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FATES WARNING - Parallels cover
4.14 | 82 ratings | 7 reviews
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Album · 1991


1. Leave The Past Behind (6:13)
2. Life In Still Water (5:44)
3. Eye To Eye (4:06)
4. The Eleventh Hour (8:11)
5. Point Of View (5:07)
6. We Only Say Goodbye (4:55)
7. Don't Follow Me (4:42)
8. The Road Goes On Forever (6:28)

Total Time 45:29


- Ray Alder / Vocals
- Jim Matheos / Guitars
- Frank Aresti / Guitars
- Joe DiBiase / Bass
- Mark Zonder / Drums, Percussion

- James LaBrie / additional vocals (track 2)

About this release

October 28th, 1991
Metal Blade

Reissued in 2010 with a bonus disc with the following tracklist:

Live At The Hollywood Bowl In Hollywood, California On January 23, 1992

1. Leave The Past Behind (4:39)
2. Don't Follow Me (5:19)
3. The Eleventh Hour (8:09)
4. Point Of View (4:20)
5. Eye To Eye (4:06)
6. Nothing Left To Say (7:59)
7. Quietus (4:00)
8. Through Different Eyes (4:39)

9. Leave The Past Behind (demo) (5:50)
10. Eye To Eye (demo) (4:06)
11. The Eleventh Hour (demo) (7:39)
12. Point Of View (demo) (4:50)
13. Don't Follow Me (demo) (4:17)
14. The Road Goes On Forever (demo) (5:43)

Total Time 75:36

The 2010 Reissue also has a bonus dvd with the following tracklist:

Live In New Haven, Connecticut (February 13, 1992)

1. Leave The Past Behind
2. Static Acts
3. Don't Follow Me
4. Part Of The Machine
5. The Eleventh Hour
6. Point Of View
7. Silent Cries
8. Life In Still Water
9. Eye To Eye
10. Nothing Left To Say
11. Quietus
12. Damnation/In A Word
13. Through Different Eyes

- Interviews
- Behind The Scenes Footage From The 1992 U. S. Tour.
- Music Videos For "Eye To Eye" and "Point If View"

Thanks to Stooge, UMUR, Lynx33, diamondblack for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Blows my mind that Ray Alder isn’t considered one of the canon greats of metal vocalists. The music here is technical and complex Prog Metal, but the vocals are total AOR a la Queensryche. Ray’s range is very impressive, he can hit incredibly high registers without getting pitchy or strained, and carry a passionate weight all the while. The way he harmonizes with himself are flawless, and again making comparisons to Queensryche, the choruses on this thing are catchier than the vast majority of Pop music. The lyrics aren’t shallow by a longshot, but pretty clearly revolve around feelings of lost human connection, letting go, and moving on. Or in Pop terms, breakup songs.

Probably an odd way to praise a Prog Metal album by immediately comparing it to Pop music and focusing on the vocals, but whatever. The songwriting is quite similar to the prior Perfect Symmetry, but it’s a bit simpler in structure and with better production. There was an obvious emphasis on melody and catchiness when writing this one. Fates Warning certainly tread the softer side of the genre, but unlike Queensryche, the musicianship is very technical indeed, and simple choruses where the vocals can shine often give way to incredibly intricate verses and instrumental segments. Though most of the album is the simple Rock ensemble of instruments, layering and production effects ensure a depth to the sound that reveals more with each listen.

While every song here is fantastic, I will admit the ending tracks are weaker, except for “We Only Say Goodbye” which is a Pop Prog masterpiece. Probably my favorite song by the band by this point, the lyricism and emotion in Alder’s voice play over simple yet evocative guitar lines that pull every heart string. Such a beautifully passionate song that is sad yet strong. Like much of this album, really. Despite how catchy and melodic it is, “Parallels” is a truly somber package, best enjoyed when you are reeling from loss but still want to sing along to some good music.
1991's 'Parallels', which was my introduction to Fates Warning, is a continuation of where the band had been going with previous album 'Perfect Symmetry'. The power metal influences of their early days were long gone, replaced by a more technical and methodical approach, and with more emphasis on melody than speed.

I was fairly new to progressive metal when I came across Fates Warning, a band who were influential in the genres early days. Being a fan of bands like Dream Theater and Symphony X, I assumed the key element was technical virtuosity (and a keyboard player!). So it was a change of pace when I first stumbled across this album.

