Thursday, October 17, 2013


Fates Warning - Darkness In A Different Light
reviewed by Grownman

Fates Warning's new release "Darkness In A Different Light" came across my desk last week. To be honest, I've never really connected with many "prog" rock or metal bands. They always came off to me like "Musician's Music" and lord knows I'm not a musician in any reasonable sense. I figured I'd give it a quick listen, hit a song with too much technicality and end up tossing back on a Pantera cd. My taste in metal is sometimes "Meat and Potatoes". Surprisingly I was quite pleased with what I heard.

So let's get to the music...
"One Thousand Fires" is a great opener. Even at over 7 minutes I was not bored. The vocals reminded me a bit of Chuck Schuldiner's cadence in Control Denied. The guitar work is exceptional as is the underlying bass/drum performance that's much more rhythmic than technical. "Firefly" follows the same pattern. Nice groovey riffs, great singing and it has a nice edge that I don't find in many progressive songs. "Desire" has this cool dreary reverb that sets the tone of the second shortest tune on the release. "Falling" is a simple acoustic tune about reflection and friendship. It's a nice switch before the Tool-like bassy dirge of "I AM" kicks in. The drumming alone is worth the price of admission on this rocker. "Lighthouse" is a slow acoustic tune which is pretty forgettable. As much as it tries to be eerie it comes out off pretty monotonous. "Into the Black" has a bit of a Sevendust feel to it before a long solo appears at the half way point. It's much more of a rock song than metal but it is crafted very well. "Kneel and Obey" has a cool Alice in Chains grunge feel to it right down to the dirty solo towards the end of the track.  "O Chloroform" is an epic tune from the ominous lyrics to the grinding riffs. "And yet it moves" opens with a beautiful classical acoustic piece and slams headlong into the heaviest playing on the whole cd. There's a lot more instrumentation on this, culminating with a false ending and then the vocals kick in. It's a real ballsy closer and if it was positioned earlier in the mix I honestly probably would've stopped listening to the cd because it'd be hard to top an epic 14 minute song like this.

I'm truly impressed with the cd. Fates Warning were able to create an album that touches on some of the elements of mid to late 90's metal bands(not just prog) and at the same time never sound dated. It takes the "prog" blue print and spins it on it's head being much more rock than metal. This material is relevant and trumps the latest efforts of bands like Queensryche and Dream Theater. I'm probably still not a total prog metal fan but I have found at least one band that didn't put me to sleep or have me switching on some Cowboys from Hell.

Fates Warning Official Site

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