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FATES WARNING Long Day Good Night

By Jay Roberts, Massachusetts Contributor
Friday, December 4, 2020 @ 11:54 AM

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Long Day Good Night

Metal Blade Records - 2020

It has been over 30 years since I first heard the FATES WARNING song "Silent Cries" from their fourth album No Exit. In the ensuing decades since, the band has continued to turn out some of the most amazing and influential progressive metal albums.

Now comes their thirteenth studio album Long Day Good Night and the band continues to chart their own course as one of the titans of the genre.

The album opens up with the eight minute track "The Destination Onward". I love the title but I was struck a little dumb by how underwhelming the song's first three minutes were. The last five minutes are incredible, fast and pretty hard-hitting. So I found it just a bit odd that the track starts off in such a soft sell manner.

For comparison's sake, other songs start off in a similar manner and yet they seem to work far better. The songs "Alone We Walk", "The Way Home" and the album ending "The Last Song" come off sounding much stronger for the similarity in song structure.

"Alone We Walk" starts off with a combination of singer Ray Alder's voice and just a bare bones undercurrent of musical score. But the band goes full throttle when drummer Bobby Jarzombeck begins to hammer away at you through the speakers as the song begins to move towards a higher degree of intensity. Meanwhile, "The Way Home" comes out massively slow but the combination of Alder's singing and the power of the lyrics makes for a winning mix. When the song's tempo switches into a higher gear, the track retains an overall sense of magic. It's also one of three songs that feature solos performed by FATES WARNING touring guitarist Mike Abdow. This particular solo was superbly done.

As for "The Last Song", it is a simple and direct song that showcases Alder and band leader guitarist Jim Matheos. This song may be understated but there's something in the way the song's themes come out and serve as a means to give the end of the album such a feeling of finality.

Now while there are plenty of slower passages in the music of Long Day Good Night, don't think that FATES WARNING has forgotten to bring the full rocking side of their nature to bear.

From start to finish, the song "Shuttered World" is a phenomenal track. Between the music and vocals, it is one of the album's standout pieces. I was blown away by how much I liked it right from the first spin of the disc.

Before the release of the album, FATES WARNING released the song "Scars". I didn't get to hear it until I got the album but the heavy rock vibe of the song does serve as a perfect way to get listeners hyped up for the album as a whole. "Begin Again" has a kind of slyly intriguing opening that grows to be fueled more by a metallic sountrack.

The band varies the music palette of the album up with more midtempo driven songs like "Under The Sun". The track utilizes both the violin and cello in the intro before they give way to a nifty guitar line that runs through the rest of the song. And don't forget to check out the way the chorus of "Now Comes The Rain" is crafted. I thought it was superb.

Honestly, the only song I wasn't able to really get a full grasp on was "When Snow Falls". I can't rightly explain why this song just didn't seem to work for me.

I mentioned "Shuttered World" as one of my favorite tracks on Long Day Good Night but late in the album comes a trio of songs that stand alongside that song as highlights. "The Longest Shadow Of The Day" is an eleven minute epic that is pure instrumental for the first six minutes of its running time before the vocal track comes into play. There's a host of stylistic and tempo switches throughout the song and I was quite keen on the track as a whole.

If you want to simply enjoy the band providing a pure rocking out experience, you should check out "Liar" and "Glass Houses". For "Liar", I could swear the lyrics touch upon real world issues but there's just enough shading to the performance that you aren't quite sure. The song's chorus is fantastic and I thought the guitar playing from Matheos was outstanding.

I could say the same for "Glass Houses" as well. The combination of the band's musical score and the combined lyrical content and vocal performance of said lyrics from Ray Alder elevate the track into the "must-listen" category.

Inevitably, the release of Long Day Good Night once again secures FATES WARNING's stature as one progressive metal's leading lights.

4.7 Out Of 5.0

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