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Progressive Metal • United States

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Fates Warning biography
FATES WARNING was founded as a heavy metal band, but after a few albums, their progressive tendencies started to emerge. While retaining elements of their metal heritage, their music grew increasingly complex, with much longer tracks and interesting interwoven melodic elements added. They merged their love of YES and RUSH, by combining elements of pure metal, classically inspired crescendos and interludes with jazz fusion like chops. FW has been largely responsible for the infusion of progressive thinking into heavy metal music, unlike its co-founding compatriots of progressive metal, DREAM THEATER. So give yourself the chance to live an emotive experience unlike anything else.

Like KING CRIMSON, the evolution of FATES WARNING can be split into many different period. "Awaken The Guardian" (1986) showed the band's music to be more progressive and complex that first impressions had suggested. "No Exit" (1988) was a ground breaking album for the band as they further explore the realms of progressive metal with the 21 minute long "The Ivory Gate of Dreams". This was followed by "Perfect Symmetry" (1989), considered by many to be the band's most Progressive rock-driven release. The compilation, "Chasing Time", is a great place to start. However, 1998's "A Pleasant Shade Of Grey", which consists of a single 40-minute song, is clearly the best place for a Progressive rock fan. The album start off slowly and needs several careful listenings to be fully appreciated; but then, since part. "Still Life" appeared the next year, and "Disconnected" followed two years later. And now let's wait for their 2003 release.

See also:

