Fates Warning started out as a straight forward heavy metal band when metal exploded in the early 80s. Their sound changed over the years and they became pioneers in the "progressive metal" sound. Unfortunately they never hit it big like their fellow prog-rockers Dream Theater and Queensryche. Fate's Warning has also bee plagued with line-up changes, including Dream Theater's Kevin Moore, Armored Saint's Joey Vera, and Warlord's Mark Zonder.

Fates Warning-Night on Brocken (Metal Blade) 1984

1."Buried Alive" (4:35)
2."The Calling" (5:04)
3."Kiss of Death" (4:39)
4."Night on Brocken" (5:28)
5."S.E.K."-instrumental (1:12)
6."Misfit" (5:06)
7."Shadowfax"-instrumental (3:15)
8."Damnation" (6:27)
9."Soldier Boy" (6:24)

Uh, a poor attempt at power a la Iron Maiden. Insipid lyrics to boot, so I never cared for this one. "Soldier Boy," which also appeared on one of the Metal Massacre discs, is ok, but the rest just doesn't float my boat. The original cover art was terrible and the new cover that adorns my cd copy is not much better. I bought it for $2.99 used just to complete the collection.

Fates Warning-The Spectre Within (Metal Blade) 1985

1."Traveler in Time" (7:11)
2."Orphan Gypsy" (6:00)
3."Without a Trace" (4:50)
4."Pirates of the Underground" (7:07)
5."The Apparition" (5:50)
6."Kyrie Eleison" (5:27)
7."Epitaph" (12:00)

I went to see the band on this tour when they were opening for Motorhead. After standing in line at the City Gardens for hours, it was announced that Motorhead, along with all the equipment, would not be showing up. Fates Warning were there but couldn't play without their equipment. Argh!!! In any case, this one is the first Fates album I ever bought and I loved it, thus it still holds a place with me."Spectre" is so far superior to "Night on Brocken" that it almost sounds like a different band. An early attempt at progressive metal before there really was progressive metal. I actually play this one quite a bit. Had a crappy cassette copy for the longest time. (Eventually upgraded to the cd when a buddy of mine offered to give me his copy for free. Free is good!}

Awaken the Guardian Fates Warning-Awaken the Guardian (Metal Blade) 1986

1."The Sorceress" (5:42)
2."Valley of the Dolls" (5:22)
3."Fata Morgana" (5:21)
4."Guardian" (7:31)
5."Prelude to Ruin" (7:21)
6."Giants Lore (Heart of Winter)" (6:00)
7."Time Long Past"-instrumental (1:40)
8."Exodus" (8:35)

The last disc with original singer John Arch, and most people would say this is his best. While I would agree that this is an awesome disc, it's hard to forget your first love, or in this case, my first Fates Warning experience. Love "Awakening" but it doesn't get as much play as "Spectre." Much improved cover art on this one.

No Exit Fates Warning-No Exit (Metal Blade) 1988

1."No Exit" (0:41)
2."Anarchy Divine" (3:46)
3."Silent Cries" (3:17)
4."In a Word" (4:25)
5."Shades of Heavenly Death" (5:56)
6."The Ivory Gate of Dreams": (21:25)
i. Innocence
ii. Cold Daze
iii. Daylight Dreamers
iv. Quietus
v. Ivory Tower
vi. Whispers on the Wind
vii. Acquiescence viii. Retrospect

New lead singer, Ray Alder, on this one, plus a tighter, heavier, more aggressive sound. I almost wish this is the direction they would have stayed in. I must admit I did miss John Arch's vocals at first, but eventually grew to like Ray just as much. Back to the bad album cover art on this one.

Perfect Symmetry Fates Warning-Perfect Symmetry (Metal Blade) 1989

1."Part of the Machine" (6:15)
2."Through Different Eyes" (4:21)
3."Static Acts" (4:27)
4."A World Apart" (5:03)
5."At Fates Hands" (6:58)
6."The Arena" (3:17)
7."Chasing Time" (3:38)
8."Nothing Left to Say" (7:57)

A good cd all around but the aggression and heaviness is beginning to taper off. Rumor has it that the album's title was suppose to reflect the fact that both sides of the "record" were to be the exact same length. OK, whatever! "Perfect Symmetry" is still a favorite of mine. Cool "old man" cover.

Parallels Fates Warning-Parallels (Metal Blade) 1991

1."Leave the Past Behind" (6:14)
2."Life in Still Water" (5:44)
3."Eye to Eye" (4:06)
4."The Eleventh Hour" (8:12)
5."Point of View" (5:07)
6."We Only Say Goodbye" (4:56)
7."Don't Follow Me" (4:42)
8."The Road Goes On Forever" (6:32)

OK, Fates are no longer a heavy metal band at this point but more of a modern progressive rock band. There are a lot of hooks in these songs and I must admit, even though it's not very heavy, I played this thing endlessly. "Eye to Eye" was a minor hit, the only one the band has ever had. The old man is back on the cover. Didn't this guy also adorn the covers of Sanctuary's "Into the Mirror Black" and Dirty Looks' "Chewing on the Bit" as well? (-:

