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Fates Warning is a true progressive metal band that values the music first. These guys are into making solid songs and records, effectively using their individual talents without however, showing off in the process.
“Disconnected” consists of 7 songs. The first song works as an intro and the last one as an outro. Both serve their purpose well. The reason i just mentioned that is to highlight the fact that in “Disconnected” the listened is faced up against 5 songs. Personally i dig this kind of philosophy where less is more and where 5 quality oriented songs beat 12 or 14 song-albums any day of the week.
As far as music is concerned Fates Warning writes progressive songs full of melodies, emotion, attitude and groove in this album. Interestingly “Disconnected” has its share of heavy moments which of course are always welcome. The music of “Disconnected” is truly progressive in nature as it connects with the listener well. The mood effectively changes from one song to the next. “One” and “Pieces of Me” are the up-tempo tunes of the album, thus being in a way the two potential hits. “So”, “Something for Nothing” and “Still Remains” are closer to the standards set by the progressive metal genre both in feel and length. Personally i find both lengthy and shorter songs to work well together, allowing “Disconnected” to have a wonderful flow, when listened from beginning to end.
I think the element that successfully differentiates this album from the rest of the genre is Ray Adler’s unique performance. Adler’s melodic and full-range voice is truly breathtaking. In “Disconnected” his vocal performance uplifts the entire album to levels of progressive excellence. Of course there is more than just Ray’s voice on this one.
Matheos’s guitar parts are amazing. There is equal dose of melodious sections and technical moments. The use of keyboards adds value and quality to the songs. They complement Matheos’ melodies and solo work exceptionally well, giving them a prog-based edge.
Mentioning that Joey Vera’s bass work is solid is definitely not needed. The low end is definitely present and works well with Zonder’s drumming. I do need to highlight that Zonder’s artistic drumming makes this album whole. I do consider him one of the great progressive drummers out there. Again, its no mystery that his personal style complements the songs of the album masterfully. Just like his colleagues on Fates Warning, he feels no need to show off and his performance is exactly what the songs need in order to move on to another level.
Production wise i would say this album is excellent. It sounds exactly as a progressive record should sound. The sound is full, 3-dimensional, the mixing is great, leaving room for all instruments to shine and the end-result is simply exceptional.
Progressive junkies I'm sure have this one in their collection. I think however, it is not wrong to say that, “Disconnected”, targets at a greater group of open minded music listeners; those, willing to judge their music on the basis of quality and that alone.
Stand outs: All songs are great. I do think however, that the 16 minute “Still Remains” is the true masterpiece of the album.