- John Arch
- Chinese Firedrill

Fates Warning official website

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Theories Of FlightTheories Of Flight
Limited Edition
Inside Out Music 2016
Audio CD$8.29
$12.98 (used)
Awaken the Guardian LIVE - 2CD/1DVDAwaken the Guardian LIVE - 2CD/1DVD
Metal Blade 2017
Audio CD$15.17
$12.95 (used)
Awaken the Guardian LIVE [Blu-ray]Awaken the Guardian LIVE [Blu-ray]
Metal Blade 2017
$14.27 (used)
Darkness in a Different LightDarkness in a Different Light
Inside Out Music 2013
Audio CD$13.79
$13.78 (used)
Awaken The Guardian - ReissueAwaken The Guardian - Reissue
CD+DVD · Remastered · Extra tracks
Metal Blade 2005
Audio CD$12.99
Metal Blade 2004
Audio CD$9.60
$4.99 (used)
Perfect SymmetryPerfect Symmetry
Metal Blade 1994
Audio CD$8.99
$5.00 (used)
Metal Blade 2000
Audio CD$8.99
$2.18 (used)
Inside Out - Expanded EditionInside Out - Expanded Edition
Extra tracks
Metal Blade 2012
Audio CD$12.66
$14.85 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
WHITE MASS-s/t CD Fates Warning,Titan Force 2017 USD $14.99 Buy It Now
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2h 28m
2h 29m
BROADMOOR Portraits CD Ind 2005 Dream Theater Nevermore Rush Fates Warning USD $9.99 Buy It Now 3h 9m
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Proud - Fire Breaks the Dawn Cd Old Metal Records -manilla road fates warning USD $8.95 Buy It Now 5h 32m
Fates Warning -Awaken the Guardian[1986](Remastered CD,1994)Progressive Metal USD $25.00 Buy It Now 10h 46m
FATES WARNING original CD "No exit" 1988 on Roadrunner USD $46.69 Buy It Now 10h 55m
Darkness In A Different Light [2 Discs] by Fates Warning. USD $19.22 Buy It Now 15h 20m
Tug of War by Enchant (CD 2003 Inside Out) SPECIAL ED NM PROG TOOL FATES WARNING USD $11.95 Buy It Now 16h 53m
Fates Warning - Theories Of Flight: Deluxe Edition [New CD] UK - Import USD $17.56 Buy It Now 18h 6m
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Fates Warning Parallels CD Metal Blade Records ?926698-2 1991 Original US USD $9.99 Buy It Now 23h 23m
Dream Theater/ Fates Warning (5 CD Lot) Lethal, Symphony X, Letter X, Leviathan USD $30.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Fates Warning Night On (CASSETTE) 1988 Metal Blade USD $7.95 Buy It Now 1 day
Theories of Flight [Digipak] by Fates Warning (CD, Jul-2016, 2 Discs USD $16.00 Buy It Now 1 day
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OSI re: Free CD Progressive Rock 2006 Fates Warning Jim Matheos Mike Portnoy NEW USD $4.18 Buy It Now 1 day
ZERO ILLUSIONS Enter Eternity CD Progressive Metal 2009 Fates Warning NEW USD $5.97 Buy It Now 1 day
OSI - Office of Strategic Influence / TH Cassette (Dream Theater, Fates Warning) USD $19.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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Leviathan- Complete Studio Discography (5 CD Lot). Fates Warning, Lethal. USD $60.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Fates Warning-Darkness in a Different Light CD NEW USD $12.99 Buy It Now 1 day
FATES WARNING A Pleasant Shade Of Gray VICP-60051 CD JAPAN NEW USD $119.86 Buy It Now 1 day
Fates Warning- X- 2004-CD USD $2.00 [1 bids]
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Awaken the Guardian Live [Deluxe Edition Box Set] [Box] * by Fates Warning... USD $50.33 Buy It Now 1 day
Psychotic Waltz - Live '93 - RARE Live Recording cd Fates Warning USD $29.95 Buy It Now 2 days
Fates Warning - Disconnected - 2000 Metal Blade Records - 6.17 USD $7.99 Buy It Now 2 days
LP Fates Warning Perfect Symmetry 1989 Metal Blade/ Enigma SEALED USD $75.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Parallels [Digipak] [3 Discs] by Fates Warning. USD $20.44 Buy It Now 2 days
WARLORD Rising Out Of The Ashes + 2 JAPAN Mini LP CD Fates Warning Hammerfall USD $24.50 Buy It Now 2 days
Fates Warning-Awaken the Guardian (UK IMPORT) VINYL NEW USD $21.44 Buy It Now 2 days
Arch / Matheos - Sympathetic Resonance CD 2011 Fates Warning Ltd Digi USD $15.97 Buy It Now 2 days
Fates Warning-Inside Out CD NEW USD $18.76 Buy It Now 2 days
Engine - ST CD 1999 Metal Blade Fates Warning USD $15.17 Buy It Now 2 days
Fates Warning - A Pleasant Shade Of Grey CD 2007 USD $21.56 Buy It Now 2 days
Fates Warning - Disconnected CD 2000 Massacre Rec. Ltd USD $15.97 Buy It Now 2 days
Fates Warning - Night On Broken / The Spectre Within 2CD 1984/85 Metal Blade USD $21.56 Buy It Now 2 days
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Fates Warning - Inside Out CD 1994 Massacre Rec. USD $21.56 Buy It Now 2 days
Fates Warning - Waken The Guardian / No Exit 2CD 1986/88 Metal Blade USD $21.56 Buy It Now 2 days
River's Edge Soundtrack OST - RARE '87 OOP cd Slayer Hallows Eve Fates Warning USD $50.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Helstar "Nosferatu" LP 1st PRESS Iced Earth ,Metal Church,Fates Warning. EX USD $31.66 [0 bids]
2 days
Jim Matheos - Away With Words CD 1999 Metal Blade Fates Warning USD $15.97 Buy It Now 2 days
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Fates Warning Cassette Tape Parallels Heavy Progressive Metal Blade 4-26698 USD $12.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Fates Warning Cassette Tape No Exit Heavy Progressive Metal Blade D4-73330 USD $12.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Fates Warning Cassette Tape Night On Brocken Heavy Power Metal Blade 71103-4 USD $12.99 Buy It Now 3 days
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Night On Brocken - Fates Warning 039841405323 (CD Used Very Good) USD $8.76 Buy It Now 3 days
FATES WARNING No Exit 1988 Metal Blade Enigma LP D1 73330 Speed Thrash Vinyl USD $49.99 Buy It Now 3 days
DREAM THEATER 1992 CD - Images And Words - Fates Warning/Vanden Plas/Haken - NEW USD $8.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Fates Warning - Night On Brocken [New Vinyl] UK - Import USD $22.55 Buy It Now 3 days
Inside Out - Fates Warning (CD Used Very Good) USD $10.20 Buy It Now 4 days
Night on Br”cken by Fates Warning (CD, May-1994, Metal Blade) USD $13.00 Buy It Now 4 days
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FATES WARNING discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

