I’m probably stepping in to a gigantic pool here as I know Fates Warning is a much loved, long-running band but I’ve always been sort of turned off by these excessively heady, extremely progressive forms of metal and rock. In my mind Fates Warning exists in the same realm as Queensryche or Dream Theater or even Rush. Super nerdy, progressive music more concerned with being clever or intricate than actually writing good songs. Well, it came to my attention that Fates earlier sound was more in line with power metal, and I love 80′s American power metal so I gave this a go.
It’s pretty fucking killer.
There is, of course, the progressive elements. I would say the core of it is power metal, but forward thinking. It’s technical but not in the flashy show off way, now one could argue that power metal is showy in the first place and that’s part of it’s charm, and sure, there are those moments, especially with the lead singer, but I feel the music comes first and is striking a good balance of rocking the fuck out and being proficient. Speaking of the lead singer, these songs are like fucking novels. They rarely repeat verses and he just goes for almost the whole song. I didn’t really delve into the themes or if theres a concept at work here but the album itself is catchy as fuck, engaging and a little bewildering at times.
I guess the lead singer left after this one and the band started down their progressive path more intently but I can’t speak to that, I just know this one is damn fine power metal with a distinct twist.