While the musical acrobatics won't impress as much as the aforementioned groups, it's the bands commitment to strong songwriting that carries them. In particular, Jim Matheos and Frank Aresti's guitar playing is impressive, especially when using distorted and clean sounds simultaneously. 'Eye to Eye'. 'Point of View', 'Life in Still Water' and 'The Eleventh Hour' are all examples of this bands solid chemistry, with plenty of tasty guitar riffs, interesting harmonies and powerful vocals all on display.

'Parallels' is a great album, and a good starting point for newcomers to the band. Heavy enough to appeal to metal fans, melodic enough to appeal to rock fans, and ambitious enough to interest prog fans, it's an easily accessible album that can be enjoyed by everyone.
Ray Alder's 3rd album with Fates Warning, Parallels, feels like a powerful return to form to me. As well as adapting to Alder's vocal range more effectively, the band are also able to properly integrate Mark Zonder's technical wizardry on the drums and seem to have clawed back the tendency to get technical for technical's sake that turned me off of Perfect Symmetry. Instead, by clawing back some of the melodicism they had previously set aside the band are able to strike a balance between progressive ambition, emotional resonance and widespread accessibility, so it's no surprise that the album was another success for the band. It's a good starting point for their 1990s sound, though I tend to prefer their 1980s material.
Many consider this FATES WARNING's most commercial recording and i certainly agree. In fact i'm surprised this album didn't garner them commercial success. Terry Brown produced it and the RUSH connection continues as Hugh Symes did the art work, plus it was recorded in Toronto. Cool to hear James LaBrie singing background on "Life In Still Water". Yet it's the next four tracks in a row that impress me most. "Eye To Eye" followed by one of my all time fav FATES WARNING songs "The Eleventh Hour" then "Point Of View" and "We Only Say Goodbye". These four tracks would also appear on their greatest hits album. So an excellent album but a little too accessible for my tastes.
Parallels shows the band at what is often considered their most accessible stage. On this point, I easily agree. Right from the start with “Leave The Past Behind” it is evident, however, that the band is still very true to their progressive metal sound. The guitars may be a bit less metallic or distorted and Terry Brown’s production lends a bit of a commercial polish, but the instrumentation is still very much that of a band trying to strive beyond the conventional song structures. The rhythm section of bassist Joe Dibiase and drummer Mark Zonder add a great compliment and rather thoughtful touches to the structures set by Jim Matheos. Speaking of compliments, Frank Aresti’s fretwork fits along with Matheos’ like a hand in a glove, featuring top-notch solos on “Don’t Follow Me” and “Point of View”.

This album is chalk full of songs considered by many to be Fates Warning classics. “Point of View”, “Life In Still Water”, and “The Eleventh Hour”. These songs are great examples of how progressive metal tracks don’t have to have dozens of lead breaks or exceed 10 minutes in length. Parallels is prog metal done with good taste, keeping the songs as the primary focal point.

Two of the more emotional songs on this album are “Eye To Eye” and “The Road Goes On Forever”. “Eye To Eye” may be the most poppy/mainstream sounding song on Parallels. Both tracks fall into lighter melodic rock territory, thrusting powerful Ray Alder vocal performances to the forefront. The instrumental skill of the band still shines through, with lead guitar work on “The Road Goes On Forever” being quite striking.

My favorite tracks? Number 1 has to be “Point Of View", followed by “Leave The Past Behind”, “The Eleventh Hour”, and “The Road Goes On Forever”.

I’d highly recommend getting the version of Parallels with the bonus CD and DVD. You’ll be treated to some nice live and demo tracks, a solid bootleg film of a New Haven performance in 1992. Most importantly, the DVD features a highly informative feature regarding the creation of the album and insights from all band members (along with others) regarding this period and the album’s legacy.

Parallels is an album that should be in every progressive metal fan’s collection.
"Parallels" is the 6th full-length studio album by US progressive metal act Fates Warning. The album was released in October 1991 by Metal Blade Records. "Parallels" was re-issued in 2010 in a Deluxe Edition. In addition to the original album, The Deluxe Edition contains a bonus CD with live tracks and demo tracks and a bonus DVD which features a full concert recorded live in New Haven, Connecticut on February the 13th, 1992. Fates Warning had with each album, since their inception in the early eighties, added more and more progressive elements into their heavy metal sound culminating with the release of their, at the time, most progressive release "Perfect Symmetry (1989)". If the fans had expected an even more progressive release with "Parallels", those expectations weren´t met.

