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Fates Warning

When prog rock first reared its head during the early '70s, it contained elements of hard rock, but few bands crossed the line into heavy metal. This all changed during the '80s, when bands such as Dream Theater, Watchtower, and Fates Warning merged their love of Yes and Rush with their admiration for Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. Formed in Hartford, Connecticut in 1983, Fates Warning have endured quite a few lineup changes since their inception, with the exception of guitarist Jim Matheos, who has been present through it all. Starting off as a straight-ahead metal band (their progressive side didn't show up until a few years later), Fates Warning built up a regional following, which soon led to a recording contract with metal indie label Metal Blade. With vocals being handled by John Arch, Fates Warning issued such titles as 1984's Night on Brocken, 1985's The Spectre Within, and 1986's Awaken the Guardian, the latter of which became the first record from the group to appear on the Billboard album charts.

Wanting to break out of a somewhat one-dimensional metal sound, Arch was dismissed in 1987 and replaced with Ray Alder. The move immediately paid off for Fates Warning, as their music (and lyrics/subject matter) became much more complex and challenging. The band's first recording with Alder, 1988's No Exit, would go on to become their highest-charting album ever (peaking at number 111), and was followed up a year later with Perfect Symmetry, as well as an inaugural tour of Europe. The early '90s saw Fates Warning focus primarily on touring (only one album was issued during a several-year span, 1991's Parallels), although Matheos did issue a solo album in 1993, First Impressions. In 1994 the group issued Inside Out, which was supported with a U.S. tour alongside Dream Theater (at a hometown gig in Connecticut, former frontman Arch joined the band on-stage). The band's first best-of compilation, Chasing Time, followed a year later, as did appearances on tribute albums for Rush (Working Man) and Judas Priest (Legends of Heavy Metal), which helped buy Fates Warning time as they began composing the most challenging album of their career. It was also around this time that former Armored Saint bassist Joey Vera joined the group (although he was originally thought to be a temporary replacement, Vera was still present several years later).

Finally issued in 1997, Pleasant Shade of Gray took the extended suite style of 2112 and Tales from Topographic Oceans to a new extreme, as the album was comprised of a single hourlong song (broken down into 12 different untitled sections). The very first live release by Fates Warning, Still Life, was issued in 1998, while Matheos issued a solo release the following year (Away with Words) and Alder, having formed a side project, Engine, recorded an eponymous CD. Fates Warning continue strong into the 21st century, as evidenced by 2000's studio album Disconnected and further extensive touring -- including a set of summer dates in 2003 alongside prog metal comrades Queensrÿche and Dream Theater. The band marked its 20th anniversary with the release of FWX in 2004. Though Fates Warning continued to tour, it would be nine years before they released another album, with their 11th outing, Darkness in a Different Light, finally arriving in 2013. ~ Greg Prato
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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John Arch was one of the greatest vocalists in metal/prog metal...and Awaken the Guardian is a masterpiece (Spectre within is awesome too)
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I love knowing that frank was in a band with my friend matt that used to be in a band with me. I'm so proud of him! And it was nice to meet frank at eganstock... k n o w i n g that he was in fates, but was playing at that party. Go kobra kai and shadows fall! Love u matt!
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Woke up in santa monica hospital they let me out had my stuff and two pipes nice.bb.
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metalnorm
I've really loved this band for a lot of years now. And yes, they're still putting out great music
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Awaken the guardian is such a timeless album. Love Archs' vocals on this album. That album defines everything about ProgMetal in the 80s.
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Love FW but anything post No Exit, sucks. I know they are super talented, but quit trying to throw your technical genius in my face and just make good metal music. They are supposed to be "ProgMetal" not soft rock. And Dream Theatre blows this band away. At least they still make metal.
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dougcrowley. t s s i
Eleventh Hour
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Perfect !!!
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YES! I AM. Awesome to hear new FW. Play More!
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They're playing stuff from the new album? Mind blown!
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also check out the band hellaween keeper of the seven keys 1 and 2
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night on broken is the best, this band takes the face off it all, 25 year love affair with them
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1971 needs to listen to Arch/Matheos ' "sympathetic resonance". It's amazing. Still prefer Ray Alder, though.
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I heard of this band forever then finally found No Exit on Cassette tape. I played this album more then any other I think. Since I have every album. Love this band
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tx.cavediver
Fates fan for 30 yrs. EVERYTHING they do is awesome! Alders other project Redemption is AWSOME!
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Greatest Progmetal band ever.
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Every album is incredible in it's own way. However, I disagree with Pleasant Shade of Grey being the masterwork. I think their best was Perfect Symmetry.
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i love anything fw, no exit being one of my favs, Ray is my favorite prog singer ever!
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fates was great in their day. so underrated.
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MORE ARCH... LESS EVERYONE ELSE!!!!! What ever happened to Arch anyway?????
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How is awaken up here and not no exit? they still didn't ad it.
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you gotta e-mail them and tell them what albums to add--they will
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rich.powell1 3
Truly disappointin g selection. Night On Brocken, Scepter Within, No Exit, and Perfect Symmetry need to be here! Curious that only Awaken the Gaurdian made the list. At least they have one of the old gems!
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My dad introduced me to them. Love them now, and my dad is trying to find all of the casettes he had of them.
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charlzm
LOVE Fate's Warning. I was so lucky to open up for them (with my band Final Gravity) at The Avalon in Hollywood in March 2010. Here's hoping the "reunion" tour leads to something more than good memories.
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the fate lies in ower hands no exit
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bradstem
Progwizardry is right... inside out and no exit are also a necessity... all fates warning need added.
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Pandora- you guys HAVE to add Disconnected , Perfect Symmetry, Parellels, A Pleasant Shade Of Gray, and X.
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I´ll like to know if there are some concert now a days in US or Mexico
Some body can help me please? Í´m Javier PIñon from México City
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j.m.procell
Definitely have to have No Exit
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@ fujeeznchort e e z :

