Original link – http://www.themidlandsrocks.com/fates-warning-theories-of-flight/
By Stephen Brophy
WOW! Maybe I should just leave it at that. When you start to listen to an album by one of the forefathers of the Progressive Metal movement and the very first song on that album blows you away and hooks you at the very same time, it’s just a wonderful feeling. While Fates Warning are approaching their thirty-fifth year, Theories Of Flight is a work of such a high standard you just want to get lost in the music. Don’t get me wrong, this is not airy fairy music, but there is a beauty to the construction of the songs. We are dealing with top class musicians that each has the ability to contribute something extra to the overall product.
It’s really rare these days that you can say that an album is beautiful, but this is just that – it’s a celebration of what is great about Prog Metal. There’s a passion in the vocal, a gift in the ability to not only tell a story but to wrap it around and weave it through music that retains an edge and heaviness, while the singer has the versatility to effortlessly move from one style to another – Ray Adler is still an amazing talent. It really is difficult to pick holes in this, the tracks flow perfectly into each other, an album not a collection of songs. There is definitely a purity to what’s on offer here, as you would expect the music itself is intricate. The playing terrific, a fully synced unit, there’s a touch of Rush in ‘The Ghosts Of Home’, certainly in the central instrumental section and it’s another monster of a track.
Album highlights include pretty much everything, difficult to pick favourites when you are drawn back to all of the tracks on offer, but the vibrance of ‘Seven Stars’, upbeat, full of energy, and as ever superb guitar work from Jim Matheos, so sharp and clear. One of the heavier tracks on the album ‘Like Stars Our Eyes Have Seen’ harks back a little to earlier Fates Warning tracks, but as with everything else it doesn’t stay static and moves through phases, everything building as the songs progress. ‘The Light And Shade Of Things’ is just a masterpiece, possibly the quickest passing ten-minute track my ears have heard. There are few bands that can pull off songs of ten minutes or more in length, but to have two as well made as they are on one album speaks volumes. Repeating myself here but this is particular track is a thing of beauty.
There is the excellence everywhere. Joey Vera (Bass) and Bobby Jarzombek (Drums) provide more than just a hugely solid rhythm section – we’re presented with bass runs, intros, and integrated pieces along with subtlety in the drumming that only come from people at the top of their craft can produce. A truly standout album from a band that just doesn’t make average music, if there’s only one album in this genre that you buy this year you’d have to go look very hard for something to beat this. Wonderful. Play it loud at home, close your eyes and drink it in, take the headphones and find a tree in the park to sit in the shade of and let this beast drift you away. It is that good.
9.5 out of 10