FATES WARNING The Spectre Within

Album · 1985 · US Power Metal
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4/5 ·
An underrated album. The second record from FATES WARNING and their first to incorporate progressive elements. Seeds of 80's progressive metal can be found here. With "The Spectre Within", the band complexifies the structure of their songs. The style is always fast heavy/trash metal with high-pitched vocals, but, since the first opus, compositions have increased in quality and energy. The album features seven mid-length powerful mini-epic tracks in the vein of MAIDEN's "Powerslave" and QUEENSRYCHE's first offerings. Yet, the ambiance distilled by FATES WARNING is darker and more tortured.

The opening, "Traveler In Time", directly sets the scene for a gloomy nightmare. The atmosphere is maintained in "Orphan Gypsy". Whereas "Without A Trace" sounds like typical 80's heavy metal, the next song, "Pirates Of The Underground", is more complex and really epic. Then comes the highlight of the record, "The Apparition", with its changing rhythms and its you-know-who's "Rime Of The Ancient Mariner" feel. On the other hand, "Kyrie Eleison" is the weak point of the disc and don't really manage to lift off. Fortunately, the ending track, "Epitaph", is one of the best. Lasting more than 10 minutes, it features doom, epic, fantasy and epic moments. John Arch deploys all his talents here.

Although a bit hard to get in at first listen," The Spectre Within" should please early 80's heavy/trash metal fans and is a must have for those in IRON MAIDEN, early QUEENSRYCHE and FATES WARNING's "Awaken The Guardian". A compulsory stop in your journey to prog metal origins.
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Unitron wrote:
1 year ago
Great review, I love the early Fates Warning albums, this and the next two are masterpieces in my book.


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