This article is from the October 1997 issue of Guitar World magazine.


Fates Warning: Still Alive and Well

“We’re trying to keep progressive rock alive,” says Jim Matheos, Fates Warning’s guitarist, songwriter and guiding light. “But unfortunately, it’s a losing battle. Progressive rock hasn’t been music for the masses since the Seventies.”

Over the course of 13 years and eight albums, Fates Warning has plotted an unswerving course on the progressive metal path. The band’s latest venture, A Pleasant Shade of Gray (Metal Blade), is no exception. “This is our most ambitious endeavor ever,” Matheos exclaims. “Something that we, as fans of progressive rock, would like to hear. You can really hear all of our influences coming through; Yes, Genesis and Jethro Tull and heavier stuff like Black Sabbath, UFO, and Judas Priest.”

In addition to showcasing Fates Warning’s solid musicianship, A Pleasant Shade of Gray is a concept album to end all concept albums, consisting of one untitled, 53-minute opus divided into 12 movements designated only by Roman numerals. The album, like Fates’ 1992 effort, Parallels, was produced by Terry Brown, whose work on early Rush albums like 2112 and A Farewell to Kings makes him no stranger to sprawling progressive rock excursions.

“Everyone in this band is a huge Rush fan,” says Matheos, “It was hard to play my best on Parallels because I was so awed by who was manning the board. Thankfully, I had settled down a bit by the time we made this album. It’s a dream come true working with Terry.”

-Joe Lalaina (Guitar World: October 1997)

***Fates Warning Albums:***
Night On Brocken (1984)
The Spectre Within (1985)
Awaken the Guardian (1986)
No Exit (1988)
Perfect Symmetry (1989)
Parallels (1991)
First Impressions (1993)
Inside Out (1994)
Chasing Time (1995)
A Pleasant Shade of Gray (1997)