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Fates Warning - FWX (CD)

Fates Warning
FWX
by Thodoris Pantazopoulos at 01 November 2004, 5:29 AM

Things are getting really difficult for me lately. After completing the task of reviewing Angra's latest work, I had to get my ears stretched for the most pleasant acoustic torture awaiting me. It's more than overpowering to judge beloved bands and artists that each of them gave you several reasons to love this music and helped you merely to shape your musical culture.
If there's one more name to be said in the -best prog bands- category, besides Dream Theater, that would easily, undoubtedly, fairly be Fates Warning and none other. A band that like another chameleon, changed Its variation from time to time, experimented as very few others only have and gave its own definition to being and acting progressively. Every one of their albums stands as a special event, something that needs to be handled with extra care and affection otherwise the owner is unworthy of its possession and loses 90% of its essence.
From the very first day I had the chance to hear this album, I was completely dedicated to it and, as always, they didn't disappoint me. It's been 4 whole years since the monumental Disconnected and I was really curious to see how the band would move on after such an experimental album.
The truth is that FWX is a much more contained and straightforward album than its predecessor, which was somehow difficult approaching. This time the band is much heavier although the industrial elements (that were first introduced on Disconnected) still take place in some songs, but with secondary presence in order to create the right atmosphere. Someone could accurately claim that this album could be between Pleasant Shade Of Gray and Disconnected, as it seems to combine elements from both albums and it could easily be called as their linchpin.
FWX is a magnificent album that is based on two ingredients: Ray Alder's nailing performance and Jim Matheos' compositional genius. Especially Jim must be covering one of his career's most creative phases; he has come up with some of the best songs he has ever written like Left Here, Heal me, Another Perfect Day,River Wide Ocean Deep and Crawl. Some might be surprised by the guitar's sound, as this time it appears that Jim showed more interest in this section and added plenty of effects and different sounds on it. All I have to say is that this man cannot fail in whatever he copes with; after so many years and he still draws on attention and wonder with his inventive playing style. As for Ray, I won't say anything surprising; he is by far one of the most capable voices out there and his voice brings out emotional shivers with his so personal and unique style.
To be frank with you, I haven't come up yet with a strong, final judgement for FWX. The strict deadlines to deliver reviews sometimes do not allow us to be 100% sure about some albums, so think up how difficult this becomes when it's about such a demanding type of music like in this case. The fact though, that 'till now I've only got good impressions from it means a lot to me, and I believe that as time passes by, its music will grow inside of me and it will obtain its place among their rest masterpieces.
- Album Highlights: Left Here, Heal me, Another Perfect Day,River Wide Ocean Deep, Crawl and A Handful Of Doubt

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Left Here
Simple Human
River Wide Ocean Deep
Another Perfect Day
Heal Me
Sequence #7
Crawl
A Handful Of Doubt
Stranger (With A Familiar Face)
Wish
Lineup:
Jim Matheos - Guitars & Programming
Ray Alder - Vocals
Mark Zonder - Drums
Joey Vera - Bass
Record Label: Metal Blade Records
     


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