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Fates Warning - 2000 Disconnected

ARTIST: Fates Warning
ALBUM: Disconnected
LABEL: Metal Blade
SERIAL: 3984-14324-2
YEAR: 2000


LINEUP: Ray Alder - vocals * Jim Matheos - guitar * Joey Vera - bass * Mark Zonder - drums * Kevin Moore - guest keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Disconnected Part 1 * 02 One * 03 So * 04 Pieces Of Me * 05 Something From Nothing * 06 Still Remains * 07 Disconnected Part 2



Ever since the early nineties, releasing albums every three years was the common Fates Warning practice, and the break between 'A Pleasant Shade Of Gray' and 'Disconnected' was exactly this long as well. The aforementioned 'Pleasant Shade..' saw the Fates lads take a sharp turn from smart, 'bite-sized' and sort of commercial prog in favor of a dark, emotive sound, also highlighted by them employing a keyboard player on an entire album for the very first time. It was the ex-Dream Theater virtuoso Kevin Moore, and since by then Kevin and Jim had developed a very strong friendship, it was only logical that he would show up on the following album as well. One thing both of them developed by 2000 was a love of electronic music, and it shows on the album.

The Songs
'Disconnected Part 1' is a rather captivating instrumental intro relying on swelling keyboards and a chilling atmosphere - immediately it brings the album artwork into your memory, a stark photo of windswept young disconnected lovers on a bridge. 'One' immediately brings the subtle underlying electronic elements into the picture, and the song makes use of one of many effective formulas existent in Matheos's songwriting - an assertive bridge launching into a soaring chorus, pairing with trademark Mark Zonder drum accents and fills. 'So' is a different animal - the lead riff is carried out on the keyboards, and even though it harks back to the band's past with an effective, Parallels-style bridge, its long drawl is almost hypnotic, and the chorus has no surplus words for its theme - a simple chant of 'so tired, so' did the job. In 'Pieces Of Me', the subtle electronic elements make a return, and the song's biggest draw is the curious, industrial beat, and Ray Alder's macho, devil-may-care attitude in delivering the melodies. 'Something From Nothing' is first of the two long songs that completely revolutionized my understanding of what prog metal should be in the 21st century at the time when I first heard it. The long buildup lasts for about four minutes, and the instruments plug in one by one, with clean guitars very reminiscent of their late 80's proto prog metal leading the way. The main melody reminds me of something that should be adapted for singing in Latin in a mixed choir - very 'Carmina Burana' of Jim. 'Still Remains' is probably my very favourite Fates Warning song - possibly because I'm a fan of keyboards in metal and they abound in Kevin Moore's contributions; but even those who aren't such big fans tend to agree with me. 'Disconnected Part 2' is the surprise ending, expanding upon the themes in the intro in a rather captivating way - again, almost all keyboards.

In Summary
While it's easy to see how the new style might have turned some fans off, this was always my favourite incarnation of Fates Warning, and probably the album I've listened to the most.

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