FATES WARNING — Long Day Good Night (review)

FATES WARNING — Long Day Good Night album cover Album · 2020 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
siLLy puPPy
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.
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siLLy puPPy wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Well i'm a Fates Warning fan and i do expect something rather than backpeddling. 3 stars is a good album but not essential. This is a good album for sure but it's the kind of album that makes me want to go back and listen to their REALLY good albums. I guess i have higher standards for bands that are this brilliant. I've given this a spin a few times and it leaves me cold and gets worse each time so i probably won't be revisiting this one to be honest. A let down from their last album which worked quite well for me.
UMUR wrote:
more than 2 years ago
I don´t think most Fates Warning fans expect their albums to be innovative and groundbreaking anymore. Most of us just want good quality music from them. I haven´t listened to this one yet, so it´s just a general observation.
siLLy puPPy wrote:
more than 2 years ago
So you find this innovative and breaking new ground? A completely new paradigm for the 21st century? Sounds cliche to me and i own every Fates Warning album.
LittleBig wrote:
more than 2 years ago
I don't think I've ever read a review here or elsewhere where I disagree with so many things said.

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