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.