FATES WARNING — Perfect Symmetry (review)

FATES WARNING — Perfect Symmetry album cover Album · 1989 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
2/5 ·
Warthur
Although I do appreciate most of Fates Warning's albums prior to this, I've found that I just don't see the appeal of Perfect Symmetry. Sure, I can tell that it's an order of magnitude more complex than their earlier work - thanks, perhaps, to the arrival of new drummer Mark Zonder, who shows a mastery of a range of tricky time signatures over the course of the album. But with this additional complexity also comes a certain level of obfuscation.

It's a technically advanced piece, sure, but it just doesn't move me emotionally in the way that other creators of complex music - from Atheist to King Crimson to Yes to Frank Zappa - are regularly able to. It leaves me emotionally numbed rather than evoking any response, and the riffs lack forcefulness, power, and aggression - and most metal riffs really need at least one out of those three qualities, if not the whole set. On top of that, the production is rather thin and unappealing. No, on the whole I just don't get the appeal. Ah well.
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