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Fates Warning - Theories Of Flight Award winner

Fates Warning
Theories Of Flight
by Yngwieviking at 20 August 2016, 12:41 PM

Always truthfully regarded as true genius among artists, cited frequently in early precursors, and rightfully respected as one of the most influencial acts in memory and easily quoted as an angular piece of the US avant-gardist scene : FATES WARNING is indeed an important band in the rich history of the Progressive Rock genre…However they don’t sleep on their glorious past .

After their triumphant return, the boys, around former guitarist Jim Matheos and frontman Ray Alder, has reiterated their exploits and recently performed one of their highlights moments, sucessfully outmatching themselves, refined their old reputation and even adding a new luxury page on their own golden book!

On July 1st, Legendary American Progressive Metal Pioneers FATES WARNING released their much-anticipated twelfth work, under the enigmatic title of "Theories Of Flight"…A pure marvel. My advice is to hurry-up and grab it, as this studio album along with the regular CD edition, is also available to purchase as a 2 disc media book via InsideOut Music; the package containing acoustic renditions among them 3 covered tracks and 3 terrifickly reworked songs!

After only 6 minutes into the first track, you could be totally convinced of the absolute priority of owning this jewel and the obvious urge to rank it to the top pinnacle of your musical library, but most of all, you should be , by the necessity to praise it around the whole world, the need to spend the name of such a beautiful piece of music, a masterpiece of the most subtle breed of Rock that we are calling Progressive Metal even if the word is now restricted by its own conception!

The amazing quality of "Theories of Flight" is that it clearly fits up in the highest parameters of excellency of FATES WARNING with their trademark prominence pushed to the max. And sharing a melodic purity with simple elegance and sheer genius in cleverness, everything is set in order to be ranked at the Everest of the 2016's Top releases, (still just a Prognosis) even creating an immense surprise by beating at its own game, the latest yet very good "The Art Of Loss" by REDEMPTION (A very successful & recommended Ray Alder side project)

Yes, the follow-up to the already strong 2013’s “Darkness in a Different Light” it's so  good!!!

Yes, "Theories Of Flight" is so smart and delicate that it can compete smoothly with any glorious iconic classics from the FATES WARNING’s legacy in their back-catalog with such acclaimed masterpieces as “Awaken the Guardian”/“Inside Out”/”Perfect Symmetry”/”Parallels” or my personal reference ”No Exit” (1988).

The full “Theories Of Flight" project, was updated to match the highest focus out of the uplifting current contenders, produced brilliantly by mastermind guitarist Jim Matheos with the helping hand behind the mixing desk/mastering board of famed engineer Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios in Sweden…To complete this perfect artistic canvas, the stunning cover artwork was created by Michigan artist Graceann Warn.

Maybe less introspective and melancholic than the darkest creative mood of the album “A Pleasant Shade of Gray” (1997), the tone of the music and lyrics seems to be lighter but running through this on its full lengthy, some demanding elements are still remarquably present and keep awake the conscience of complexity retained within its essence!

This album is still filled with ambitious arrangements, plenty of gloomy atmospheric, enhanced with their typical sound effects (the final instrumental title track), and sophisticated atmospheres set in their etheral & poetic sadness. And just the right amount of dramatic harmonies, and even a rarely so intense & virtuose instrumental demonstration, enlightened by an impressive intricacy mastered in a layered method with many textures of electric & acoustic guitar, unmistakable within the immediate catchiness of the magnificent “Seven Stars” (with notably a great six strings blast cameo added by touring lead guitarist Michael Abdow in duo with returning member Frank Aresti) or the obvious killer hooklines behind the groove driven tempo of “White Flag” and the fierce riffage of “Like Stars Our Eyes Have Seen” (barely seen before approach with heavy guitar parts, crossing the boundaries edges of ferocity and aggression).

Perhaps, it looks like if melodically, some will argue that FATES WARNING expands its sonic realm to something more accessible ("S.O.S.") but ironically, it's the opposing truth, manifesting since the opening number “From the Rooftops”, which is built in a well known concept, a more familiar and classic archetype, sometimes depressive or somber, often quite matured in an exponential whirlwind of textures, in the complicated frame of the FATES WARNING signature style. As well, it’s filled with stacatto pulsating guitar riffs, intricate rhythms and suddenly losing this impression of supposed wide broad spectrum illusion with the longer song “The Ghosts Of Home”, which is another typical awesome workout, with the finest guitar line in the reccuring leading theme, but only because it's being embelished by Bobby Jarzombek's performance, the equally challenging risky and groovy drum line in duo with Joey Vera rumbling Bass riff, and of course as always Ray Alder’s soaring vocals. The skilled vocalist also shines proudly on the lengthy splendour of “The Light and Shade of Things”…This could be easily rated as the Proggy album of the year, as this coherent conception is on par with the FATES WARNING glorious renown and pretty symbolic of its resurrection…Don't miss it!

Production: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Memorability: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
CD 1
1. From The Rooftops
2. Seven Stars
3. SOS
4. The Light And Shade Of Things
5. White Flag
6. Like Stars Our Eyes Have Seen
7. The Ghosts Of Home
8. Theories of Flight
CD 2 – Acoustic Bonus Disc:
1. Firefly (previously unreleased)
2. Seven Stars (previously unreleased)
3. Another Perfect Day (previously unreleased)
4. Pray Your Gods (TOAD THE WET SPROCKET cover)
5. Adela (JOAQUIN RODRIGO cover)
6. Rain (URIAH HEEP cover)
Lineup:
Ray Alder - Vocals
Jim Matheos - Guitars
Joey Vera - Bass
Bobby Jarzombek - Drums
Record Label: Insideout Music
     


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