Inside Out Fates Warning-Inside Out (Metal Blade) 1994

1."Outside Looking In" (4:50)
2."Pale Fire" (4:17)
3."The Strand" (5:29)
4."Shelter Me" (4:45)
5."Island in the Stream" (6:30)
6."Down to the Wire" (4:30)
7."Face the Fear" (5:37)
8."Inward Bound" (2:34)
9."Monument" (6:34)
10."Afterglow" (3:26)

Uh oh, what happened here? Fates Warning is completely soft, pop rock, but still retaining a bit of the progressive tendencies. "Pale Fire" was also released on a single called the "Pale Fire" ep. (Clever of them, huh?) I owned the ep too but I ended up trading it for something hard to find from Germany. "Afterglow" is NOT the Genesis song, although it would have been cool to hear Fates Warning do a Genesis song.

Chasing Time Fates Warning-Chasing Time (Metal Blade) 1995

1. "Momentum" (6:34)
2. "The Apparition" (5:50)
3. "Through Different Eyes" (4:21)
4. "Point of View" (5:07)
5. "Prelude to Ruin" (7:21)
6. "Quietus" (4:25)
7. "Eye to Eye" (4:06)
8. "Guardian" (7:32)
9. "At Fates Fingers" -unreleased (4:47)
10. "Silent Cries" (3:15)
11. "Damnation" (6:24)
12. "Circles" -unreleased (5:16)
13. "The Eleventh Hour" (8:12)

A nice "best of" package covering the entire career of the band through "Inside Out." Has a few rarities for the collector. "At Fates Fingers" is an instrumental reworking of "At Fates Hands" that Jim Matheos recorded for Guitar for the Practicing Musician. "Circles" is a good progressive metal song that Fates never released for some reason. I guess they ended up using parts of the song in other songs.

A Pleasant Shade of Gray Fates Warning-A Pleasant Shade of Gray (Metal Blade) 1997

1."A Pleasant Shade of Gray Part I" (1:53)
2."A Pleasant Shade of Gray Part II" (3:25)
3."A Pleasant Shade of Gray Part III" (3:53)
4."A Pleasant Shade of Gray Part IV" (4:26)
(can you guess the name of the next song?)
5."A Pleasant Shade of Gray Part V" (5:24)
6."A Pleasant Shade of Gray Part VI" (7:28)
7."A Pleasant Shade of Gray Part VII" (4:51)
8."A Pleasant Shade of Gray Part VIII" (3:31)
9."A Pleasant Shade of Gray Part IX" (4:45)
10."A Pleasant Shade of Gray Part X" (1:19)
11."A Pleasant Shade of Gray Part XI" (3:34)
12."A Pleasant Shade of Gray Part XII" (7:45)

A return to the progressive music they do so well and, thankfully, ditching the pop metal. Sounds a bit more like Pink Floyd than Fates Warning though. Anyhow, this is ONE, and I mean one, freakin' long song. Sort of gets boring after a while which is why, I am sure, they added the very LOUD and ANNOYING alarm clock at the end of the cd. Darn, and I just fell asleep!

Still Life Fates Warning-Still Life (Metal Blade) 1998

1."A Pleasant Shade of Gray I-XII" (51:51)

1."The Ivory Gate of Dreams" (20:54)
2."The Eleventh Hour" (8:14)
3."Point of View" (4:33)
4."Monument" (6:46)
5."At Fates Hands" (6:47)
6."Prelude to Ruin" (3:38)
7."We Only Say Goodbye" (4:41)

I was really looking forward to this disc, hopes held high that it would contain some older material. The bad news is, the only two pre-Parallels songs here are half of "Prelude to Ruin" and "At Fates Hands". However, ignoring disc one, which is ALL of "A Pleasant Shade of Gray," disc 2 is a good listen. Strange though, that most bands sound heavier live. Somehow Fates Warning sounds oddly more mellow. Maybe someday they will release some lost pre-"Parallel" live performance, or even better, a live performance with John Arch. Here's hoping.

Fates Warning-Disconnected (Metal Blade) 2000

1. "Disconnected, Pt. 1" (1:13)
2. "One" (4:27)
3. "So" (6:11)
4. "Pieces of Me" (8:07)
5. "Something from Nothing" (4:24)
6. "Still Remains" (10:58)
7. "Disconnected Pt. 2" (16:08)

Man, I can't believe it took me so long to get this album. Fates Warning use to be one of those bands that I would spend the money on to get their albums new at the time of their release. I guess I was so dishearted with the last two discs, that I put it off for a long time. In any case, it was my loss, because "Disconnected" is actually a very good disc. The band did not "return to their roots," as was the hype. They have retained the progessive rock sound of "Pleasant Shade of Gray" yet somehow they managed to make it more interesting. There is loads of ambient stuff going on here, however, what was immediately noticable to me was that Jim Matheos brought back the band's heavy guitar sound. Anyone who compares these guys to Dream Theater now, obviously has no clue. Fates are in a league of their own with "Disconnected."

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