Album Reviews

Fates Warning – Darkness In A Different Light Review


Released by: Inside Out Music

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre: Progressive Meta/Rock



Line Up:

Jim Matheos

Ray Alder

Joey Vera

Bobby Jarzombek

Frank Aresti



01. One Thousand

02. Firefly

03. Desire

04. Falling

05. I Am

06. Lighthouse

07. Into The Black

08. Kneel And Obey

09. O Chloroform

10. And Yet It Moves


After almost 10 years of no music, Fates Warning is finally back and sounding better than ever. I’ve never known many fence sitters about this band: either people love them fanatically or they hate them with a passion. From my perspective I don’t see how someone can’t love this band, but as a lover of most things in the prog world maybe I’m biased. Of course the greatest division in the bands fans is the Arch vs Alder debate. Admittedly, the band has little resemblance from their early days as one of the originators of what would become the Power Metal scene with John Arch as their vocalist. His sprawling vocal acrobatics set the band apart from pretty much everyone else in the metal scene back then. When Ray Alder replaced him on No Exit the changes were already under way. Not only was his voice significantly different, but musically they were moving more from a heavier sound to a more progressive hard rock style. I love both era’s of the band, but Alder is the guy I prefer fronting the band.

On their new album Darkness In A Different Light, Ray still shines vocally, and the band have melded the A Pleasant Shade of Gray and Disconnected era with the Perfect Symmetry and Parallels days into the perfect blend of Fates Warning. Other than Ray’s brilliant voice, the thing that always struck me about the band was the guitar work of Jim Matheos and Frank Aresti. Both men are exceptional players with abilities to shred beyond comprehension, but what has worked best for them is the way they compliment each other, layering their guitars to create a “soundscape” no other band is capable of doing. From lush, quiet passages to overdriven power parts that create a sound so unique, which is why Fates Warning have always been one of my favorite bands. I love how on this album they continue making dark, complex music that is at once haunting and uplifting. Tracks like “Falling,” “Desire,” “Into the Black,” and “And Yet It Moves” are simply brilliant, and show that despite such a long dormant period, it has had no effect on their writing abilities. Also gone is drum powerhouse Mark Zonder, but Bobby Jarzombek is a virtual Zonder clone fitting in nicely with the band. And Joey Vera proves yet again that he is one of the finest bassists alive.

Love them or hate them, Fates Warning are a musical force that is far more influential than most people realize. I’m glad to have them back and making music, and am super stoked by the fact that after being a fan since No Exit I will finally see them live for the very first time. As for Darkness In A Different Light it is an excellent return of these prog metal titans. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait another decade before getting new material.


Written by Chris Martin

Ratings    Chris    9/10


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