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Nice complex power/thrash - 85%

UltraBoris, August 21st, 2002

This is the last great Fates Warning album before they decided to throw out any semblance of being interesting. Some of the same ideas that made The Spectre Within so great are present here as well, and also the album is heavier and thrashier.

We start with the title track, which is about 45 seconds long, before we get into "Anarchy Divine", that has a really fucking nice thrash riff to it. In fact, there are quite a few really nice thrash riffs in this song. This intro just could very well be mistaken for Nuclear Fucking Assault - well, until the vocals begin, which are complete Halford worship. Ray Alder puts in a competent performance on this album. Not quite as completely fucking interesting as John Arch, but he still manages to hit a whole royal fuckload of high notes and come through with awesome power.

That's probably the best song on there, "Anarchy Divine"... "I will keep my own time!!" Next, "Silent Cries", which alternates power metal during the verses, and then a really monstrous thrash riff after the chorus, which continues into the middle section underneath the guitar solo.

"In a Word" is slower and features some actual singing from Ray Alder - still very powerful, and overall quite a great song. Next, "Shades of Heavenly Death", which brings back the thrash riffs and is probably the heaviest song Fates Warning ever did.

Then, the rest of the album is the 20 minute long "The Ivory Gate of Dreams". It's complicated enough, and has sufficient sections, that it does not get boring after 20 minutes. There are some galloping Iron Maiden parts, some overt thrash riffs, and some quieter parts - and they flow together very nicely, creating a marvellous epic.

Yes, after this Fates Warning completely fucking fell apart. But people tend to lump this album in with the later Alder stuff, just because it doesn't have John Arch. It's still one of their finest efforts.