...in fact Fates Warning crafted a much more melodically accessible and subtle progressive metal release in "Parallels". The album features a pleasant warm atmosphere and mellow thoughtful melodies. A stark contrast to the cold, hard and at times even aggressive sound on "Perfect Symmetry". While the tracks on "Parallels" are certainly progressive, they are not progressive in an abrasive fashion and I see why some people would question if "Parallels" is a progressive metal album or actually more a melodic heavy metal album. If you listen closely to the music you´ll find plenty of time signature changes, unusual off-beat drumming and other features that are usually associated with progressive metal. Other than the 8:11 minutes long "The Eleventh Hour", which features a moderately complex structure, the song structures aren´t terribly adventurous but again there are subtle progressive details in all tracks that keep the tracks interesting throughout. The most obviously progressive tracks on the album are the above mentioned "The Eleventh Hour", the opening track "Leave the Past Behind", "Life in Still Water" and "Point of View". Tracks like "Eye to Eye", "We Only Say Goodbye" and "Don't Follow Me" are very accessible and some people might say commercial sounding, but all three tracks feature subtle time-signature changes and off-beat playing that ensure a progressive edge. I guess the only track I haven´t mentioned is the closing track "The Road Goes on Forever". A beautiful mellow/ soft and again subtly progressive track and a perfect closing track (check the lead guitar part in that track. Just beautiful).

One of the defining features in Fates Warning´s sound at this point in their career (besides the clever and sophisticated drumming by Mark Zonder which is also a feature that stands out a lot) is how the two guitarists (Jim Matheos and Frank Aresti) compliment each other´s playing. Jim Matheos plays a lot of clean (non-distorted) electric guitar parts under the distorted rythm and lead guitars by Frank Aresti. The consequence is a layered "busy" soundscape that´s very characteristic for this era Fates Warning. The dynamic it gives, that you have both mellow/ soft clean guitars playing at the same time as heavy distored guitars, is vast. Many metal releases suffer from the fact that the bass is either too low in the mix or that it just follows the guitar, but that´s certainly not the case with "Parallels". Joe DiBiase is a very active part of what makes the sound on the album so special. You´ll often notice his sophisticated yet powerful playing. Lead vocalist Ray Alder delivers an emotional and paatos filled vocal performance. His vocal style on "Parallels" is quite different from his style on "Perfect Symmetry". He sang in a very high pitched screaming vocal style on that album and while his vocals are still occasionally high pitched on "Parallels", he mostly utilizes more "human" registers and lower volumes too, which gives his performance a more varied sound than on earlier releases. The lyrics on the album mostly evolve around broken relationships and emotions.

"Parallels" is superbly produced by Terry Brown (Rush, Voivod, The Rolling Stones, Lizzy Borden...etc). A perfect sound which emphasize both mellow warmth and colder edge. A very suiting dynamic sound production to these ears.

"Parallels" has been a favorite of mine for many years now. It´s one of those albums that gets several spins in a row when I listen to it, because I simply can´t graps how good it is and I always discover a little detail I hadn´t heard before. Very few albums have that effect on me and of course "Parallels" deserves a 5 star rating.
Time Signature
Leave the past behind...

Genre: progressive metal

This album has been described as Fates Warning's most commercial release ever. Well, it may be commercial, but, if it is, then it is probably one of the best commercial releases ever. I mean, compared to a lot of commercial music at the time, the quality of the music on this album is lightyears ahead.

And, for the record, I do not think that "Parallels" is commercial. It is melodic, but melody does not equal commercialism. One of the strong points of this album is, indeed, melody. The vocal melodies are simpler than on any previous releases, and it's nice to be able to actually sing along. Also the combination of distorted and clean guitars create a quite unique sound, I think, and I also like how the guitar riffs themselves incorporate melody. But the album never descends into the lowest common denominator of mindless pop music, because the compositions retain some of the Fates Warning technicalities that ensure that the music is, while catchy, still challenging and interesting to listen to.

I think this is one of the best progressive metal albums of the 1990s, and I would recommend it to fans of progressive metal, but also fans of melodic commercial hard rock, because I think it offers the melody they tend to appreciate, but add another dimension that is typically missing from commercial hard rock.

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