FATES WARNING
Progressive Metal / US Power Metal • United States

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Fates Warning is an American progressive metal band, formed in 1982 by vocalist John Arch, guitarists Jim Matheos and Victor Arduini, bassist Joe DiBiase, and drummer Steve Zimmerman in Hartford, Connecticut. Fates Warning has experienced numerous line-up changes. From 1982 to 1996, and temporarily in 2010, Matheos and DiBiase were the only original members of the band, with Matheos being the only constant member. Their current lineup consists of guitarists Jim Matheos and Frank Aresti, vocalist Ray Alder and bassist Joey Vera. Drummer Bobby Jarzombek has been part of Fates Warning since 2007 but is only a live member. As a pioneer of the American progressive metal movement, Fates Warning rose to international fame in the 1980s and was ranked as one of the early flagship bands of progressive metal along with Queensrÿche and Dream Theater, who were responsible for creating, developing and popularizing that genre. Fates Warning has released read more...
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ParallelsParallels
Extra tracks · Remastered
Metal Blade 2010
Audio CD$16.98
$7.98 (used)
Pleasant Shade of Gray - Expanded EditionPleasant Shade of Gray - Expanded Edition
Extra tracks
Metal Blade 2015
Audio CD$13.91
$13.90 (used)
Inside OutInside Out
Extra tracks
Metal Blade 2012
Audio CD$11.85
$2.99 (used)
Darkness in a Different LightDarkness in a Different Light
Inside Out U.S. 2013
Audio CD$10.53
$8.92 (used)
ParallelsParallels
Metal Blade 1998
Audio CD$6.77
$3.00 (used)
Perfect SymmetryPerfect Symmetry
Extra tracks · Remastered
Metal Blade 2008
Audio CD$11.02
$5.75 (used)
DisconnectedDisconnected
Metal Blade 2000
Audio CD$4.51
$2.00 (used)
Night on BröckenNight on Bröcken
Remastered · Extra tracks
Metal Blade 2002
Audio CD$7.88
$4.77 (used)
Spectre WithinSpectre Within
Remastered · Extra tracks
Metal Blade 2002
Audio CD$9.51
$5.99 (used)
Awaken the GuardianAwaken the Guardian
CD+DVD · Remastered · Extra tracks
Metal Blade 2005
Audio CD$11.46
$5.65 (used)
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FATES WARNING Discography

FATES WARNING albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 2.93 | 28 ratings
Night On Bröcken
US Power Metal 1984
.. Album Cover 3.96 | 31 ratings
The Spectre Within
US Power Metal 1985
.. Album Cover 4.19 | 38 ratings
Awaken The Guardian
US Power Metal 1986
.. Album Cover 4.24 | 44 ratings
No Exit
Progressive Metal 1988
.. Album Cover 4.20 | 59 ratings
Perfect Symmetry
Progressive Metal 1989
.. Album Cover 4.35 | 66 ratings
Parallels
Progressive Metal 1991
.. Album Cover 4.18 | 32 ratings
Inside Out
Progressive Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 4.14 | 42 ratings
A Pleasant Shade Of Gray
Progressive Metal 1997
.. Album Cover 3.85 | 36 ratings
Disconnected
Progressive Metal 2000
.. Album Cover 3.51 | 34 ratings
FWX
Progressive Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 4.16 | 23 ratings
Darkness In A Different Light
Progressive Metal 2013

FATES WARNING EPs & splits

FATES WARNING live albums

.. Album Cover 4.23 | 11 ratings
Still Life
Progressive Metal 1998

FATES WARNING demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

.. Album Cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Misift
US Power Metal 1984
.. Album Cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Demo
US Power Metal 1984
.. Album Cover 3.25 | 2 ratings
Dickie
US Power Metal 1985

FATES WARNING boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 4.13 | 6 ratings
Chasing Time
Progressive Metal 1995

FATES WARNING singles (4)

.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Silent Cries
Progressive Metal 1988
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Through Different Eyes
Progressive Metal 1989
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Pale Fire
Progressive Metal 1994
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
A Pleasant Shade Of Gray: Part II
Progressive Metal 1997

FATES WARNING movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
3.03 | 4 ratings
The View From Here
Progressive Metal 2003
.. Album Cover
3.51 | 3 ratings
Live In Athens
Progressive Metal 2005

FATES WARNING Reviews

FATES WARNING No Exit

Album · 1988 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"No Exit" is the 4th full-length studio album by US progressive metal act Fates Warning. The album was released through Metal Blade Records in March 1988. There´s been one lineup change since "Awaken The Guardian (1986)", as lead vocalist John Arch has been replaced by Ray Alder. "No Exit" is also the last album to feature original drummer Steve Zimmerman.

