Fates Warning - The View From Here - DVD
A piece of documented history with one of my absolute favourite band was a given purchase for me, but after I have seen it I can easily say that this DVD is probably for the most die hard Fates Warning fans. Fates Warning has made nine albums starting with their debut Night On Bröcken (1984) and at that time their music was progressive thrash, but over time the style has progressed and grown, similar to the development that Queensrÿche has done, both bands comes by the way from Seattle. Only original member that is left from the beginning is guitarist and main-composer Jim Matheos and he has been able to do what Queensrÿche hasn't. With every new Fates Warning album the band progresses and continuously they are taking the development with their music further bringing a new challenge for the listener with every new release, something that Queensrÿche not has been able to do for the past ten years.
The first disc is the one that is interesting with videos and live versions of their great history of songs, but it isn't in no way complete. Where is the stuff with former vocalist John Arch? The great vocalist that made a small comeback with the mini-CD Twist Of Fate earlier this year, he was singing on the first three albums with Fates Warning and I cant tell whether they made any videos or not from that era but there must at least be some live recording with him. Only track to find from one of the first three albums is Prelude To Ruin that can be found on Awaken The Guardian (1986), but in a live version recorded in 1998 and therefor without John Arch.
I really enjoy watching the video versions and the old live stuff, but the newer live-recordings leaves more to wish for, I have yet to see Fates Warning live in real life but after seeing this I'm not so shure they are that great live, the later recordings are from the Dynamo Festival and the band doesn't seem to be too excited over performing live (read more a bit down about disc II).
It is also included two small documentaries where the first one from the recording of their album Parallels (1991) is basically a poor quality, 5 minute home-video from the studio not giving you any real information worth hanging on to. Last track on the disc is on the other hand much better and gives you a better insight on the recording of their latest album Disconnected (2000) and it also has interviews with a couple of former bandmembers, great information for the department of worthless knowing that I eagerly consume but perhaps not that interesting for someone who isn't familiar with the band.
The second disc is a recording from their performance at Dynamo from 1998 and this one you could have done without I'm sad to say, nine tracks with a band that seems to be uninspired. The music is performed great but when they doesn't look like they want to be upon stage it makes no fun to watch. But then you can always plug in your DVD-player to your stereo and listen to it without watching, it becomes a little bit better that way. The fact that the concert was shot in daylight also takes away some of the concert feeling, it usually gets better at night when its dark and the spotlights on stage can be seen. Ray Alder has one of the greatest voices in my opinion but on this occasion it doesn't seem to be on top, but you cannot complain about the song material, this band definitely knows how a great song is done.
The band member listed at the top are those that are in the band today and performing at Dynamo on the second disc, apart from Jason Keazer that is not an member of the band but appears on some of the live tracks, this DVD spans over several years of their career and changes has occurred in the line-up, and if you want to know more about those changes I suggest you check out their website.
See also review of: FWX