Rating:
9.0
Fates Warning - FWX
5 October 2004


01. Left Here
02. Simple Human
03. River Wide Ocean Deep
04. Another Perfect Day
05. Heal Me
06. Sequence # 7
07. Crawl
08. A Handful Of Doubt
09. Stranger (With A Familiar Face)
10. Wish


I was really curious about the way this band sounds in 2004. And my curiosity was granted with something solid. This band I am talking here is one of the leading forces in the progressive metal field of today.
My first point on this album relates to the title: why FWX? i.e. "Fates Warning X"... I never really could understand what this fascination for "band X" exists: Eternity X (good band, no word against) or Planet X, being few of such bands. I don't complain on this issue, though. It's the music who's important.
The first track, "Left Here" is supposed to contain one of the catchiest choruses on the album. And the thing that strikes mostly is the guitar: heavy riffs, different arrangements. No doubt, that's one of the best points of the album.
A catchy chorus contains also the second song, "Simple Human". Man, the vocal is talking there of "deconstruction". Quite interesting.
The third track, "River Wide Ocean Deep" is a continuous balance between acoustic & electronic passages with heavier guitar parts.
The next track, "Another Perfect Day" resembles a bit of the intro of "In Absentia" album (Porcupine Tree), I mean "Blackest Eyes": energic guitar riffs, then a mellow parenthesis, and then the chorus: "Another Perfect Day/And I will walk away…". Really great. In fact, I can't help to think of that track of the British progressive band: it's a similarity between their riffs. Wait, I'm not saying they were copying anything from Porcupine Tree, because it's not accurate. Even this track proves their ability of composing great songs.
Speaking of (subjective) similarities, well, "Heal Me" opens with some riffs that sound familiar to me, again. I think I'm obsessed. The voice performs a great task on this part: so clear & powerful. And the solos are also great. The acoustic passages from this song are really intriguing: I suppose there is a certain "Oriental" (Chinese, perhaps?) influence on them. And it's great; the song ends following the same musical theme as in the beginning of it.
"Sequence" opens with strange electronic arrangements. Good they don't last for long: it is followed by the mighty guitar. Really, speaking once again on similarities, I remind here of "Taunted Cobras" of Savatage ("Handful of Rain" album), and its power, both in composition and vocal performance. Don't shoot me, and, please, don't get angry on me.
"A Handful of Doubt" is the next track, also, opening with an acoustic passage and a calmer voice. I think this is the calm side of the FWX, along with the last track, "Wish". But they are not ballads, in the regular sense of word.
"Stranger" seems to follow the same way of composition, without being predictable: tough guitars, and then the chorus. It's a powerful voice there, and it seems it leaves you the time to breath, till the next chorus.

What's interesting in FW, generally, and especially on this album is the guitar work: after few listenings, you would be able to recognize and enjoy the riffs, which are so catchy and well inserted. The solos are very inspired. And "weird" on FWX is the fact it's a simple, and also complex, in the same time. You would be able to valuate this release, one of the best in the progressive field for the current year, just after some careful auditions.
Mentioning here similarities, I've read somewhere these days a weird comparison with Toll. I admit, I used to listen seldom to that American band. Honestly, I couldn't find common points between Tool and FW. It's just the fact this album, FWX, it's an "update" version of FW we already know. For 2004? Perhaps, but that doesn't diminish the inherent musical value of the band, proving the ability of a successful come-back.
It's just hard to rank such an album. I meant to write down my opinions, I would give it a 9 rank. Speaking of highlights, it would be better to listen to the whole album.


Band profile: Fates Warning
Album: FWX


 


written by janhuss | 18.10.2004


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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BloodTears - 18.09.2007 at 18:36  
All I can say that is that is album is beautiful. And that voice is so moving...
If you like progressive rock and progressive metal I think you need to listen to this!
treptolemus - 09.09.2009 at 17:03  
This most recent release of Fates Warning: FWX (the tenth (X) full studio album of mr. Matheos et. al) is an effort from the band that signifies an end of an era, in my opinion. Here the songs are very well constructed, talking about various themes (enigmatic-allegorical-spiritual-social oriented). Ofcourse the careful listener will distinguish some platonic ideas throughout the lyrics, and also expressions of feelings such as the dead end - desolation- frustration (that organised religion for example is leading the modern society & human beings ).
The final song is a ballad called "Wish", that somehow works as a conclusion & relieves the tension of the whole album. Keyboards & sound samples create a result, that combines well with the guitars, the precise drumming & the vocals...
Let's hope that this will not be their final release...

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