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epic, emotional, but underrated - 95%

dragons_secrets, March 2nd, 2003

This is the Fates' album that doesn't really get as much attention as their other albums. It does bear resemblence to the album before it, Parallells, which gets alot more recognition. Inside Out, just like Parallells, is an astonshing album full of emotional mid-paced metal songs and melodic ballad-type songs. This album is still very much as masterpiece in its own way, like most Fates' albums. Two of the best songs here are 'Pale Fire' and 'Down to the Wire' . Both are excellent mid-tempo songs with a tremendous amount of melody and both have really good lyrics. 'Face the Fear' is an awesome song with spine tingling passages throughout, the end of the song is especially emotional. 'Monument' is a the definate classic from the album, and seems to be a crowd favorite for the live shows. Its the most heaviest and progressive song on the album undoubtedly. However the greatest thing about this album would have to be the 3 track sequence of tracks 3, 4, and 5. Through those 3 tracks we have some of Fates Warning's most melodic and relaxing ballad-like songs with 'The Strand', 'Shelter Me', and the masterpiece 'Island In the Stream'. If you ever want to relax just listen to these 3 songs in that sequence and I'm sure it will do the trick. 'The Strand' is alot less ballad like than the other two but its just melodic and calm enough and sets the perfect atmosphere. 'Shelter Me' is a perfect song with some excellent singing and breathtaking guitarwork courtesy of Jim Matheos. Then we have 'Island In the Stream', a somewhat underrated FW song, that is indeed in my opinion one of their absolute best songs from any album. It starts out perfectly calm and relaxing, and progresses beautifully into a chillingly heavy latter half of the song. I can't say enough about this song, its certainly a perfect performance of Ray Alder on this song,..he sings with alot of passion. The guitars in this song are breathtaking and tug at your heart, and the keyboards in the song add a perfect atmosphere...and what can be said about the guitar solo?! It has a perfect tone and fits well with the song. If anything this album could just have this one song and I'd still give it a 90, but since it has songs besides this one that are truly magnificent and great then I just have to go higher than that. You can't expect anything less from one of the finest of the progressive metal genre. Having that said, no Fates Warning or metal collection would be complete without this album, so go buy it!!!!