Fates Warning
No Exit


4.0
excellent


Release Date: 1988 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Pushing the Progressive Envelope, "No Exit" is one of progressive metal's finest moments.

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

It's hard to avoid mentioning it, 1988 was arguably the worst year in music. You name it, from AC/DC to Judas Priest and Bob Dylan, nearly every major musician/band was dying from new age insomnia. Those that hadn't died yet would soon eventually take a turn for the worse (Iron Maiden, Metallica), and drift into a commercial sound that would be far from revered. Music had become a load of crap in the world's ears, and with that swab of truth the public showed the underground bands a shot at the spotlight. Fellow progressive metal pioneers Queensrÿche and Voivod released landmarks of albums that meshed new genres and superimposed themselves into the world's music industry, but No Exit was striking enough to jumpstart Fates Warning's career with 13 weeks on the Billboard Top 200.

Although the criticisms of the band as an Iron Maiden clone are a bit rash, Fates Warning did show that they were unsure of their sound with the sudden change of direction on No Exit. They strangely fired their long-time singer John Arch in favor of Ray Alder, who was actually a fan of the band, and jumped into the studio with more seriousness than ever before. Guitarists and songwriters Frank Aresti and Jim Matheos make amazing work out of their guitars on "Anarchy Divine," as well as the intricate and melodic work of "Quietus." The album works with all the wonders of a masterpiece by defining a new genre. There's poetic lyrics, ominous acoustics, heavy metal riffs, grasping emotions, and the band uses more odd time signatures into their material then Queensrÿche, their field-opposite genre rival.

Excerpt from "The Ivory Gate Of Dreams"

"From sleeping visions, daily we’re torn
In waking hours, hopes our forlorn.
Is all we do and all we dream
Doomed to drown in a hopeless stream?"

Instead of their fantasy filled albums that were originally the main theme of the band's name, they now turn to serious, introspective and introverted lyrics. There is a shred of fiction left in their work, but it has a purpose alongside the literature it is inspired by. No Exit is rebellious, intuitive, and almost apocalyptic. The concept of "Horn and Ivory" gates are in the monumental epic "The Ivory Gate of Dreams," a 20+ minute herald of wonder that every casual or serious progressive metal fan must have. The material here exists far before the progressive genre was fully established, and for that reason the album is also a astounding work of pioneering.

There is a concept to the album. All throughout, these themes of anarchy, afterlife and dreams were concepts derived from Jean-Paul Sartre’s play of the same name, "No Exit." In the play, three people are sent to a Hell after their deaths with no way out. They await a punisher who never arrives, until they realize their biggest punishment is the company of each other and the ability to read the thoughts of the others they are trapped with. These ideas are explored in the album as well ("Silent Cries," "In A Word"). In "Shades of Heavenly Death," the album is seen from a theoretical view, a “what if” style of song. Every piece is styled perfectly, and Ray Alder wastes no time being on queue with the band. The rest of Fates Warning is on par with excellence: the drumming is rough, the guitar lines memorable and the singing is melodic. Joe DiBase (you can guess what instrument) does a magnificent job for a this era of headbanging (watch the music video of "Anarchy Divine"). To many, No Exit is and will remain a classic. While Fates Warning was still relatively new to the music scene, this is no doubt a great point in the band's discography.

"I will keep my own time
What's yours is really mine
I won't let you swallow me; your doctrines will not shine
Rebellion is your pestilence
I'll never be confined
Forever you shall yield to me
Anarchy divine
Save me, someone's come to change me
Misled, delusions colored real
Black and white, they'll never paint me
Never see until you feel, Never!"

Excerpt from "Anarchy Divine"

Recommended:
The Ivory Gate of Dreams
Anarchy Divine



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user ratings (174)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
iceman3019 (4.5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Parallels
July 2nd 2011



6640 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hope you like.


Heres the first song (not counting the intro of course)
Anarchy Divine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP30AvBueyo

lmletal
July 2nd 2011



95 Comments


great album sweet review

tiesthatbind
July 2nd 2011



7371 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review dude. I'm definitely interested in checking this one out.

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
July 2nd 2011



15332 Comments


Nice little review here, i didn't know you still were around

Digging: Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus

ronin15
July 2nd 2011



23 Comments


Good review of a good album. However I wouldn't say Iron Maiden's Seventh Son and Metallica's And Justice for All bad albums.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
July 3rd 2011



5915 Comments


good review, have a pos.

This is the only FW album with Alder i don't have.

I was kinda of discouraged to get it, because Alder's vocals here are high-pitched all the time.

Digging: Essence Beyond - Carnivalism

tiesthatbind
July 3rd 2011



7371 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've been trying to get into these guys, but I'm really not digging the vocals so far.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
July 3rd 2011



19978 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review. This is my favourite Fates Warning album.

Parallels
July 3rd 2011



6640 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ties, I would try Parallels first to get used to his voice, or Disconnected, thats the first one I listened to.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
July 3rd 2011



5915 Comments


but I'm really not digging the vocals so far.

This is understandable, as at the time, the trend required all metal singers to go high pitch with their voices, all the time.

Perfect Symmetry walks in the same alley, although things are better there.


Try anything from Parallels and forth.

tiesthatbind
July 3rd 2011



7371 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Alright, Parallels it is. Thanks.

KILL
July 21st 2012



70586 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

did the thread change damn

rules

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
July 21st 2012



19978 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome album.

evilford
October 4th 2012



21187 Comments


never heard of these guys but I'm gonna check em out

Digging: Demilich - 20th Adversary of Emptiness

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2012



19978 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome band.

KILL
October 4th 2012



70586 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

easily one of the best prog metal bands

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
October 5th 2012



19978 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Bumped up to a 4.5. Fuckin' rules.

KILL
October 5th 2012



70586 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

damn i prefer the album before and after this but rules hard yea

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
October 5th 2012



19978 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is probably my favourite FW album.

CaptainDooRight
October 5th 2012



28332 Comments


so sweet



Digging: IQ - The Road of Bones



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