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Articles Home » 2016 Articles » Fates Warning - 2016 Theories Of Flight
Fates Warning - 2016 Theories Of Flight

ARTIST: Fates Warning
ALBUM: Theories Of Flight
LABEL: Inside Out Music
YEAR: 2016


LINEUP: Ray Alder - lead vocals * Jim Matheos - guitars, production * Joey Vera - bass, bcking vocals * Bobby Jarzombek - drums * Frank Arnesi - lead guitar (1, 5) * Mike Abdow - lead guitar (5) * Carina Tinker - voice (8)

TRACK LISTING: 01 From The Rooftops * 02 Seven Stars * 03 SOS * 04 The Light And Shade Of Things * 05 White Flag * 06 Like Stars Our Eyes Have Seen * 07 The Ghosts Of Home * 08 Theories Of Flight



A couple of years ago, we had an influx of Fates Warning articles uploaded to GDM by our former writer Milena. Since then, we bolted on two of their earlier albums, and now we look back at their most recent effort 'Theories Of Flight', which was released by InsideOut Music back on July 1st. As many would know, FW have gone from being old school metal types to playing a modern technical metal style, with musical chops being the norm for this most proficient of bands. Guitar wise, the band are now down to one guitarist, with long time member Frank Aresti no longer in the lineup, though he did contribute a couple of guitar spots.

The Songs
FW main-man and one of the original members - Jim Mattheos, wrote much of the material, and they have been track-listed in the chronological order in which he wrote them. Leading with the restrained opening sequence on 'From The Rooftops', it doesn't take long for Fates Warning to hit their straps. Brutal guitar work plus equally brutal drum work from the impressive Bobby Jarzombek sets us on our way. Singer Ray Alder is the catalyst for keeping the melodic side of this band maintained. By comparison, 'Seven Stars' is a reasonably straight-forward affair, though the power is there for all to hear. 'SOS' shuffles around the soundscape, lots of riffing before the rhythm section joins in. There are some tempo changes and technically challenging parts, but nothing that can't be handled by these masterful musicians. 'The Light And Shade Of Things' is one of the longer tracks, and excels in that reflective melodic sound that typify progressive rock. The closest call would be Dream Theater in one of their moodier moments. The song does pull some punches throughout, and does introduce some heavier passages too.

It's crunch time on 'White Flag', pobably the heaviest moment here, the guitar solo from Mattheos kinda off the charts. 'Like Stars Our Eyes Have Seen' is my favourite track on the album. The drumming is relentless, while Adler is definitely on form. To me he sounds like Joe Lynn Turner doing prog metal. The second of the grand epics is 'Ghosts Of Home', travels the musical road of four seasons in 10 minutes. It's got everything, so be prepared for a bit of Rush, Iron Maiden and Dream Theater inspired creativity. Last but not least, the title-track 'Theories Of Flight' is a comparatively short 4 minute instrumental, which probaby means something to the band but which is lost on me.

In Summary
I think it goes without saying that Fates Warning may have outdone themselves here, when comparing this to past efforts. Indeed, many online reviews come away with that impression. I don't listen to them as often as I should, but they certainly lock into my radar as far as progressive technical metal is concerned. Fans of this sub-genre should be pleased that 2016 has presented many superb albums, and even on a mostly pink and fluffy website such as GDM, albums like 'Theories Of Flight' will still get a look-in when the year's Best Of lists are compiled.

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#1 | englandashes on December 24 2016 21:08:33
Interesting that you mention JLT, because initially I thought Jeff Scott Soto was guesting on the track, the light and the shade of things.

Brought this on release and it's the first time I have actually played it, what was I wasting me time on previously because this deserves my time, enjoying it.
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