Fates Warning - Originally known as " Misfit", their earlier albums had a distinct Iron Maiden influence and sound, although since their first album release in 1984, they've progressed and matured to become one of the genre's most respected bands, demonstrating some very good songwriting and music ability from guitarist and principal songwriter Jim Matheos, who also has a stunning solo album to his name. Vocalist Ray Alder and Queensryche's Geoff Tate must rate as amongst the best in the world today, next to Mollo/Martin-Giuntini Project's Tony Martin. Fates Warning released a stunning double live album a short while ago, and this was followed by an excellent video of the same concert.

Fates Warning 
Fates Warning - Eye to Eye, from "Parallels" in 1991, their 6th album. Formed in Cincinatti, Ohio, in the US in 1982, initially as Misfit, the original line up consisted of Jim Matheos and Victor Arduini on guitars, John Arch on vocals, Joe DiBiase on bass and Steve Zimmerman on drums. Their debut album, "Night on Broken", was released in 1984 and it demonstrated the band's Iron Maiden influences. Shortly after it's release, Arduini left to be replaced by Frank Aresti. Later albums such as "The Spectre Within", "Awaken the Guardian" and "No Exit" saw them move into a more progressive metal area. Some important line-up changes included vocalist Ray Alder replacing John Arch and Mark Zonder replacing Steve Zimmerman on drums. Around about the time of the band's "Perfect Symmetry" album in 1989, Fates Warning had built up a reputation as one of the US's most promising and popular progressive metal bands, with Jim Matheos writing most of their material. Comparisons with Queensryche were not uncommon as the quality of their songwriting was i mproving with each new release, as was evident with the release of "Inside Out" in 1994, the brilliant conceptual "A Pleasant Shade of Gray" in 1997( featuring Armoured Saint's Joey Vera on bass and Dream Theatre's Kevin Moore on keys), the double "Still Life" album in 1998 and, probably their best album, last year's "Disconnected". Matheos' solo albums, "First Impressions" and "Away with Words" are also worth checking out. 

 

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Biography by Greg Prato
When prog rock first reared its head during the early '70s it contained elements of hard rock, but few bands crossed the line into heavy metal. This all changed during the '80s, when bands such as Dream Theater, Watchtower, and Fates Warning merged their love of Yes and Rush with their admiration for Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. Formed in Hartford, Connecticut in 1983, Fates Warning has endured quite a few lineup changes since its inception, with the exception of guitarist Jim Matheos, who has been present through it all. Starting off as a straight-ahead metal band (their progressive side didn't show up until a few years later), Fates Warning built a regional following which soon led to a recording contract with metal indie label Metal Blade. With vocals being handled by John Arch, Fates Warning issued such titles as 1984's Night on Brocken, 1985's The Spectre Within, and 1986's Awaken the Guardian, the latter of which became the first record from the group to appear on the Billboard album charts. Wanting to break out of a somewhat one-dimensional metal sound, Arch was dismissed in 1987 and replaced with Ray Alder. The move immediately paid off for Fates Warning, as their music (and lyrics/subject matter) became much more complex and challenging. The band's first recording with Alder, 1988's No Exit, would go on to become their highest charting album ever (peaking at number 111), and was followed up a year later with Perfect Symmetry, as well as an inaugural tour of Europe. The early '90s saw Fates Warning focus primarily on touring (only one album was issued during a several-year span, 1991's Parallels), although Matheos did issue a solo album in 1993, First Impressions. 1994 saw the group issue Inside Out, which was supported with a U.S. tour alongside Dream Theater (at a hometown gig in Connecticut, former frontman Arch joined the band on-stage). The band's first best-of compilation, Chasing Time, followed a year later, as did appearances on tribute albums for Rush (Working Man) and Judas Priest (Legends of Heavy Metal), which helped buy the band time as they began composing the most challenging album of their career. It was also around this time that former Armored Saint bassist Joey Vera joined the group (although he was originally thought to be a temporary replacement, Vera was still present several years later). Finally issued in 1997, Pleasant Shade of Gray took the extended suite style of 2112 and Tales from Topographic Oceans to a new extreme, as the album was comprised of a single, hour-long song (broken down into 12 different, untitled sections). The very first live release by Fates Warning, Still Life, was issued in 1998, while Matheos issued a solo releases the following year (Away with Words) and Alder, having formed a side project, Engine, recorded an eponymous CD. Fates Warning continues strong into the 21st century, as evidenced by 2000s studio album Disconnected, and further extensive touring — including a set of summer dates in 2003 alongside prog metal comrades Queensrÿche and Dream Theater. 

 

Terry Brown
Ray Alder
John Arch
Frank Aresti
Joe DiBiase
Steve Zimmerman
Jim Matheos
Mark Zonder
Victor Arduini

Labyrinth
In Extremo
Tesla
Queensrÿche
Dokken
Dream Theater
Clockhammer
Leatherwolf
Crimson Glory

If you have any contribution to make to this band or something to add, email me - Japie Marais.

 

 

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Fates Warning - 1984 - Night on Brocken - 2/5

Fates Warning - 1985 - The Spectre Within - 2/5

Fates Warning - 1986 - Awaken the Guardian - 3/5

Fates Warning - 1988 - No Exit - 4/5

Fates Warning - 1989 - Perfect Summetry - 4/5

Fates Warning - 1991 - Parallels - 2.5/5

Fates Warning - 1994 - Inside Out - 2.5/5

Fates Warning - 1997 - Pleasant Shade of Gray - 2.5/5

Fates Warning - 1998 - Still Life - 3/5

Fates Warning - 2000 - Disconnected - 4/5

Fates Warning - 2004 - FWX - 3/5

Fates Warning - 2005 - Awaken the Guardian (Bonus DVD) - 3/5

Rating

 

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