Fates Warning
Inside Out


3.0
good

Review

by Trey STAFF
July 31st, 2007 | 129 replies


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 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, but their quality has never really faltered. With that being said, Inside Out is definitely on the lower side of the quality scale, and also shows the least amount of progression.

Fates Warning’s albums have always varied from one another, with one exception -- Inside Out. When you consider the circumstances, it shouldn't come as a surprise the band played it safe on this release. Parallels was Fates Warning's most commercially successful album, and they were clearly looking to capitalize on it. It makes sense that a band would stick to their winning formula when trying to further their commercial stock, and that's what Fates Warning has done here. Inside Out follows the same basic song structures as Parallels, the same simple catchy choruses, and the same easily digestible delivery -- except with a lesser degree of overall quality.

The main issue plaguing this album is the production. For reasons I won't bother with here, the band didn't work with producer Terry Brown (Rush, Voivod, and Fates Warning's Parallels album) even though their last album had definitely benefited from the partnership. Whereas Parallels had a full, warm-sounding production, this one ended up with a thin guitar and drum sound, and a muddy bass-tone. If they were trying to repeat the successes of their past, then this was definitely the first mistake (although the remastered version does clean that up, somewhat).

The next quality issue comes from the songs themselves, which have been “dumbed-down” considerably. Every track focuses on a verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, solo, verse, chorus format with very little deviation. This makes each track feel predictable even if it's the first time listening. This predictability is only intensified by the simplicity of the choruses which focus on accessibility over everything else. Overall, the songs on Inside Out simply suffer from a lack of flair in both the songwriting and actual musicianship. This focus on simplicity and accessibility makes for an album that is still musically competent, but a little too safe and stagnant.

While not totally redeeming the entire album, the end of Inside Out does finally show signs of life on "Face the Fear" and "Monument". It's these two songs alone that finally deliver an edge as well as a sense of excitement and progression. A huge contributor to that feeling is the playing of drummer, Mark Zonder. These two songs really do feature some of the best playing of his career. They also feature the only truly significant guitar solos of the entire album. Unfortunately, the closing track ends things on a low note. It’s very slow and plodding, and will be forgotten as soon as the final note fades away.

Using the power of hindsight, it’s easy to see Inside Out would always be the bastard child of the Fates Warning catalog even if it had been a great release. It would be doomed to hold that title due to the fact 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.



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user ratings (167)
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
scpttrerulz
August 1st 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


3178 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


19299 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

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.

rattlehead42147
August 1st 2007


1345 Comments


No Exit was a great album, this sounds mediocre.

Willie
Moderator
August 2nd 2007


19299 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

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


19299 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

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


19299 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

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


3178 Comments


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

Willie
Moderator
October 6th 2008


19299 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

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


19299 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

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


3178 Comments


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

Willie
Moderator
October 8th 2008


19299 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

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 9th 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


2524 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 6th 2012


2524 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


9704 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Haha, I came in here to post the same. I love the demos disc.



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