FATES WARNING top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.65 | 131 ratings
Night On Bröcken
3.47 | 166 ratings
The Spectre Within
4.00 | 248 ratings
Awaken The Guardian
3.90 | 224 ratings
No Exit
4.14 | 368 ratings
Perfect Symmetry
4.11 | 342 ratings
3.53 | 189 ratings
Inside Out
4.19 | 348 ratings
A Pleasant Shade Of Gray
4.08 | 321 ratings
3.36 | 204 ratings
3.90 | 271 ratings
Darkness In A Different Light
3.96 | 223 ratings
Theories Of Flight

FATES WARNING Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.37 | 81 ratings
Still Life
3.94 | 7 ratings
Awaken the Guardian Live

FATES WARNING Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.42 | 12 ratings
Live at the Dynamo
4.81 | 29 ratings
A Pleasant Shade Of Gray - Live (VHS)
4.25 | 20 ratings
The View From Here
3.76 | 37 ratings
Live In Athens

FATES WARNING Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.32 | 38 ratings
Chasing Time

FATES WARNING Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.83 | 6 ratings
Misfit (Demo)
3.14 | 7 ratings
1984 Demo
3.50 | 6 ratings
Dickie (Demo)
3.78 | 9 ratings
Pale Fire
3.90 | 10 ratings
A Pleasant Shade Of Gray: Part II


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Disconnected by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.08 | 321 ratings

Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars As with A Pleasant Shade of Gray, Disconnected had Fates Warning working as a core creative trio of Alder, Matheos and Zonder, with Joey Vera and Kevin Moore working on a guest musician basis. Whilst some prefer the preceding album, I admit that I quite like this release.

On the surface, it comes across as one of those millennial "Oooh, the Internet is scary, will it truly offer us a closer connection to each other or will it all leave us more disconnected and isolated?" concepts that proliferated back in that slice of time after the Internet had become ubiquitous but before Facebook and other social media platforms had definitively answered the question. ("Yes, the Internet will connect you to other people and their innermost thoughts and feelings. You will quickly get sick of them.")

The genius of the album is that rather than approaching the subject like they have an axe to grind, or limiting themselves to that narrow concept, Fates Warning instead take it as a jumping-off point to explore all sorts of different types of interpersonal connection and disconnection, being wise enough to realise that actually, interpersonal connection tends to pan out differently for different people. Some songs, such as One, outright celebrate the emotional bonds between people - others note how they can be mentally draining and sometimes you *need* your alone time to recharge your batteries, whilst others are sung from the point of views struggling to reach out.

It's kind of like its Rorscharch blot of a cover. Some might see it as capturing two people seeking intimacy but being blocked from it by the very devices they have chosen to apply to themselves (or have been forced to by circumstance); I see it as a happy scene of two gasmask fetishists finding each other in a world where it's never been easier to find someone who shares your kinks.

Musically, we're dealing with a nicely matured version of the 1990s Fates Warning sound, the band entering the new millennium with the confidence to simply sound like themselves and not worrying about then-current trends in metal. (Then again, given the rise of nu-metal between Pleasant Shade and this, deciding not to go down that route may have been a no-brainer - I've got nothing against nu-metal, but I can think of few styles less compatible with Fates Warning's approach). The combination of all these features makes Disconnected, for me, the best Fates Warning album since No Exit.