The change on the lead vocalist spot has a major impact on the band´s sound, which was more or less inevitable considering how distinct sounding and important John Arch was on the first three Fates Warning albums. When the change needed to happen, they couldn´t have found a better replacement than Ray Alder though. He is a significantly different sounding vocalist with a very different sounding voice and delivery to his predecessor, but still manage to fit in with Fates Warning´s music from day one.

It´s not only on the lead vocalist spot, that the band have changed. The atmosphere of the music is now darker and the music is at times pretty hard edged, almost bordering thrash metal rawness. The fantasy lyrical themes of the past are now also toned down considerably in favour of lyrics dealing with more personal emotional issues. "No Exit" is in that respect a landmark release in the band´s discography. It´s also a pretty unique release in their discography because already on their next album ("Perfect Symmetry (1989)"), they made significant changes to their sound again.

"No Exit" features 6 tracks. The opening title track is a short intro and the next 4 tracks are regular length (between 3 and 5 minutes long) tracks. The album closes with the 21:58 minutes long "The Ivory Gate Of Dreams". A multi-suite epic divided into 8 parts, and by far the most progressive oriented track in the band´s discography up until then. While there are reoccuring themes throughout the long track, it´s obvious that the 8 parts weren´t necessarily written to be played in succession, and some of the shifts between sections, are slightly awkward sounding. When that is said, it´s still a brilliant progressive metal track featuring memorable melodies, hard edged heavy/thrashy riffing, epic moments, and beautiful acoustic sections.

The sound production is more professional sounding and more powerful than the sound production on "Awaken The Guardian (1986)", so it´s definitely a step up in that department. There are still some production issues like the distorted guitar tone, which isn´t always that well sounding, and the reverb laden snare drum sound, but those are minor issues, and they don´t mean "No Exit" isn´t overall a well sounding album.

Upon conclusion "No Exit" is another high quality release in Fates Warning´s discography and a shiny example of 80s progressive metal (guitar/vocal driven progressive metal). The traditional heavy metal and thrash metal elements are still very dominant in the band´s sound, but they´ve incorporated more progressive ideas to their music and "No Exit" is generally a very intriguing progressive metal album with a dark atmoshere. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

FATES WARNING Awaken The Guardian

Album · 1986 · US Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Awaken the Guardian" is the 3rd full-length studio album by US heavy/power/progressive metal act Fates Warning. The album was released through Metal Blade Records in November 1986. A lineup change has taken place as guitarist Victor Arduini has been replaced by Frank Aresti. "Awaken the Guardian" would be lead vocalist John Arch last album with the band before he too would depart.

Listening to "Awaken the Guardian" it very much feels like the natural successor to "The Spectre Within (1985)", just featuring a more sophisticated songwriting approach and an even more skillful performance of the music. Stylistically the music is on the border between traditional heavy/power metal and guitar/vocal oriented progressive metal (even bordering thrash at it´s hardest moments). In other words a very early example of progressive metal. A music style Fates Warning would further explore and develop upon on subsequent releases. The band are generally very well playing even though I´ve never found Steve Zimmerman´s drumming particularly tasteful. Instead it´s the melodic guitar leads and harmonies, the hard heavy metal riffing, and of course the high pitched and ornamented singing by John Arch, which elevate the band´s music to exceptional heights, along with the clever and intriguing songwriting.

Arch deserves a special mention and all the praise in the world for his performance here. He is gifted with one of the most unique and powerful voices on the scene but it´s how he uses his voice that makes him so special. Every note is sung to it´s limits and twisted and turned in every possible direction. Sometimes it sounds like he is improvising and if that´s true, it´s madness in this type of music. It speaks volumes of how great he is, that he has the energy to put on a performance like that in music this demanding. His performance is brilliant throughout but the highlight is his delivery on "Guardian".

All 8 tracks on the 48:04 minutes long album are very well written and performed though and it´s actually only the sound production that holds "Awaken the Guardian" back a slight bit. The guitars feature a thin sound, and the drums and bass aren´t that well sounding either. It´s not really a surprise considering the date of release, but on the other hand I´ve listened to quite a few better produced releases from the same year, so this one has always left me unimpressed. Thankfully the material and the instrumental and vocal performances are of such high quality (although the drumming doesn´t add much positive to the music), that the quality of the sound production doesn´t overshadow the fact that "Awaken the Guardian" is an excellent release on other parameters. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

FATES WARNING Night On Bröcken

Album · 1984 · US Power Metal
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siLLy puPPy
FATES WARNING was formed all the way back in 1982 in Hartford, CT in the midst of the NWOBHM really taking the world by storm. In the beginning the band consisted of the twin guitar assault of Jim Matheos (the only constant member since the beginning) and Victor Arduini, drums handled by Stever Zimmerman, bass by Joe DiBiase and the trenchant vocal duties of John Arch whose well developed tenor head voice earned him comparisons to Geoff Tate of Queensryche and Midnight of Crimson Glory, but as the majority of reviewers of this album have already pointed out, it’s Iron Maiden who gets most of the credit for pretty much all of the influences on board on this debut release NIGHT ON BRÖCKEN. The title comes from a mountain in Germany associated with witches in Goethe’s “Faust.”

