Fates Warning
Parallels


4.5
superb


Release Date: 1991 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A stylistic peak for the progressive metal group Fates Warning, with emotion running in every verse and flawless songwriting throughout. "Parallels" is a true classic in every sense of the word.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

For any artist, the roughest course of action is a change in sound. It could be for uniqueness, or for fluidity and accessibility, but this can be disastrous to a band's career. After Fates Warning recruited Ray Alder as their new lead vocalist, they achieved mass popularity with No Exit. Although it was only loosely tied to the band's heavy metal roots, only a fraction of that sound entered Perfect Symmetry. The original fanbase was broken up as critics and newcomers lauded Perfect Symmetry and it's complex arrangements, but the band's decision to push further on Parallels was staggering to critics and fans alike. The music video singles "Eye to Eye," "Point of View," and "We Only Say Goodbye" became international hits, and the band was given a world tour. Despite it's direct approach and astute difference from any of Fates Warning's previous albums, Parallels is structured from it's first few notes and maintained all-throughout with whirling bass drum fills, striking bass waves, and the wailing of regret all in the genre of progressive metal. Their edge is as strong as ever, and although fans of the power metal era of Fates Warning have a bone to pick with Ray Alder, the band's music reflects their past decisions and created a sense of emotional altruism that is unheard of in the metal genre. Contrary to the commercial failures of many bands throughout the nineties, Fates Warning's Parallels was a massive success that helped shape the progressive metal genre alongside Dream Theater's Images and Words and Queensrÿche's Operation: Mindcrime.

Fates Warning obtained assistance from fellow prog metal band Dream Theater (who was just before their landmark release “Images and Words”) and collectively worked on their next releases. Released in 1991, Parallels was a landmark of a progressive album, sparking a long line of fuel that would ignite the public. Parallels was still considered a polar opposite to the status quo, but with trial and error the selection obtained a smooth epic rock sound complete with a solid punch of progressive elements. Not a single band member out of place, Fates Warning’s fanbase grew two sizes that day, not to mention they were honored with a world tour.

If you are familiar with the band, then you are probably aware that Mark Zonder is a rabid squirrel on the drums. He plays on his own offbeats, creates drum fills that are impossible to decipher, and stretches the atmosphere of Fates Warning greater than Scott Rockenfield and Mike Portnoy ever did to Queensryche and Dream Theater. Instead of domineering the music as he did in Inside Out, his presence on Parallels is beautifully connected with the rest of the band. His prowess is controlled, and vaguely reminiscent of Neil Peart through the eighties' "synth-era Rush." Matheos' guitar work is simplistic, yet affective and matches a perfect resonance alongside bassist Frank Aresti. "Leave the Past Behind" is a solid number opener for Fates Warning and Parallels alike, and the progressive flurries may leave you deftly in need for some Promethazine to cure your motion sickness.

Parallels reflects ideas of death and regret, and everyday experience with the fact that life is short. With "Life in Still Water" the band got the perfect sequel to their previous classic “Part of the Machine”. "Beneath the dust of our days/hides the key to our emotions/and it's been a while since we've been moved/without going through the motions/No emotions…/Is there time still for us to show?/Feelings we forgot long ago". The song also features James LaBrie of Dream Theater fame for backing vocals. An odd quirk worth noting is the obsessive use of 2nd person in the lyrics, (perhaps even joked about in the song "Point of View", the very title itself ironic) every song except for "The Road Goes On Forever" features some variation of the word 'You.' Parallels was a solid connection to their fans; their songwriting is nearly top notch, as is Ray Alder’s voice easily at its stylistic peak, belting out some impressive progressive melodies on "The Eleventh Hour" and "We Only Say Goodbye". As the closing track, "We Only Say Goodbye" has an incredibly memorable melody and as moody as it presents itself, it is the perfect theme to fit the new sound, the album cover, and the image and name of the band itself. With the perfect lineup of their members, Parallels is definitely the best place for any newcomer to Fates Warning, and is always a solid place in their catalogue.



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user ratings (150)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
lostforwords (4.5)
Absolutely recommended to anyone who hasn’t yet heard anything by Fates Warning, because even thou...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Parallels
July 6th 2011



6640 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Eye to Eye : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhGQ2cFTioY
Point of View : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xzq06pwOKfk&feature=fvwrel

KILL
July 6th 2011



70573 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

absolutely love point of view yea this album is rule but yea they kinda went more radio friendly and shit but still m/

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

Willie
Moderator
July 6th 2011



15876 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is the first Fates Warning album that I ever heard and I love it. I had just started to get into Queensryche (Empire) and I was trying to find stuff similar to it and I came across this album. "Point of View" and "Dont Follow Me" are two of my favorite Fates songs.

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

KILL
July 6th 2011



70573 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

dude no one likes this band except us

Willie
Moderator
July 6th 2011



15876 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's true. That's why SonicSpeed is a trooper for keeping this up (especially if he hits all 10 albums). I've written a couple of Fates Warning reviews and they didn't go anywhere.

Drsmith4
July 6th 2011



1712 Comments


Your language seems a bit forced. Take the opening sentence, for example: "Quite possibly the roughest course of action for any artist is a necessary change in sound." The idea (it is very difficult for bands to successfully alter their approach to music) is there, but it's poorly executed. Still, this is not a bad review by any means; it relays background information, describes the album's sound, and flows into a satisfactory conclusion. Thus, it's pos-worthy.

Also: "Fates Warning’s fanbase grew two sizes that day"

GRINCH REFERENCE?!?!?!

Parallels
July 6th 2011



6640 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

KILL - :dude no one likes this band except us:

i couldnt help but laugh at the truth in that

@Drsmith4: Thanks man, I blame my reading too many Michael Crichton books for my overt diction.
@Willie: lol, woo woo, you bet your butt i will complete all 10.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
July 8th 2011



5911 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent album!!!

Kudos for the review, will read it later.

Digging: Essence Beyond - Carnivalism

Jacquelyn
July 17th 2011



33 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I would have given it a lesser rating. They have way better albums.

BladeRunner
July 18th 2011



204 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The first Fates record I heard.

Life in Still Water, The Eleventh Hour and Point of View are high points for me.

I find that most people that like this band aren't over the moon for this record. However, fans that got turned on to the band via Queensryche (like myself) seem to gravitate towards this one. It IS derivative of the QR sound of the time, but I thank Fates Warning was much more of a progressive band, so their stuff is different enough for me.

Willie
Moderator
July 18th 2011



15876 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I agree completely. I just got into Empire and then stumbled onto this.

KILL
December 7th 2011



70573 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

so good ugh my dick is hard so good

TheNotrap
December 7th 2011



7981 Comments


Bought No Exit this week.

KILL
December 7th 2011



70573 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good choice

Parallels
February 16th 2012



6640 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

so good ugh my dick is hard so good [2]

Yeah I'm tempted to bump this to a 5, but I can't. It's just soooo good though

KILL
February 16th 2012



70573 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

agreed this is too heavy for sputnik

jayfatha
February 16th 2012



2882 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Haven't listened to this in forever

Parallels
February 16th 2012



6640 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You should play it again


and then one more time

KILL
July 21st 2012



70573 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

and the road goes on foreeeveeeeeeeeeeer

KILL
July 21st 2012



70573 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

been so into prog metal the past few days fuckin a



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