 Inside Out by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.53 | 189 ratings

Inside Out
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Fates Warning's Inside Out takes the overall compositional approach of Parallels and gives it a rather more harsh and edgy production style, which feels like an attempt to hop on board the sort of grimier aesthetic that had become popular in the mid-1990s. Between this and the fact that this doesn't really show much development over Parallels (to the point where if you presented this as a collection of off-cuts from the Parallels sessions, perhaps with a remix to suit the smoother production of that album, you could probably persuade people that was the case), and this just doesn't feel like such an essential part of the Fates Warning discography.
 Awaken The Guardian by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 1986
4.00 | 248 ratings

Awaken The Guardian
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by Caleb9000

5 stars As odd a choice as it would seem, Awaken The Guardian has been my favorite album from this outing since the first time that I heard it. The material that this band issued with John Arch is often mistakenly written off as "generic 1980s power metal", when nothing can be farther from the truth. While largely void of Jazz influences, in contrast to later outings from Fates Warning and other progressive metal bands, this album invents a sound of its own, evident in the guitar and bass work, drumming patterns, and especially the vocal performance, which I will dive into later.

This is an album that takes multiple listens to fully understand, even for a fan of progressive metal, due to the jarring alterations, production and off-kilter vocals. Despite all this, it rarely becomes dissonant, and once fully understood, I failed to realize what put My off about it for a while. The atmosphere of this record is so strong that I failed to realize how I wasn't immediately sucked in. But this is an album that is meant to be listened to multiple times to understand, and this cannot be achieved with a soapbox mindset (until afterwards, of course).

The music of this records gives you quite literally anything that one could desire in Heavy Metal, each in different moments, yet still flowing together in its mystical, fantastical atmosphere, always with off kilter, progressive tendencies and it never uses the same ones over and over again. Each moment has its own unique spin without sounding remotely confused. Tracks like "Valley of the Dolls" and "Prelude to Ruin" boarderline on Thrash Metal quite often, while still containing multiple shifts in mood and tempo, without being forced. "Fata Morgana" has an epic power metal feel that puts the listener into an uplifting mindset, as does the ballad, "Guardian", which has a rather dark chord progression when you strip it down of its additional accessories, but those are able to make it sound so beautiful that one doesn't even notice, finishing with a faster, thrasher pace. "Exodus" is a song that captures the essence of fantasy itself, despite the fact that the lyrics have nothing to do with fantasy. The chorus is mesmerizingly epic, taking you to worlds of your wildest dreams. There's even a softer, more acousticly driven section that makes me feel as though I'm floating down a river in a cave, with Arch singing me to sleep.

Speaking of Arch, he is one of the most unique vocalists that I have ever come across. While he seems to have the influences of vocalists like Dickinson and Halford, but he also seems to have studied Indian music, as his vocal melodies have many similarities to that style. He makes both apparent by making his vocal melodies as intricate as possible, as well as sounding rather odd and twisted, sometimes making him sound haunting to the ear, but it still flows so beautifully that it's able to fit the diversity of the music. His tone is also unique, but an acquired taste. It puts strong emphasis on nasal and chest, which actually annoyed me at first listen. However, with each listen that I took part in, I grew to adore his voice. He is also a brilliant lyricist (all of the lyrics on the album are written by him). They cover a wide range of topics, including social commentary, history, fantasy, philosophy, disability, love, social commentary, even hating glam (though it is done in such a genius way that I can't even complain). He uses metophor that relates to the other varying topics throughout the record, making it impossible to understand the meaning without reading through it with sharp concentration. His qu with words invokes emotion in ways that I cannot describe, but there is one thing that I must point out. In one instance, he uses alliteration. "Blasphamous black bible bias, you betray bigotry".. I've never heard anyone else do that on any other piece of music that I've ever listened to!

This is an album that triggers many different emotions, each at different times, but at its end, it leaves you with an astounding feeling of absolute triumph, amazingly without any epic speed metal (there really isn't anything over 100 bpm on here). With brilliant usage of odd time signatures, sneaky use of acoustics, as well as astonishingly vivid atmosphere, this album is an absolute wonder of a journey that never even gets predictable or gineric for one second. Definetly the magnum opus of Fates Warning's career, the greatest power metal album ever made, and one of the greatest albums of all time.