I got APSOG and No Exit, as well as Perfect Symmetry. Great band!
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Not sure how I could've grown up in the 80s listening to all the popular hair and NWOBHM bands and somehow missed Fates Warning. Amazing.
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o2shredder: Get "No Exit."
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Dream Theater gets way too much credit for a sound that was originally forged by Fates Warning. "very often fans and critics credit Dream Theater for creating a whole new genre of progressive metal music in the late '80s/early '90s, . . . but the truth is Fates Warning were doing it years before us." -Mike Portnoy
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awaken the guardian is kickass ray was pretty young voice is on point
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Well established FW fans: I'm considering getting PSOG as my first Fates Warning album. I'm pretty in to prog, so thought I would go with their most ambitious album to date. Is this a good one to start with?
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First I've heard of them...reall y like this.
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Parallels,an d insideout are on my wish list.Heads up PIR!
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Ray Alder is in a band called "Redemption" now. If you like F.W. check 'em out! They are a great Prog Metal band!
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My favorites are Parallels, No Exit, Perfect Symmetry, and of course PSOG.
And for fujeeznchort e e z . . . s e r i o u s l y . . . c o m p a r i n g DT to FW?

Apples and oranges my friend...
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Gotta LEAVE a comment... my faves are The Jon Arch era.. and Spectre Within is a masterpiece in this swines eyes.


Pleasant Shade of Grey is a fine effort, just like Arch Better than Alder
Report as inappropriate
Two albums! Come on this is a travesty. These guys are very significant to the modern Prog Scene.

Get with it. There are like 6 albums missing here. This is a diservice for such a great band.
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curtidan
nope.. Saw them in concert 2005 House of Blues in Disney.. With Dream Theater

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maxhammer200 5
Does anyone know what happened to these guys ??
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I absolutely LOVE this band. I bought "No Exit" in junior high, and it holds up to this day. Dream Theater owes it's everything to this band(though they don't even come close to being in the same ballpark as these guys) Im just bummed I never got a chance to see them live...
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maxhammer200 5
Brilliant Band ! New slant to Progressive Power Metal- wonderful capricious dynamics, time changes, solos, superb vocals- subtle but magnificent interplay between keys and guitar. Love you guys !! Thanks !! Thanx Pandora !!
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fatherthing
No Exit is the most underrated album, except among we, the chosen few...
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A pleasant shade of gray is my favorite FW album. Very dark and melodic. Wonder what Jim Matheos is up to these days. The guy's a genius.
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The Spectre Within, is one of my favorite albums ever !!! A Pioneering (Metal) Record in my opinion...
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more albums please!
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