It’s hard to believe this band would go on to become one of the most innovative progressive metal bands of the ages on this release. First of all there is nothing progressive here at all and it is debatable if there is really anything original at all to be heard. To me this sounds like an Iron Maiden demo in a parallel universe where Bruce Dickinson was in the band at the beginning and recorded a demo or two. I have a highly sensitive ear to plagiarism and it doesn’t get any stronger than on this first album. Not only does Arch nail Dickinson’s vocals in tone, register and intensity but the guitars and bass perfectly mirror Maiden’s thundering galloping and chord progressions. The three albums “Number Of The Beast,” “Piece Of Mind” and “Powerslave” are the fertile grounds of choice to copy here and it sounds to me like they simply rearranged riffs, leads, drum rolls etc to create newly assembled songs with new titles.

Just a few examples: “Kiss Of Death” uses a “2 Minutes 2 Midnight” riff and “Rhyme Of The Ancient Mariners” gallop. “Night On Bröcken” employs a “Quest For Fire” drum roll which is followed by the band almost exactly like the original. “Shadowfax” copies “Losfer Words (Big ‘Orra).” I could go on and on about which track rips off which riffs, lead, drum roll etc but…. yawn! The acoustic “S.E.K.” may be the most original piece on here sounding like something different but unfortunately it only lasts over a minute. This one is an extreme disappointment. Not progressive. Not original. Not even a decent copycat job. I can stand it from time to time when a band simply nails every aspect of the band they are ripping off but in the case of NIGHT ON BRÖCKEN i find it hard to even sit through it without cringing. If you want a really good Iron Maiden clone band then go straight to Russia’s АРИЯ (Aria) who not only matches Maiden’s intensity and skill sets but also adds some original touches to the mix. This, i’m sorry to say, does none of that. For completists only.

FATES WARNING FWX

Album · 2004 · Progressive Metal
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UMUR
"FWX" is the 10th full-length studio album by US progressive metal act Fates Warning. The album was released through Metal Blade Records in October 2004. "FWX" was recorded by the same lineup who recorded the two predecessors "A Pleasant Shade of Gray (1997)" and "Disconnected (2000)". This time around Kevin Moore (Dream Theater, Chroma Key, OSI) doesn´t guest on keyboards though. The keyboards and the programming are instead handled by guitarist/main composer Jim Matheos.

While the music on the two predecessors is among the most progressive the band have yet released, "FWX", for the most part, follows a different route. The album is generally more vers/chorus oriented and there´s a slight alternative influence on the album too. To my ears Some tracks sound closer to Ray Alder´s and Joey Vera´s side-project Engine than they sound like Fates Warning tracks. A track like "Another Perfect Day" reminded me quite a bit of Enchant, so "FWX" is generally a bit of a different sounding Fates Warning album.

The album is well produced although I think Ray Alder´s voice features a somewhat unpleasant metallic production. But that´s been the case on the two precessors too. What´s more disturbing is the quality of the vocal melody lines, which are not very catchy. That worked alright on the more progressive predecessors because the quality of the music was so high, but here the instrumental part of the music too often falls into anonymous territory. The musicianship is as always on a very high level, but it´s not often the band´s great skills are put to their full use.

So overall "FWX" is a bit of a disappointing release by Fates Warning. It´s a bit hard to follow what the band were aiming at with the album but the bottom line is that it isn´t really working. "FWX" features glimpses of greatness and there are definitely both memorable and enjoyable parts on the album, but they are generally few and far between. Still a band like Fates Warning never fall flat on their face even on an album where they don´t deliver their most well written or interesting material, so a 3 star (60%) rating is still deserved.

FATES WARNING Darkness In A Different Light

Album · 2013 · Progressive Metal
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UMUR
"Darkness In A Different Light" is the 11th full-length studio album by US progressive metal act Fates Warning. The album was released through InsideOut Music in September 2013. There have been quite a few years between this album and "FWX" from 2004. A lot has happened in those years though. Drummer Mark Zonder left Fates Warning in 2005 and the remaining members of the band busied themselves with various other projects like OSI, Arch/Matheos and Redemption. Mark Zonder hasn´t returned on "Darkness In A Different Light" and has been replaced by Bobby Jarzombek. Lead guitarist Frank Aresti, who left Fates Warning after "Inside Out (1994)", is the other "new" member of the lineup as he makes a return on "Darkness In A Different Light". The "usual" suspects are bassist Joey Vera, guitarist Jim Matheos and lead vocalist Ray Alder. Except for Alder this is exactly the same lineup that recorded the "Sympathetic Resonance (2011)" album by Arch/Matheos.