 A Pleasant Shade Of Gray by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.19 | 348 ratings

A Pleasant Shade Of Gray
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Review Nº 122

'A Pleasant Shade Of Gray' is the eighth studio album of Fates Warning and was released in 1997. The line up on the album is Ray Alder, Jim Matheos, Joey Vera and Mark Zonder. The album had also the participation of Kevin Moore, Bill Metoyer, Lydia Montagnese, Lindsay Matheos and Terry Brown. This is the first Fates Warning album with Joey Vera. The former Armoured Saint bassist was recruited to substituted their previous former bassist Joe DiBiase.

Fates Warning is perhaps the only progressive metal act that helped develop this genre from the 80's to this time, but they have always been overshadowed by their contemporaries. In the 80's everyone had their attention focused on Queensryche and Crimson Glory, and the 90's saw Dream Theater and Symphony X dominating everything in that area. And, while very few bands have managed to maintain their consistency, always putting out quality material, carving their own little niche in the ever-growing genre, many of them went for the easy way out after scoring one or two major albums. For Fates Warning, on the other hand, it was a slower, but perhaps safer, process of growing and establishing themselves as one of the greatest progressive metal bands of all times. Unfortunately, this is an underrated band.

Matheos is also an underrated musician. His genius is always passed up for some reason. He wrote all the lyrics and composed this entire album on his own. What's more is that he hasn't taken the easy way out laying down some meaningless riffs and solos throughout this album. On the contrary he only plays few solos on the entire album. These solos are slow and minimal but emotionally charged at the highest level possible. Alder does his best vocal performance ever here. He stays comfortably in his own range and delivers the tunes with passion, emotion and conviction. Vera had just joined the band and this was his first stint with the band but he fits in perfectly in Matheos' song craft. Zonder is best known for restraining himself when necessary and always giving the song what it needs.

Finally, we have Moore. His presence on the album makes all the difference. Fates Warning had never used keyboards and piano this effectively before, but for an album like this, no one would have been a better choice. Moore's minimalist playing and the heavy atmosphere that covers the tunes delicately complement the songs very well. He particularly shines on this album. I really think this is the best album with Moore, as a guest, in his post 'Awake' musical career.

About 'A Pleasant Shade Of Gray', Matheos said that the genesis of the album was a departure from their previous two albums. For him, apart from 'Parallels' and 'Inside Out', all their albums have sounded different. 'A Pleasant Shade Of Gray' is really very different from most progressive metal albums of the 90's. There is little to no effort made to make the listener's head spin with unnecessary technical prowess. You don't get dizzy listening to it trying to keep up with various poly-rhythms, countless notes squeezed into a scale played mindlessly fast on the guitar or a singer constantly exerting himself just to remain in his highest range possible. All these aspects have no purpose on this album.

'A Pleasant Shade Of Gray' is presented as a whole, parted in 12 songs. Or, if you want, you can call it a conceptual album. Fates Warning explores a darker side of the progressive rock music. The lyrics are great and the tone of the music fits the concept perfectly. Each part flows into others quite well. The pace of the album is slow and the entire album is very moody due to its extreme progressive nature. The main feeling all over this album is the 'gray-ness'. Reading the lyrics, you could be intrigued by the statement of what really is the concept of 'pleasant'? And what is this about this 'shade of gray'? I really think that the 'opposition of the contraries, gray and pleasant' is solved, in the end of the album. Emptiness, confusion and desolation, are things which lead us to a sort of desperation. But, finally, 'face to face we'll awake/ to see another day' is a kind of thing that gives us a new hope. It's like a nightmare, which finally ends. Moreover, this sensation is clarified by the clock ring in the end of the album. It's like in the beginning of the album of Dream Theater, 'Awake'. The final result is that the mood these guys managed to create is really wonderful.

