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Fates Warning is one of the more quiet progressive metal bands around. They have a good strong following of fans, but they are not very well known by listeners of mainstream metal. I just decided to listen to this album tonight. I was blown away. This album has really taken metal to another place. The music is emotional, driving, atmospheric. Did I mention progressive? If you listen to this the right way, it will really fuck you up.
The album is opened and closed with a sort of title track that is mainly just atmospheric instrumental track. The opener is just over a minute, but the last track is over 6:00. There is a lot of use of keyboards. Did I mention Kevin Moore (ex-Dream Theater) provided the keyboards? I think he has a lot to do with the sounds on this album.
The other 5 tracks are all a mixture of heavy riffs, clean chorused guitars chords, VERY inspiring vocals from Ray Alder, phrasing and syncopation, complex harmonies and disharmonies. There is a lot of work going into the writing of these tracks. Moore adds such an electronic flavor to the sound in a way that a lot of metal keyboards fail to do. Half are normal length of under 5:00, but Still Remains clocks in at over 16:00.
Chances are that you will absolutely hate this album if you are expecting a bunch of Butchered Iron Maiden riffs by a melodic death band or anything with super speed. In several places, you even think "This is a metal band?" (but not often). I will say that the music on this album DOES NOT compare to anything Dream Theater has ever done. This style of progressive metal is much less flashy. The focus is on the mood of the song rather than how difficult it is to play the guitar parts although in reality, it is difficult to play, but just for reasons such as the awkward time signatures and lack of repetition in much of the music.
There are no top tracks. It's impossible.