Fates Warning + Arch / Matheos

Well I looked around to see if there was a Fates Warning thread, and I didn't find one, so, I guess I shall start one:

Fates Warning are an excellent band, one of my all-time favorites! A very underrated band IMO, don't get why they're not as popular as Dream Theater or Queensryche, they pretty much paved the way for those 2.. I like FW's 80s metal stuff, but I kinda like their 90s stuff better, it's more prog-sounding.. My favorite song from is definitley "Eye to Eye", which I guess is pretty much the only minor commercial hit they ever had... I also like "Through Different Eyes", "Outside Looking In", and my favorite 80s song from them is "Valley of the Dolls"

I did briefly see FW, in the summer of 2003 they opened the Dream Theater/Queensryche tour, but unfortunatley, the venue where I saw that tour at was an outdoor one along a river, and a lightning storm forced their set to be cut short:( But, I did enjoy the 20 minutes of them that I did get to see... Ironically enough, they were playing their song "Shutdown", when their set got "shut down", haha... I hope to see them again sometime, when they do tour their tours seem to be short and they don't really come to big cities that much.. But, hopefully someday I'll see them again...

Either way, FW are a great band:rocker:
 

Mosh

The years just pass like trains
Staff member
Could never really get into them. They have all the ingredients of a great band. Great guitar/singer combo and they even had Kevin Moore for awhile, yet something about them never clicked with me.
 

Mosh

The years just pass like trains
Staff member
Not sure how involved he was. I just know he was on a couple albums and a live DVD. I could've sworn I saw a writing credit from him somewhere though.

But yea, I love all four OSI albums much more than anything FW did.
 

SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
The first OSI album was great across the board, the others have some good songs. But aside from that first, I'd still put most FW albums higher. Moore's weirder stuff is not always to my liking.
 

JudasMyGuide

...quite like the Jack of Hearts...
The only album by FW I've heard so far is The Spectre Within, which I really like - Traveller in Time, Orphan Gypsy and especially The Apparition (!) are incredible. I have a small problem with their singer, though - everybody and their brother seem to love the guy, yet he's not a perfect "click" for me. I've had the same problem with Toxik, however; Think This is one of my top 10 albums, yet the vocals are sometimes hard to enjoy. In fact, the two guys - John Arch and Charles Sabin - have really similar voices, IMHO.
I must try out their other stuff, however - these guys seem really cool.
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
I really like Fates Warning, but something about them just doesn't keep me coming back. Like Mosh said, Matheos is a very good, subtle guitarist and great songwriter, Ray Alder is an astounding vocalist, and they've had other musical greats like Mark Zonder, Joey Vera, and Kevin Moore...but the music just doesn't stick with me.

I still throw on Pleasant Shade of Grey from time to time, though.
 

Mosh

The years just pass like trains
Staff member
Pleasant Shade of Grey is the one I have. The other one I'm most familiar with is No Exit I think.

But yea, Pleasant Shade has a lot going for it, but Im rarely motivated to listen to it. So I haven't gotten familiar. But this thread has me curious, so I'm gonna throw it on now!
 

TheSpectreWithin

Pirate of the Undergorund
My second favorite band after Maiden. I love all the eras, but overall prefer original vocalist John Arch. His style is just incredible, but it can take a while to get used to, since he often doesn't follow the rhythm exactly. Alder is great too, but in a different way. Jim Matheos is the man though, he simply doesn't know how to write bad music. He's also a great producer. Listen to the Arch/Matheos album and the latest FW, that is how a progressive/metal album should be produced. Excellent guitar tone and all the instruments are seamlessly mixed together and layered.
 

Deus_Adrian

Prince of the Final Frontier
I love Fates. I think they are better than DT or what they have released is very good just not as prolific. I take Ray over John though I have really enjoyed the Arch/Matheos album. Just the stuff they have done with Ray is more in my wheelhouse. I've been playing the Still Life and Live in Athens releases a ton lately.

Great sounds. Great vision. I just wish there was more.
 

cynick

Invader
My second favorite band after Maiden. I love all the eras, but overall prefer original vocalist John Arch. His style is just incredible, but it can take a while to get used to, since he often doesn't follow the rhythm exactly. Alder is great too, but in a different way. Jim Matheos is the man though, he simply doesn't know how to write bad music. He's also a great producer. Listen to the Arch/Matheos album and the latest FW, that is how a progressive/metal album should be produced. Excellent guitar tone and all the instruments are seamlessly mixed together and layered.
the album in your avatar is just one of the best metal albums ever, and for american power metal it comes second to only Savatage's Hall of the Mountain King (I don't consider Nevermore PM, as their Dreaming Neon Black album is king!). it's interesting how they changed their style right after the No Exit album, from a riff orientated type of metal to a more rockish/popish/progish/choruses with hooks sort of arrangements first, then they have added some darkness to it... that still haven't brought them the popularity they deserved.

and then there's this:

 

terrell39

Ancient Mariner
Why has no one in this thread mentioned the Maiden song Fates Warning on NPFTD? Too bad Maiden never played it live...
Did the band Fates Warning ever open for Maiden?
 

Mosh

The years just pass like trains
Staff member
Been going my CD collection lately and thinking about getting rid of the ones I don't listen to. A Pleasant Shade of Grey is on the list. Anybody want to convince me to give this band another shot before I give up on them? :D What am I missing?
 

Chained Prometheus

The Spiral King
Been going my CD collection lately and thinking about getting rid of the ones I don't listen to. A Pleasant Shade of Grey is on the list. Anybody want to convince me to give this band another shot before I give up on them? :D What am I missing?
Well, first off, I'd ask you what other albums you've heard by Fates Warning? Because while I adore A Pleasant Shade of Grey and am in agreement with many other fans that it's one of their top efforts, it's very important to recognize that Fates Warning is a band that has gone through a lot of musical evolutions over the years.

The first three albums with John Arch are very different from every Ray Alder album, save for No Exit. The rhythm section is more straight-forward on those albums and the riffs are more in the traditional vein of metal. Arch's vocals are very reminiscent of Bruce Dickinson, albeit more nasally sounding and Arch deploys some very creative and complex vocal melodies. The best of these albums is Arch's last, Awaken the Guardian.

No Exit, as I previously said, is the closest sounding Ray album to the Arch era albums. However Ray's vocals are more in line with Rob Halford here (a lot of very high pitched screams present on this album) and the music is far heavier, bordering the line of being a progressive thrash metal album.

Perfect Symmetry is where Fates Warning really became the band that we remember today, with Mark Zonder joining the band as their drummer. The album isn't quite as heavy as No Exit, but it's far more 'progressive' and technical. Ray uses a bit less of his high screams here and begins to take the Geoff Tate approach of using his lower register (something that he does more and more with each album until he fully comes unto his own on APSoG).

Parallels and Inside Out are more melodic and accessible, but also demonstrate plenty of progressive and complex work underneath all the melody. Parallels is the more popular of the two, while Inside Out is a bit darker and moodier. Both are pretty good though.

Then there's A Pleasant Shade of Grey. I personally adore this album and find it to be one of their best works and a highlight in the progressive metal genre. I'd recommend giving it a few more listens, as I think the album is really rewarding, but it's not for everyone. Disconnected is more or less a continuation of that direction, but it's perhaps a bit easier to get into than APSoG? So perhaps try that too?

FWX and Darkness in a Different Light are both alright, but not their best. However their latest album, Theories of Flight, is a top-notch entry and possibly my new favorite from the band.
 
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