Over 35 years ago, Fates Warning was one of the main trailblazers and influencers in the Progressive Metal movement. With so much history, there has been a lot of lineup changes throughout the years, but the band has always been known for its exploration and expansion of the scene. Even today this East Coast act is still examining their special sound. Earlier this month FW released their newest full-length album, Long Day Good Night (Metal Blade Records). These boys went big and completed 13 songs to celebrate their 13th full-length release. The group took their time to dig deep into their assorted inclinations to expose the wealth they found there.
One of the gifts these Progressive veterans demonstrate so well is their ability to smoothly shift between vibes, tempos, and styles. The opening track, ‘The Destination Onward’ immediately exhibits this impressive talent by breaking the piece open with an atmospheric chill that then thaws when the molten and massive guitar work from original member, Jim Matheos kicks in. The crisp riffs he confidently crunches up creates a real sway and vibrancy throughout each song’s movements. Numbers like ‘Shuttered World’ and ‘Scars’ continue to marinate his and his guest guitarist Mike Abdow’s spicy guitar tones. Their grooves and melodies are then accentuated by the fortitude of bass player Joey Vera. His bassline on tracks like ‘The Way Home’ and ‘Glass Houses’ are thick with thunder and finesse.
The album carries a very pensive, yet passionate message about life and destiny. ‘Alone We Walk” and ‘Under the Sun’ exhibit how this act’s songwriting includes strong storytelling. Ray Alder’s rocker rasp unlocks these relatable scenes and emotions that create an approachable vulnerability. The change between somber to severe and back again keeps each song varied and distinctive. ‘When Snow Falls’ is a percussion highlight with guest artist Gavin Harrison gracing the drum set. ‘Now Comes the Rain’ is like a journal entry on self-reflection and carries the moodiness from some of their earlier work. You even get hints from their nineties album, Parallels (Metal Blade Records) on the longest and most epic number, ‘The Longest Shadow of the Day’. The band explores their emotional pulls with an aggressive twist showing off their heavier fangs while still being introspective. The punchy bass work and dynamic drum fills from Bobby Jarzombek crescendo and cultivate the group’s early NWOBHM influences.
While many of these tracks jam and have some powerful demonstrations from each member, overall there isn’t any breaking of new ground on this record. Though it’s not their most innovative work, it’s solid and though it might be a couple songs too long, it’s still an enjoyable journey. FW took their time to revisit some early sounds to celebrate their rich and diverse 35 years’ worth of music. So settle in before you give it a listen. You’ll need to get comfortable for this prolonged, pleasant, and powerful release.
Buy or stream Long Day Good Night here: https://metalblade.com/fateswarning/
7 / 10