Conclusion: If 'Inside Out' was a kind of continuation of 'Parallels', in musical style, 'A Pleasant Shade Of Gray' is something new compared to its predecessors. No, not fundamentally new, but still the changes are substantial, in my humble opinion. This album is a must listen for any truly fan of progressive metal, or simply any music fan who enjoys contemplating real music. 'A Pleasant Shade Of Gray' is a unique album by a unique band. The listener must simply keep in mind that it's not meant as a catchy sing along or as background music. Sometimes I wonder why this band is so underrated. It's really a shame. Everybody who likes this genre should check this band out. This album could be a very good introduction to this great band. For me, this is one of the jewels of the progressive metal discography. I even dare to say that this album is a classic in the progressive metal field. I know this isn't consensual, but it's what I think.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Awaken the Guardian Live by FATES WARNING album cover Live, 2017
3.94 | 7 ratings

Awaken the Guardian Live
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by javajeff

4 stars It is 2016, and Fate Warning has another amazing studio album with Ray Alder: Theories Of Flight. Jim Matheos and the band are firing on all cylinders, so what do they do next? They tour with their original lead vocalist John Arch to perform their stellar Awaken the Guardian album in its entirety. This is a real taste of what could have been. The Arch / Matheos Sympathetic Resonance from 2011 is practically a Fates Warning album, Jim Matheos also has Redemption, and bands are more like projects these days. I think that John Arch and Ray Alder are both amazing progressive metal vocalists, and both Sympathetic Resonance and A Pleasant Shade Of Gray are two of my all time favorite albums that I listen to often. With all that being said, Awaken the Guardian Live is a huge treat. You get two concerts with this album. The first is Keep It True XIX took place at Lauda-Königshofen, Germany, and the second is ProgPower XVII that took place at Atlanta, GA. Both have excellent sound quality, which is likely better than what could have been recorded in 1986 when Awaken the Guardian was released. John's vocals are excellent, and the musicianship is stellar as usual. This live album is a great way to hear a fresh take on Awaken the Guardian, and can act as an excellent introduction to the band.
 Theories Of Flight by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.96 | 223 ratings

Theories Of Flight
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 4.5 stars. This is the second album in a row that FATES WARNING has had the same lineup of Matheos, Aresti, Vera, Adler and Jarzombek. And this album also follows the same path as the previous album "Darkness In A Different Light" from 3 years earlier only I feel this one tops it. We get plenty of heaviness and I even thought of IRON MAIDEN a few times. The rating wasn't easy as I feel this album reaches highs that I haven't heard from them since their "Disconnected" record although unlike that album there are some not so great moments although they are few. Also I think it's a step below that ARCH/ MATHEOS album. Still I'm really impressed with this album and the performances of each member as a 4.5 star rating would suggest.

"From The Rooftops" opens with drums and atmosphere as soaring guitar leads join the relaxed sound. Ray's reserved vocals arrive before 1 minute then some more of that melancholic soaring guitar. A change after 2 minutes as we get crushed with heaviness as Ray spits out the lyrics. I like the section starting 3 1/2 minutes in as we get an IRON MAIDEN-like sound including the vocals. Ripping guitar after 5 1/2 minutes as they kick more ass. "Seven Stars" starts off sounding pretty amazing instrumentally, it's heavy with guitar over top. The vocals join in as it settles back some. A classic FATES WARNING chorus here as I'm singing along with Adler. There's a nice guitar solo 3 minutes in.

"SOS" opens with guitar grinding away as emotional vocals join in then it kicks in hard. Riffs galore at times and this would sound awesome live, a barn-burner. An atmospheric calm arrives 2 minutes in as Ray returns with those emotional vocals. "The Light And Shade Of Things" is dark and laid back with atmosphere as soft vocals arrive. It's building some 1 1/2 minutes in but not much until we get hit with a wall of sound 3 minutes in. Oh my! The chorus before 4 minutes is heavy and catchy with vocals. It's pretty intense after the chorus as Ray sings with anger. The chorus returns then we get a heavy bass/ drum section then it settles with relaxed guitar expressions. The chorus is back then they kick it hard again 8 1/2 minutes in before it settles to end it.

