But if it doesn't happen, I want to thank the band members (past and present) for everything. Their music always feels like home to me. And, as we all know, there's no place like home.

- Michael R. Ebert (progzombie.blogspot.com)

 Long Day Good Night by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.83 | 38 ratings

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Long Day Good Night
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by javajeff

4 stars Long Day Good Night is another fantastic release from Fates Warning. The only real issue is that it follows a near perfect Theories Of Flight that has some of their best songs of all time. From the Rooftops, Seven Stars, The Light and Shade of Things helped make Theories Of Flight go toe to toe with their best albums. Jim Matheos and Ray Alder are back making more magic happen after Jim finished making his second Arch / Matheos release with the other Fates Warning singer John Arch. Long Day Good Night musicianship is outstanding, and the compositions are on another level from Jim Matheos and company. Lots of odd time signatures and slow builders create an absolute listening adventure. Tracks like Glass Houses show off the song writing while The Longest Shadow of the Day is an absolute standout and among their best of all time. The first thing that stood out to me on first listen was the production value. The drums absolutely pop, and Bobby Jarzombek sounds amazing. This album is one that will need to be taken in on repeat listens in order to appreciate all the nuances. I am a huge fan and thankful for another stellar release. Fates Warning has many albums that could be considered masterpieces. Ray Alder's heartfelt performance on Long Day Good Night is making a strong case for it.
 Long Day Good Night by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.83 | 38 ratings

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Long Day Good Night
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars FATES WARNING without a doubt has crafted some of the most daring and forward thinking progressive metal albums as a pioneer in the fledgling musical style that gestated through the 80s but the band's efforts over its near 40 year existence have been quite patchy with some triumphant highs and some uninspiring lows but overall this band has proved it has the power to reinvent in sound time and time again. Returning to the scene four years after "Theories Of Flight," FATES WARNING unleashes its 13th studio album LONG DAY GOOD NIGHT with a return to Metal Blade Records after it departed after 2004's "FWX."

LONG DAY GOOD NIGHT is a lengthy beast with 13 tracks that clock in at a whopping 72 plus minutes and features the same lineup of stellar musicians since 2013's "Different In A Different Light." Despite the four year gap, little has changed in the sound of FATES WARNING and the band finds itself on automatic pilot delivering the classic progressive metal sound that they have become famous for with Ray Alder's signature vocal style leading the twin guitar attacks and atmospheric time signature changes into familiar territory. The album's tracks mostly feature standard rock running times with the exception of the opening eight minute "The Destination Onward," "The Way Home" at almost eight minutes and the 11 minute plus "The Longest Shadow Of The Day."

As we reach the year 2020 it's becoming more obvious that some of these classic artists who were so innovative in the past have reached a point where they have literally exhausted the creativity cookie jar as LONG DAY GOOD NIGHT lacks the punch that many of the band's most innovative albums like "Parallels" or "A Pleasant Shade Of Gray" displayed. FATES WARNING is one of those bands that has been quite good at maintaining an overarching mood for their albums with an uncanny ability to take the sum of the parts of the individual tracks and make them something larger however that is clearly lacking on this 13th release which after a couple listens seems to yield a diminishing return rather quickly.

Musically speaking, the boys are still top notch musicians and although there is nothing inherently bad about LONG DAY GOOD NIGHT as the tracks all display that classic FW prog metal sound in all its extravagant prowess, what seems to be missing from this album is any sort of innovation or new direction and as a matter of fact many of these tracks seem like leftovers from previous sessions that just got strewn together at the last minute. It's hard to diss a FATES WARNING as they are all worthy of investigation and all display stellar technical workouts that these seasoned musicians exhibit without missing a beat but the fact is that FW has set the bar fairly high for musical perfection and seems to have fallen down the ladder a few rungs in its attempt to stay relevant.

If this album had come out ten years ago it might seem much more dynamic than i find it now. This isn't a matter of quality matter, it's a matter of sounding like something that lines up with the here and now and unfortunately LONG DAY GOOD NIGHT which perfectly retreads already conquered musical territories just seems a tad too generic for my liking and the fact that the album sprawls on for over 70 minutes just makes me quite tired by the time it ends as if it's a chore to sit through rather than feel the desire to revisit. Considering the band plans on touring with the has been band Queensryche in the spring suggests that FATES WARNING may have reached its own expiration date.

For anyone who is content with a stagnation of the creative process and are content to revisit a style of prog metal that is becoming more and more anachronistic each passing year, then this won't disappoint a bit for my liking i find this album to be business as usual and a bit underwhelming. Still though, we know FW has the knack for reinventing itself time and time again so i won't exactly write this band off quite yet however after four years i was expecting something a bit more interesting than a simple retread of been here done that. Oh well! 2020 has yielded some other unexpected gems so onto the shelf this goes destined to exist on the forget it and move on file. Oh, and those AOR ballads like "Now Comes The Rain" - ugh.

 Live over Europe by FATES WARNING album cover Live, 2018
4.03 | 23 ratings

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Live over Europe
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Fates Warning is one of the bigger names in the progressive metal genre and I bought this triple live lp to get to know the band. This release has been getting some great reviews and it is easy to see why; it's a well recorded live album spread over three vinyls, giving a good overview of the career of the band. Fates Warning has the sound of mid-eighties British metal band, without any glam or pomp. Riff based, thick leads and fairly melodic. The twin guitars give the band a thick sound, whereas the absence of keyboards gives the music a natural rock feel. Ray Alder his voice has matured a lot and though he doesn't sing his highest notes like before, he does have a warm and powerful voice. This the type of professional group that executes perfectly what they have in mind, giving perfect performances of all tracks here. However, I myself can't help being a bit unmoved by this band. There are few moment that stand out, that really grasp me or are daring compared to the other tracks. The band started with a heavy dose of Iron Maiden influences, but there's little of that musical story-telling type of song- writing here. Furthermore, Fates Warning doesn't come across as being that much of a progressive band. Not in a way a band like Voivod or even Threshold is. Perhaps it's just not my taste. My personal verdict is a three star rating, but let me say it is probably worth more to fans of the band and progressive metal in general. Another very solid vinyl release by InsideOut.
 Night On Br鯿ken by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.68 | 153 ratings

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Night On Br鯿ken
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 | 228 ratings

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FWX
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review N?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
4.09 | 361 ratings

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Disconnected
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Review N?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
4.16 | 413 ratings

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A Pleasant Shade Of Gray
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 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 | 228 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
4.03 | 23 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.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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