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Fates Warning - Long Day, Good Night Award winner

Fates Warning
Long Day, Good Nights
by Jean-François Poulin at 29 September 2020, 11:59 AM

FATES WARNING are a Progressive Metal quartet from Hartford, Connecticut. This is their third album in 7 years, which is surprising because they haven’t been the most active band the last two decades or so. It took them nine long years to get out ‘’Darkness in a Different Light’’ back in 2013. They usually take their time for the recording and writing of each album and a lot of the members of the band are in other bands and projects. Ray Alder left the reigns of REDEMPTION to Tom Englund from EVERGREY and he is 100 percent focused on FATES WARNING nowadays. This is their 13th full length album in 36 years of existence.

It's a known fact I have been a big fan of FATES WARNING for well over 20 years. I discovered them with the ‘’Pleasant Shade of Grey’’ album in 2000 and I was instantly hooked. I decided to buy the rest of the discography after listening to this magnum opus. Ray Alder is one of the best Metal vocalist of all time in my humble opinion, great range, great voice and just an emotional vibe about his style. I know that a lot of people disconnected (pun intended) from the band because they weren’t very productive the last 15 years including me. I felt slighted even though I am a huge fan of OSI and REDEMPTION, the main side projects of the band. I would have loved to have more albums from FATES WARNING during that span.

You have to give it to Joey Vera, the bassist of FATES WARNING. He worked hard on this album at the same he was recording and writing an album with ARMORED SAINT. He has been a great bass player for over 25 years and has been under the radar for such a long time. He replaced Frank Bello on some shows for ANTHRAX a few years back and he might the most underrated Bass player in all of Metal.

It's writing another chapter of the band pretty much, I love where they are at in 2020. Every album feels updated enough but has that classic sound of FATES WARNING. I did not listen to much of the last two albums but I had to give myself the chance to do it because of this release. It seems super organic, it’s a natural progression of the band also. Where the tradition lies of the sound of the band is intact and they don’t feel to dwell on the past and they keep an eye on the future. It’s not always easy to repeat yourself but they don’t overthink the album and it seems they have total freedom in what they do.

When you have been at it for more than 35 years, they are allowed liberties and when they are truly inspired, they decide to write. It’s probably why they did not release a lot of music in the last 20 years, they are not in a hurry but when they do feel the need to create, they are unmatched in the genre, maybe DREAM THEATER are in the same category or even PERSEFONE. You come to realize that this band that they write challenging music, the amount of effort put into one single song is equal to some bands that do it for a full album. You come to expect what FATES WARNING delivers, mid-tempo Progressive Metal with a singer that has the power to move you and on this album, it’s no exception obviously.

The lyrical content is on point, Jim Matheos is one of the very best lyricist in Progressive Metal. You recognize the quality of the sentences, the way he arranges the words. There is a lot of thought put into every FATES WARNING album. Ray Alder is able to bring to life these lyrics and puts so much emotion in his delivery, he brings those lyrics to another dimension. The album is written with an even flow of emotion, you wanna hear it from start to finish, it really sucks you in at the beginning and never really lets you go. The track listing seems very smooth and the transition is seamless. You have to pay attention to everything that is going on to really grasp the message of the band on this album.

The first single ‘’Scars’’ is very representative of the album, I think it was the right choice as the first song that was sent out. Someone without scars has not lived his life to its fullest. You get hurt, you heal and you scar. Life has a tendency of being quite hard and we get hurt, emotionally and physically. It’s how we deal with it and how we learn from the scars we have. Sometimes it takes time to heal, especially the scars on our heart and the trials and tribulations of life gets at you. The production by Joe Beressi is on point and it’s as good as the production of the ARMORED SAINT album.

The album has bit of everything for the listener, some more ballad-esque songs, you have your mid-tempo songs but you have songs that could have fit on the very heavy ‘’Disconnected’’ album that came out in 2000. It’s really diverse for the listener, they did pick a bit of influence on the first albums with Ray Alder but like I said beforehand, they have an eye on the future and they try different things.

This is by far my favorite album of the last 3 they put out. They have their unique style and identity in Progressive Metal, when you hear them, you know exactly who they are. They are not the overly technical Heavy Prog we have like bands like DREAM THEATER, they have another approach to their music. Great singer, great lyrics and 72 minutes that pass by so freakin’ fast. It’s that good my friends.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Destination Onward
2. Shuttered World
3. Alone We Walk
4. Now Comes the Rain
5. They Way Home
6. Under the Sun
7. Scars
8. Begin Again
9. When Snow Falls
10. Liar
11. Glass Houses
12. The Longest Shadow of the Day
13. The Last Song
Lineup:
Jim Matheos – Guitars
Joey Vera – Bass
Bobby Jarzombek – Drums
Ray Alder – Vocals
Record Label: Metal Blade Records
     


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