"White Flag" is a top three for me. A heavy intro as passionate vocals join in. What a kick-ass tune! How uplifting is this after 2 minutes as it settles back a little. So much emotion for me. A killer instrumental section arrives after 3 minutes. "Like Stars Our Eyes Have Seen" is another top three. An all out assault from Jarzombek on his kit as Adler joins in with attitude. It doesn't change much on the chorus other than Ray's vocals aren't as mean sounding. It's not nearly as heavy 2 1/2 minutes in but that doesn't last for long. Intense is the word 3 1/2 minutes in.

"The Ghost Of Home" is my favourite song on here. Samples of different spoken words and sounds last for about a minute then it all stops as vocals and intricate guitar take over. it kicks in hard bringing MAIDEN to mind before 2 1/2 minutes. Vocals before 4 1/2 minutes as it lightens. Love Vera's bass lines here, so upfront. I also like when Adler cries "Home again! Home again!" then it settles some after 6 minutes. It's so uplifting after 7 1/2 minutes then it ends with a heavy duty section. "Theories Of Flight" is the interesting closer bringing to mind the "Disconnected" album with all the atmosphere. Samples to start in that atmosphere before some guest female spoken words arrive and she will come and go with them as she tells the story. The tempo picks up before 2 minutes in this instrumental section then a calm follows. More spoken female words then the intricate guitar returns. The guitar cries out 3 minutes in then more spoken female words and intricate guitar. This is just outside of my top three.

Just an excellent Prog-Metal album and I think I'd rank it fourth or so when it comes to their studio albums, not counting that ARCH/ MATHEOS recording of course even if that seems like a legit FATES WARNING album.

 Theories Of Flight by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.96 | 223 ratings

Theories Of Flight
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars "Theories Of Flight" is the 12th full-length studio album by US progressive metal act Fates Warning. The album was released through InsideOut Records in July 2016. It´s the successor to "Darkness In A Different Light" from 2013 and the second album after their 9 year long recording break since "FWX (2004)". "Theories Of Flight" features the exact same lineup who recorded "Darkness In A Different Light (2013)": Ray Alder (vocals), Jim Matheos (guitars), Frank Aresti (guitars, although only a couple of leads), Joey Vera (bass), and Bobby Jarzombek (drums).

Stylistically "Theories Of Flight" is pretty much a continuation of the progressive metal style on "Darkness In A Different Light (2013)". It´s generally a bit more melodic and to my ears also slightly more memorable, but the overall concept is similar to the predecessor. Heavy intriguing guitar riffs and rhythms, melodic solos, beautiful acoustic/clean guitar work, and Ray Alder´s strong emotive vocals in front (often featuring harmony and choir vocals).

The album feautures 8 tracks and a full playing time of 52:17 minutes. Both "The Light and Shade of Things" and "The Ghosts of Home" are around 10 minutes long, but the remaining tracks feature more regular lengths (from 4 to 6 minutes). The material is very well written and the combination of relatively straight forward and catchy tracks like "Seven Stars", "SOS", and "Like Stars Our Eyes Have Seen", and the longer more complex tracks like the two above mentioned, and album opener "From the Rooftops", works really well. Now that I´ve mentioned almost every track featured on the album, I can just as well mention the remaining two. "White Flag" is a powerful track with a commanding vocal delivery by Alder and the title track, which is the album closer, is an atmospheric instrumental, which ends the album in great style.

It´s overall a very dynamic and adventurous album. One moment it´s melodic and beatiful and the next a bit darker and heavy. The trademark sophisticated Fates Warning groove, which features a lot of off-beat rhythm patterns and chord strokes, is also present and accounted for. The musicianship is on a high level on all posts. Alder is as mentioned an incredibly skilled and distinct sounding vocals, who can sing both emotive mellow parts and louder more aggressive ones (for the style), with equal passion and conviction, the rhythm section play varied and powerful, and the guitars both play melodic and heavy. The guitar solos deserve a special mention. They are played with a lot of attention to tone and feeling, and they are also pretty varied.

