Fates Warning
Inside Out


3.0
good

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
July 31st, 2007 | 27 replies | 10,135 views


Release Date: 1994 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Fates Warning attempt to capitalize on the success of their last album by playing it safe and rehashing old ideas.

Fates Warning is a band that is widely regarded as being at the forefront of the modern progressive metal movement; influencing everyone from Dream Theater to Symphony X. In their 22-plus years of existence they have gone through many member and stylistic changes, from their Maiden-inspired roots to their modern mixture of moody industrial with prog, but one thing has never really faltered; their quality. With that being said, Inside Out is probably on the lower side of the quality scale when it comes to Fates Warning releases, and also shows the least amount of progression from one album to the next.

Fates Warning’s albums have always varied from each other, with one exception; Inside Out. The reason for this is obvious when you see that their previous album was the most commercially successful album of their career and they were completely looking to capitalize on that. When a band is trying to play it safe and capitalize on a previous album’s success they generally tend to stick to the formula that made the last album work, and that’s what Fates Warning did here. It follows the same basic song structures, the same simple catchy choruses and the same unobtrusive nature of their last album, except all with a lesser degree of quality.

The first sign that the quality has gone down a notch is noticed within the first few notes of the first song; the production. For some reason they didn’t work with producer Terry Brown (Rush, Voivod) again on this album, even though the last album had definitely benefited from the partnership. Whereas Parallels had a full, warm-sounding production, this one ended up with a thin guitar sound, and a muddy bass-tone. If they were trying to repeat the successes of their past, than this was definitely the first mistake.

The next sign of a drop in quality comes from the songs themselves, which have been “dumbed-down” considerably, even from the last album. They all focus on a verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, solo, verse, chorus format. Due to this format being used with very little deviation, all of the songs start to sound predictable even if it’s the first time listening to them. It also should be noted that the choruses themselves suffer from the same problem of sounding repetitious due to the increased focus on accessibility and simplicity. This increased focus makes for an album that is still musically competent, but a little too safe and stagnant for the average Fates Warning listener.

Thankfully, near the end of the album "Face the Fear" comes on. This is the first song that really seems to have an edge or any sense of excitement or progression in it. A huge contributor to that feeling is the playing of drummer, Mark Zonder. This really is some of the best playing of his career. The song also features a fairly aggressive guitar solo; this is the type of stuff that should have comprised the entire album. After that song is a short instrumental where you’re left to wonder if the next two songs will be as redeemable as the previous track.

"Monument" answers with a resounding "yes”. It starts out with a dark bass line and Ray’s subdued vocals before breaking into the most outright progressive song on the album complete with an ethnic-sounding acoustic guitar solo and more technical drumming from Mark Zonder. Unfortunately, the closing track ends things on a low note. It’s very slow and plodding and forgotten as soon as the disc comes to a stop.

Using the power of hindsight it’s easy to see that Inside Out would probably always be the bastard child of the Fates Warning catalog even if it had been a great album. It would be doomed to hold on to that title due to the fact that it is sandwiched between their most commercially successful album, Parallels, and the album most fans regard as their peak (at least with Ray Alder as their vocalist), A Pleasant Shade of Grey. In reality though, the album isn’t great, and it deserves that title due to it basically being a second-rate clone of its predecessor. I could only recommend getting the two songs I actually mentioned by name, as the rest of the album is done much better on a previous disc called Parallels.



Recent reviews by this author
Anathema Distant SatellitesFlotsam and Jetsam No Place for Disgrace - 2014
Mindcage Our Own DevicesFates Warning Darkness in a Different Light
Queensryche QueensrycheSkinny Puppy Weapon
user ratings (74)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
scpttrerulz
July 31st 2007



130 Comments


Nicely written ... and I completely agree. Sadly like other Fates Warning reviews that have been attempted this will mostly remain obscure
Parallels was an awesome album and between ATG, Parallels and Disconnected the major changes in style are the most clearly noticed.
Decent album and still a kick ass band

Lunarfall
August 1st 2007



3179 Comments


Parallels is considered the peak with Alder? No Exit is better then Parallels by a landslide...

Most Fates Warning's albums after A Pleasant Shade Of Gray, from what I've heard, is disappointing. Fates Warning have lost their touch and I wish they could write prog metal songs like they did during the Awaken the Guardian/No Exit period.

Willie
Moderator
August 1st 2007



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nicely written ... and I completely agree. Sadly like other Fates Warning reviews that have been attempted this will mostly remain obscure

Parallels was an awesome album and between ATG, Parallels and Disconnected the major changes in style are the most clearly noticed.
Thank you... I'm ok with the review remaining obscure. If you look at most of what I've reviewed, they're almost all older albums from more obscure bands. I do this when I'm at work to pass the downtime, if someone reads it, cool, if not, then I still killed a few hours ;) ... and there were definitely some changes during the time you mention... it was a good time for them!
Parallels is considered the peak with Alder? No Exit is better then Parallels by a landslide...

Most Fates Warning's albums after A Pleasant Shade Of Gray, from what I've heard, is disappointing. Fates Warning have lost their touch and I wish they could write prog metal songs like they did during the Awaken the Guardian/No Exit period.
No, you misunderstood. A Pleasant Shade of Grey is widely considered the peak with Alder. Looking back at that sentence I can see where it might be taken wrong though. Although I do still disagree about No Exit being better then Parallels. Ray's voice is just too much on No Exit, improving 10-fold on Perfect Symmetry and perfecting on Parallels.

