Fates Warning - FWX
They have come along way, Fates Warning. There is not much that is the same as on their debut Night on Bröcken from 1984. The only remaining member from the start, Jim Matheos is steering this band with a steady hand, creating all the music and lyrics apart from some lyrical input from vocalist Ray Alder. Fates Warning is carrying on in the same style and with a mood similar to where they last left us with Disconnected (2002) and combined with the harder edge from the album before that, A Pleasant Shade Of Grey (1997).
On the surface this album might not seem so particularly great, repetitive melodylines and mostly songs that you are waiting for to start, but just listen - and then I really mean listen - to it, and it will grip you so hard that you won't be able to let go of this album. It is intelligent music with an intriguing twist as it is full of little things to discover. Just close your eyes and let the music sweep you away, it does bring you to wonderland.
The opening Left Here gives you a warm and soft welcome and the guitar is cutting through with how Jim Matheos playing, pushing the sound forward, slow but with a flow constantly moving forward. And the flow is an important issue, there is always something keeping the music flowing, whether it is the brilliant bass lines from Joey Vera, or the drumming from Mark Zonder, which is just as vital and intelligent as always. I miss the playing from Kevin Moore (ex-Dream Theater) though, which has helped out on earlier albums, but now Jim Matheos takes on all of the keyboards by himself and even if it sounds good, it is not as good as on previous albums. And regarding Ray Alder, once again he proves that he is one of the better vocalists there is to be found.
A little tougher songs can be found in Crawl, Simple Human and Stranger (With A Familiar Face), still following the same patterns as the rest but with a faster approach and rougher finish. Fates Warning has made a calm and emotional album, not as challenging as their later albums but I simply can't stop listening to FWX. Usually there is too many slow and calmer songs for me to like this, even for Fates Warning. But there is something gripping me and not letting go, I cant get enough of this. It feels like I am never gonna get tired of this one, as I still haven't had enough of their last album Disconnected. FWX, by the way, means that this is the tenth album from Fates Warning.
also review of: The
View From Here