"Theories Of Flight" features a warm, clear, and powerful sounding production, which suits the material perfectly, and I actually have a very hard time coming up with any issues regarding the album. To my ears it´s their best release in years, which is especially due to the increased focus on melody and accessibility that Fates Warning have here. A focal point which has not affected how heavy and powerful the music is, and that´s usually a hard balance to strike. A 5 star (100%) rating is deserved.

Note: There´s a limited edition 2CD/2LP version available, which features 6 bonus tracks. Acoustic versions of the band´s own compositions "Firefly", "Seven Stars", and "Another Perfect Day", and acoustic covers of "Pray Your Gods" by Toad The Wet Sprocket, "Adela" by Joaquin Rodrigo (with Alder singing Spanish language lyrics), and "Rain" by Uriah Heep. While acoustic renditions of existing non-acoustic material aren´t always the greatest idea, Fates Warning pull if off with ease. Beautiful acoustic guitar arrangements and a Ray Alder in vocal top form, ensure that these bonus tracks are well worth purchasing the limited edition for. I especially enjoyed "Firefly", "Another Perfect Day", and "Rain", but the remaining tracks are also of high quality.

 Theories Of Flight by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.96 | 223 ratings

Theories Of Flight
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by Timdano

5 stars This stunning of an entry, this far into their career? (and never mind that each member is close to 50-years-old or older)

I'm shocked and more than pleasantly surprised.

Ray Alder's vocal work here is impeccable- just slightly more mature than albums 20+ years ago but trust me, he brings home the goods here.

And that doesn't mean that every other band member here is not coming to the plate in full form - they are.

Above all, like I've found with this year's output from favorite prog-metallers - Haken - the songwriting here is flawless. No filler, no cheese-ball nonsense; just stunningly listenable, memorable melodies and song structures (thank you, Jim Matheos!). I'm picking up a slight OSI strain to some of the songs, too; e.g. check out the closing 30 seconds or so of "Like Stars Our Eyes Have Seen."

And as opposed 2016's silly, Sound of Music-esque inane, painful, unlistenable drivel album (which prog metal band am I referring to?) what you'll find here is simply good music.

Five unabashed stars.

 Theories Of Flight by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.96 | 223 ratings

Theories Of Flight
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by Einwahn

4 stars All those of us who love Prog Metal owe so much to this pioneering band, and to see them (a) playing with such power after so many years, and (b) topping the Prog Archives charts is just great. 'Theories of Flight' continues in the same relatively conservative style as the previous 'Darkness in a Different Light'. Both albums are straightforward guitar burns, ToF I think having an even faster average tempo. These are superb musicians and it is hard to see how any metal fan would not enjoy ToF. For myself, Fates Warning peaked artistically in the millennium-period albums with the extra dimension of Kevin Moore's keyboard contributions (i.e. 'Gray' and 'Disconnected'). There isn't quite enough flair in ToF for the fifth star, but this is an album that is going to get a lot of time in my audio systems.

Verdict: a superb band and a superb album.

 Theories Of Flight by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.96 | 223 ratings

Theories Of Flight
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by Progrussia

4 stars Fates Warning is a rare prog metal band without the musical cheese. The word to describe their music is... certainly not harsh. Bleak? No, serious would be the word. Even the albums have such scientifically-inclined names as Theories of Flight or Darkness in a Different Light. Fates are famous for incorporating complex riffing and drumming patterns in a concise pop song length. Theories continue with the thick guitar sound of Darkness, but there's an effort to make the music sound more commercial, with the prog power metal-like shifts between softer and harder parts, hooks galore and guitar solos, bringing the band closer to the sound of such more commercially successful outfits as Dream Theater, Symphony X and even Iron Maiden.
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