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Fates Warning vs Dream Theater band member Cf

I did this once before because I found it intriguing. This is a battle of sorts between the members of both bands with their respective instruments and I've selected which ones I prefer. Both bands have had an integral impact on my music vernacular and taste for the better part of 15 years, and I love & respect both of them for that reason. This isn't a diss on either band. For this comparison I've considered every band member from each bands history (past and present)
1Fates Warning
A Pleasant Shade of Gray


VOCALS (Ray Alder vs James LaBrie): Its fair to say that both vocalists have a unique timbre that makes their voices instantly recognisable. In the earlier years James LaBrie felt more uninhibited, thus his melodies were quite creative and complemented the versatility of the compositions perfectly. He used his full range, however he eventually suffered from the same tunnel vision that plagued the band as a whole, and thus became less interesting with time for me. Ray on the other hand has always held my admiration. In his youth his range was one of the genre standouts, and he made full use of it on albums like Parallels and APSOG. The difference is that Ray has consistently adapted his vocal compositions in accordance with his vocal capacity. His range has diminished with time, yet his voice sounds as good as ever. He's come up with countless memorable vocal lines and relatable lyrics that complement the music. He, like FW, continues to go from strength to strength.

WINNER: RAY ALDER
2Fates Warning
Theories of Flight


"PRIMARY" INSTRUMENT - GUITARS (Jim Matheos vs John Petrucci): Back in the day I could confidently claim DT to be my undisputed favourite band from any genre. It was my gateway band which introduced me to other music of the highest quality. John Petrucci's guitar playing was a huge reason for this. He could do no wrong in my eyes whether it be in terms of riffs, leads, or songwriting. Jim Matheos on the other hand has been overlooked his entire career if you consider his contributions to metal in general. While John is certainly more technically adept, Jim is no slouch at all. He has a knack for coming up with jagged and inventive riffs that still have a sense of groove and melody. And his melodic playing is stellar, whether it be for leads or harmonies. John is extremely versatile, however he has sadly not explored some of his obscure influences often over the past decade or so. Jim on the other hand still remains adventurous and fresh.

WINNER: JIM MATHEOS
3Dream Theater
Awake


"SUPPORTING" INSTRUMENT - KEYBOARDS/SUPPORTING GUITARS (Kevin Moore vs Frank Aresti): I know this isn't really a direct comparison, but imo both count as "supporting" instruments & that's how I compared them. In my ideal band there will be keyboards, so almost by default the keyboardist could have won, however Fates Warning is a band that excels in the usage of two guitarists to present diverse and varied textures. Their music is layered and Frank Aresti's contributions are integral to the albums he's present on, from a purely performance perspective but also from a songwriting one. However my love for keyboards makes Kevin the winner. His use of a wide palette of organic tones and creative melodies are what helped shape prog metal as we see it today. Kevin's contributions added character that enhanced the music, and his versatility is evident; I&W had a spectrum of "brighter" patches, while Awake was a much darker and mature undertaking. Two genre milestones.

WINNER: KEVIN MOORE
4Dream Theater
Images and Words


BASS (John Myung vs Joey Vera): I chose Joey instead of Joe for this comp since I prefer his tone as well as playing style. Joey is a metal veteran, and the fact that his playing is still memorable is hugely admirable. His playing on the earlier albums made him and Mark one of the best rhythm sections in metal. His tones are punchy and warm, which is the sweet spot for me personally. Technically capable, yet focusing on melodiousness, which every musician should aim to do imo. John is also a supremely gifted player. His near superhuman abilities have been on full display throughout his career, even if at times to a fault, but he has utilised his skill to compose both technical and melodic parts. His understanding of harmonies and grooves is second to none. Even if for the better past of the last 15 years DT's music has pigeonholed his playing, his influence on me as a listener, and bassists around the world can't be understated. One of the titans of the genre.

WINNER: JOHN MYUNG
5Fates Warning
Perfect Symmetry


DRUMS (Mark Zonder vs Mike Portnoy): This is another one where my opinion evolved with time (similar to the case with Matheos vs Petrucci). Mike embodied a lot of what enticed me about DT. He's technically adept and infused all facets of his skill into the compositions, with his signature sound leaving its stamp on the music. Plus it helped that he was goofy like me. Mark on the other had the aura of being a consummate professional. He's one of the most unique and elegant sounding drummers I've ever heard. A natural talent in terms of inventiveness and originality, whether it be via a drum pattern, fill, or groove. His focus on subtleties and nuances made his playing an intrinsic part of the compositions, almost feeling like a lead instrument at times. He never got self indulgent, which Mike could often, and composed parts that effortlessly fit the songs. Both huge talents, but Mark is more original and inventive imo, and thats what I enjoy more nowadays.

WINNER: MARK ZONDER
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