"Darkness In A Different Light" is quite different from "Sympathetic Resonance (2011)" though. Most of the tracks on the 10 track, 56:41 minutes long album are "regular" length and most feature clear vers/chorus structures even though Fates Warning as usual twist and turn that concept and end up with an adventuours result. The 14:03 minutes long album closer "And Yet It Moves" is the only really long track on the album and even that track is divided into parts, that make it sound like several tracks put together to form one longer track. I´m actually slightly disappointed by that track. I think it´s clumsily put together, and the song structure lack the elegance that is usually a Fates Warning trademark. It´s too bad because taken section by section there are some brilliant moments in that track. The rest of the album is thankfully of the usual high quality that Fates Warning are known for. With Frank Aresti returning, the clean guitar/distorted guitar sound of the late eighties/early nineties and the melodic guitar solos are back in the band´s sound and while the albums that didn´t feature those elements had their own charm, I must admit, that I´ve missed them. The subtle use of dissonances that the band have experimented with on the last couple of albums are also a part of the sound on "Darkness In A Different Light", but it is generally the most melodic album by the band since "Inside Out (1994)".

To my ears highlights on the album include the opening trio of tracks "One Thousand Fires", "Firefly" and "Desire" and the dark ballad type track "Lighthouse". The latter is pretty strong even though it is strangely non-melodic. The aforementioned subtle dissonances are on full display here though and work really well within the context of this particular track. Despite my reservations "And Yet It Moves" should also be counted among the standout tracks on "Darkness In A Different Light".

The limited edition of the album features a bonus disc containing four tracks. An extended version of "Firefly" (almost 3 minutes longer than the version on the album), "Falling Further", which sounds like an outtake from the recording sessions and live versions of "One" and "Life in Still Water", which are both tracks from previous releases. The extended version of "Firefly" is a bit more progressive in nature than the version that ended up on the album, but I´m a bit indifferent towards it and the two live tracks don´t feature a very good sound quality and what to my ears sound like out of tune singing, so it´s actually only "Falling Further" that´s really interesting in my opinion. It´s a very catchy and mainstream oriented track. Somewhat in the same vein as tracks like "Eye to Eye" and "Through Different Eyes".

Fates Warning are an exceptionally well playing act and lead vocalist Ray Alder is as skilled and powerful sounding as ever. Bobby Jarzombek is a skilled replacement for Mark Zonder, even though the latter´s unique drumming style can never be fully matched. At times Jarzombek´s drumming seems to imitate Zonder´s playing style and while the drumming style suits the music well, I could have wished for a more personal touch from him.

"Darkness In A Different Light" features a professional and well sounding production and while it doesn´t exactly blow me away like some of the band´s earlier albums have done, it´s still a step up from the rather mediocre "FWX (2004)" and a pretty great welcome back to one of the most important progressive metal acts on the scene. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

FATES WARNING Movies Reviews

FATES WARNING The View From Here

Movie · 2003 · Progressive Metal
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Stooge
After owning this DVD for around 4 years, I can say one thing for sure. It serves as a healthy crash course in the Ray Alder era of Fates Warning. It was actually my first Fates Warning purchase, and I now consider them one of my favorite prog metal bands. All of the footage included features the band fronted by Ray Alder, but they do touch briefly on the John Arch-era material (“Prelude To Ruin” but done with Alder). A large portion of the concert footage can be described loosely as bootleg quality (at least when it comes to production and editing), but definitely above average in terms of overall visual quality.

As great as this is as an introductory piece to Fates Warning fan, it may also find it’s place in your collection to be a temporary one. In recent years, Metal Blade Records has done an outstanding job in re-issuing a large portion of Fates Warning’s back catalog. As many of their re-released albums have included a great amount of footage on bonus DVDs, much of what exist on The View From Here has become available in other ways. Additionally, I believe the band’s complete performance of A Pleasant Shade of Gray is available on DVD in some markets.

I also wonder why, on a DVD that runs roughly an hour long, they chose to include two examples of song repetition. You get both the music video for “Point of View” and their performance of the song at the Dynamo festival. The same Dynamo concert features a performance of “The Eleventh Hour”, which is also included as a bonus performance from another venue in rough bootleg quality. There were surely plenty other performances in the Fates Warning archives that could have added some more variety to this compilation.

As a big fan of this group, I was pleased to see some of the behind the scenes footage from the making of their Disconnected album. Though I’ll admit, it doesn’t go into too much depth. There is also a small trailer for the promotion of the Parallels album. To see the creation of Parallels in more detail, check out their 2CD/1DVD re-issue of that album.

This is a good DVD to pick up for more die-hard Fates Warning fans and those who are just getting into the band. Merely an appetizer.

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