It’s been almost nine years since progressive metal band, Fates Warning, released its last album, FWX. A near-decade can be a lifetime in the music industry, and countless numbers of bands have formed and broken up in less time than that. Fortunately for fans of Fates Warning, reports of the group’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. After nearly two years of hard work in the studio, Fates Warning will release their 11th album, Darkness in a Different Light on Oct. 1.
The opening track on the new album, “One Thousand Fires,” is akin to a shot of adrenaline to chest, both startling and gasp inducing. It is the sound of nine years of silence shattered in an instant by an explosion of passion and power. It is Fates Warning hacking through the door with an axe and grinning maniacally like Jack Nicholson in “The Shining.” It is the return of a band that still loves what it does and cannot wait to prove it.
After “One Thousand Fires,” the band takes its foot off of your neck and lets you breathe a bit. The second track, “Firefly,” begins to slow the pace a touch, but like with all the other songs, it is a playing a bit coy. Shorter than many previous Fates Warning songs, each track on Darkness in a Different Light is direct, to the point, and sure of itself. But if you’re worried about the absence of a song epic in length, then the final track on the album, “And Yet it Moves,” is for you.
One thing that is absent from Darkness in a Different Light is the band’s frequent use of keyboards. Many Fates Warning fans may be a bit surprised to hear the band play without the now familiar musical layer of keyboard, but the group’s creativity is stronger for it. Instead, guitarist/producer Jim Matheos and engineer Phil Magnotti have managed to develop a rich and elaborate music-scape. With their skill, they have embedded a message in the album. The message is simple: “You missed something… listen again.”
You can find pre-orders for Darkness in a Different Light as well as news and tour info at Fates Warning.
Fates Warning will be performing at The Masquerade in Atlanta on Dec. 1. Tickets can purchased at through The Masquerade.