Fates Warning
No Exit


4.0
excellent

Review

by Reverse Perpendiculars USER (25 Reviews)
July 2nd, 2011 | 30 replies


Release Date: 1988 | Tracklist

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

It's hard to avoid mentioning it, 1988 was arguably the worst year in music. You name it, from every band popular or becoming popular was struggling to keep afloat during the 80's with a sound that would be relevent after nearly a decade of synthesizers and stripped down compact tunes. Those that hadn't died yet would soon eventually take a turn for the worse (Iron Maiden, Metallica), and drift into a commercial sound in the 90's that would be far from revered. 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 it wasn't until Connecticut's Fates Warning released No Exit that they made a name for themselves out of the underground metal scene, and spent an astonishing 13 weeks on the Billboard Top 200, which was difficult for bands that didn't have the needed publicity or backing from other artists.

Although the criticisms of the band as an Iron Maiden clone in their early days are a bit harsh, Fates Warning did try to move away from that sound and to take it in a new direction, strangely firing their long-time singer John Arch in favor of someone who was actually a fan of the band, Ray Alder, amazed from his demo tape of the segment "Quietus," and pulled him in the studio shortly after. He's a good choice too, although fans of the classic metal sound of Fates Warning will find his voice too feminine and smooth compared to Arch's sharp tinge.

Fates Warning's lyrical agenda changed swifty as well, steering away from the fantasy and war-tuned lyrics to a lauded introspective, poetic style that was derivative of a cathartic mindframe and philosophy (also note the title and title track bearing strong allusions to Jean-Paul Sartre), something has remained largely with them to this day with flowing beautiful segments "Years find a mind alone whose questions flow too deep for words. covered in a shroud of silence, watching the world go 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. Guitarists and songwriters Frank Aresti and Jim Matheos both 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.

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.

Recommended:
The Ivory Gate of Dreams
Silent Cries



Recent reviews by this author
Ghost Culture Ghost CultureCrystal Castles Crystal Castles II
Dream Theater AwakeDream Theater Octavarium
Dream Theater A Dramatic Turn of EventsPrimus Green Naugahyde
user ratings (195)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
iceman3019 (4.5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Parallels
July 2nd 2011


7847 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

Digging: MO - No Mythologies To Follow

lmletal
July 2nd 2011


95 Comments


great album sweet review

tiesthatbind
July 2nd 2011


7382 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

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

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
July 2nd 2011


19325 Comments


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

Digging: FKA Twigs - M3LL155X

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


6749 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: Agusa - Tv

tiesthatbind
July 3rd 2011


7382 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


23625 Comments


Great review. This is my favourite Fates Warning album.

Parallels
July 3rd 2011


7847 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


6749 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


7382 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Alright, Parallels it is. Thanks.

KILL
July 21st 2012


74378 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

did the thread change damn



rules

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
July 21st 2012


23625 Comments


Awesome album.

evilford
October 4th 2012


26616 Comments


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

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2012


23625 Comments


Awesome band.

KILL
October 4th 2012


74378 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

easily one of the best prog metal bands

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
October 5th 2012


23625 Comments


Bumped up to a 4.5. Fuckin' rules.

KILL
October 5th 2012


74378 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

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

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
October 5th 2012


23625 Comments


This is probably my favourite FW album.

evilford
December 13th 2012


26616 Comments


gotta check this, perfect symmetry is great



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 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy