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Perfect Symmetry

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Album Review

This was the recording that established Fates Warning as a progressive band. Their metal influences still dominate the group's overall sound; however, Mark Zonder's unique approach to drumming adds another level of depth and credibility to the music. His double bass, odd-time introduction to "Part of the Machine" is the session's defining moment, "Through Different Eyes" is a catchy song that provides insight into the band's future pop/metal direction, and "Static Acts" still stands as one of the most aggressive songs the band ever recorded. Ray Alder's aggressive singing has a genuine quality which allows him to legitimately convey his anger and pain without sounding clichéd. "A World Apart" is one of the weaker songs here; however, there is some impressive odd-metered drumming from Zonder. "At Fates Hands" has become one of the band's classic songs, and for good reason. The incorporation of the violin and piano provide a refreshing change from the overall metallic sound. While Alder and Zonder prove here that the band is capable of achieving many different moods and sounds, the instrumental section of the song reveals that both Jim Matheos and Frank Aresti are still dependent on their metal guitar style. The most powerful song in terms of lyrics, singing, and playing is "Nothing Left to Say," which stands as the band's high-water mark. An historic recording in the progressive metal genre.

Customer Reviews

perfect album

This is an almost flawless record and established Fates Warning as a force to be reckoned with in the genre of progressive metal. I've been a fan of this band for many years and I own almost everything in their catalog and this is one of those albums that I can listen to repeatedly and never grow tired of. Ray Alder's powerful vocals help set the dark and moody tone of the record and the time signature changes give it a rather restless and unsettled feeling. Some stand out tracks are Through Different Eyes which was released as a single and The Arena, Chasing Time and Nothing Left to Say finish the album and are some of Fates Warning's best songwriting to date.It's sort of their artistic peak right before their commercial peak with Parallels..

after the change

This was Fates Warning's 1st true Progressive Metal album, at the time I had never heard of a Progressive Metal band or Prog for short. Jim Matheos rose to the challenge and artfully created an amazing album, with the help of Kevin Moore then of Dream Theater, I discovered Dream Theater because of this album and am eternally grateful for that. Ray Alder began to come into his own on this release, leaving the Geoff Tate part of his careen behind. This album stands as a fitting piece of the amazingly diverse Fates Warning puzzle. This album seperated them from their thrash past and the progressive future of their own creation. I love old Fates, but the track "Nothing Left to Say" couldn't be farther from the truth.

Easily one of their best

For those of you have read some of my past reviews, you'll know that I am a huge fan of Fates Warning. That being said, this is an album that some listeners may need to warm up to. There are some songs that will grow on you and other you will love right out of the box. "A Wolrd Apart" and "At Fates Hands" will be instant favorites, where "Part of the Machine" may take a few listens to appreciate. All in all, one of the group's strongest efforts from start to finish.


Formed: Hartford, CT

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

When prog rock first reared its head during the early '70s, it contained elements of hard rock, but few bands crossed the line into heavy metal. This all changed during the '80s, when bands such as Dream Theater, Watchtower, and Fates Warning merged their love of Yes and Rush with their admiration for Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. Formed in Hartford, Connecticut in 1983, Fates Warning have endured quite a few lineup changes since their inception, with the exception of guitarist Jim Matheos, who has...
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