I really like the stuff after A Pleasant Shade of Grey, especially the latest one. I think it was a cool direction to follow. I don't wish for them to start writing in the Awaken the Guardian mindset again (as much as I love that album), I just want them to help John Arch make a full length solo album instead of the 2-song EP he released before disappearing again.

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

rattlehead42147
August 1st 2007



1345 Comments


No Exit was a great album, this sounds mediocre.

Willie
Moderator
August 2nd 2007



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This isn't mediocre but it definitely couldn't be described as anything more then "good". Its Fates Warning's low point when they sacrificed artistic integrity for the lure of increased exposure.

No Exit is a great album, there are just others by them that I like more then this one.

thelawler
October 3rd 2008



42 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is my favorite Fates album along with FWX, I love the whole aura of this album and Mark Zonder imo is the greatest technical drummer ever, Monument speaks for itself. also Monument holds my favorite guitar solo within a song of all time I love how it goes from electric to acoustic, and Island In The Stream is just beautifully chilling. And Ray Alder's vocals are majestic!!

Willie
Moderator
October 3rd 2008



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Mark Zonder seems to be the only one working unrestrained on this album. I agree that "Monument" has one of Fates' best solos, especially in the transistion from electric to acoustic. It was just done better (song writing and sonically) on Parallels, IMO.

thelawler
October 5th 2008



42 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

WillieFisterbut I can't disagree with you, when music is as good as Fates it's just what album you personally like, "Inside Out" holds alot of good memories for me. I just bought the special edition "Perfect Symmetry" and the drums sound amazing now, something I felt lacked on the original where it was hard to hear all the bass drumming, now it's clear as a bell!!!


Willie
Moderator
October 5th 2008



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

That is true. There isn't one Fates Warning album I don't like. They all have their pluses. I agree about the new Perfect Symmetry reissue. It sounds awesome now (I actually reviewed that one too). They're playing live in a few weeks so they're not broken up, but they still don't seem inclined to release anything new.

thelawler
October 5th 2008



42 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yes I believe Bobby Jarzombek is drumming for Fates now, he is an amazing drummer but Zonder will always be the man to beat, Have you checked out "Slavior" Zonder's new band, I like it although it's more commercial and extremely different from Fates Warning. I seen Fates live back in 2001 they opened up for Savatage at a place called The Lab in Minneapolis MN., both bands were amazing and Ray Alder's voice was in stellar form.

Lunarfall
October 5th 2008



3179 Comments


Is it just me, or are all the Fates Warning album ratings much higher than they were?

Willie
Moderator
October 6th 2008



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Have you checked out "Slavior" Zonder's new band, I like it although it's more commercial and extremely different from Fates Warning.
I have and they were ok but I didn't really get into them.
Is it just me, or are all the Fates Warning album ratings much higher than they were?
Yeah because thelawler rated just about their entire discography a 5 ;)

thelawler
October 8th 2008



42 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yes I did!...they are all 5's but it wouldn't let me do them all at 5's but they really all are.....Fates are my all time fav band and I just can't get enough of their music, there is something really magical about them I've loved them ever since "No Exit" was first released and I feel the same way today as I did back them about Fates!

Willie
Moderator
October 8th 2008



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

You can rate them all 5's. It will tell you that you can't but if you click back and check the rating, you'll see that stayed a 5.
They are awesome and they are one of my favorite bands, but I still don't think they're all 5's.
So if you like them so much does that mean you have the two Jim Matheos solo albums, the two Engine albums, the two Redemption albums, the John Arch solo album, the two OSI albums, the Slaviour album, and the Worlock stuff too?

Lunarfall
October 8th 2008



3179 Comments


I still need everything after Parallels, and Perfect Symmetry from Fates Warning. Also the remastered No Exit.

Willie
Moderator
October 8th 2008



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Those are all good albums that you're missing ;) Especially FWX. Also, if you don't have it, the remastered version of Perfect Symmetry is worth getting even if you have the original.

thelawler
October 8th 2008



42 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yes I have everything, have you ever listened to At War With Self - Torn Between Dimensions it has Mark Zonder on drums it's very progressive, Zonder also plays on Cans the lead vocalist of Hammerfall's solo album although that's a little to power metal for myself. And maybe they are not all 5's becuase I really didn't like the original production on "Perfect Symmetry" but the remaster is a perfect 5, and some of the drumming on "No Exit" is just not up to par, but besides that they are just magical and WillieFisterbut I love FWX one of my favs of all time the song "Left Here" is just incredible!!...I wish John Arch would make a full length album with Jim Matheos because "Twist Of Fate" is awesome.

AsoTamaki
January 4th 2012



2525 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

So I just saw that they're re-releasing this album this year remastered with the demos and dvd like they've been doing with all the earlier releases. I kind of thought they'd skip this one to be honest, but I'm glad.

Face the Fear / Inward Bound / Monument is one of the best stretches of music you'll find on any of their albums. The other stuff is also great as long as I'm in the mood for it. A nostalgic mood typically.

AsoTamaki
June 5th 2012



2525 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Got the remaster today. Not that exciting since I already had all the demos and on first listen I can't really hear any difference in mastering (didn't need it anyway, imo).

The DVD as usual is the main reason to buy it. Some very cool stuff on there. It's too bad there's no real documentary, but the live material is of much better quality than on the Perfect Symmetry and Parallels re-releases.

Parallels
June 6th 2012



6640 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Haha, I came in here to post the same. So stoked


Edit: Got it today yeahhhhh! Face the Face of Fear is interesting to hear as opposed to the original, why didn't they include that at least as a demo track?



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy