Parallels
FATES WARNING

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FATES WARNING - Parallels cover
4.32 | 57 ratings | 6 reviews
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Album · 1991

Filed under Progressive Metal

Tracklist

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

Line-up/Musicians

- 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

Released by 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 for the updates

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FATES WARNING PARALLELS reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

Warthur
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 brilliant balance between progressive ambition, emotional resonance and widespread accessibility, making the album not just another success for the band but also a great starting point for exploring their music.
Sinkadotentree
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.
Stooge
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.
UMUR
"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.

Members reviews

Valarius
‘Parallels’ was my introduction to Fates Warning, and as far as first impressions go, this one is certainly a memorable one.

Having not been exposed to any of their material before this, I came across this album on Ebay, which I thought I'd check out as I knew they were closely connected to Dream Theater. At first I was a little put off by the more straight forward song writing style than that of the over-the-top musicianship of a band like Dream Theater, but after a while it clicked with me what Fates Warning are about.

The guitar work is hugely impressive, especially the nice combination of distorted and clean guitars, on songs such as ‘Eye to Eye’ and ‘We Only Say Goodbye’. And then there is, of course, ‘The Eleventh Hour’, a reasonably simple song by Progressive Metal standards, but with a groove so awesome I don't think anyone can resist headbanging to it.

Plenty of guitar harmonies and melodies keep this an interesting album, and some unique guitar riffs by Jim Matheos will keep most guitar players intrigued by what they’re hearing.

Sadly, this album doesn’t get a five-star rating from me. ‘Don't Follow Me’, is a good song, but I feel it really isn’t as good when compared to the previous tracks, and the final track ‘The Road Goes on Forever’. I regret to say, but this song is pretty boring.

This album as a whole is amazing though. Don't be put off by my comments of the last two songs. I think fans of any genre of Prog, or Metal fans who aren’t afraid of a bit of melodic music, will find something to enjoy here.

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