Fates Warning Proves Its Pedigree Once Again With Its Latest LP

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Fates Warning is scheduled to release its latest album next week.  The album, Long Day Good Night is the best work to date from the veteran prog-metal band  The musical arrangements and lyrical content that make up the body of the 72-minute (one hour, 12 minutes) record support that statement.  It is the heaviest record that the band has made in its 35 year history, even in its more subdued moments.  Its lyrical themes are heavy in their own right, too.  That is shown early on in the 13-song record in the form of ‘The Way Home.’  This song will be addressed shortly.  ‘The Longest Shadow of the Day,’ the album’s penultimate (and longest) track is another example of how the record’s musical and lyrical content comes together to make the LP such a strong new offering from the band.  ‘When Snow Falls,’ which comes late in the record’s run, is another important addition to the album.  It will be discussed later, too.  All three songs noted here are key in their own ways to the whole of this record.  When they are considered alongside the ten other songs that make up the rest of the record, the whole of the record proves itself to be a solid return for Fates Warning and, again, some of the band’s best work to date.

Fates Warning’s forthcoming album Long Day Good Night is unquestionably a statement record from the band.  It is a presentation that reminds audiences why Fates Warning is one of the elite acts in the progressive metal world, with its combined musical and lyrical content.  That is proven in part early in through the song ‘The Way Home.’  The song’s musical arrangement forms its foundation, starting off in a very relaxed, almost ballad-esque fashion.  This approach is deceiving, as the band eventually changes directions approximately two-and-a-half minutes into the song, though.  The band shifts from the noted saccharine sweet ballad type approach here to a more eerie, foreboding sound that then evolves into something very heavy a la Tool, believe it or no.  What is really interesting to note of that influence is that while it is there throughout the rest of the arrangement, the band members still manage to keep Fates Warning’s trademark stylistic approach at the fore, balancing it with the noted “dark prog” sound for a whole that stands strong on its own merits.  The change in stylistic approach works well with the song’s lyrical content, which seems to tell a coming-of-age type story.

The noted seeming story is presented with front man Ray Alder singing in the song’s lead and second verses, Say goodbye you’re going home/Your heart aglow/You think about the times you were/Holding on to those who’ve always shown/That the world is sometimes not so cold/And the time is come for you to go now/Stepping into the unknown/Hoping that you won’t feel alone anymore/So you put your faith blindly/In someone else’s hands to take control/But how were you to know/That something in the night was wrong/So you take your final step through the door.”  From here, the mood changes, with the song’s subject seeming to change quite a bit in the second verse, which finds Alder singing, “Innocence/Nothing remains/Indifference is hard to contain/One step away from falling from grace/Learn how to live without somehow/Vanity/Farewell to sacred sanity/It’s rusted, decayed/All that’s inside is eating alive/The damage is done, forget the way home.”  The song’s seeming chorus adds to the noted interpretation, as it states, “Waiting in vain, there at night/Silence the only answer/Fading away into the night, into the immense unknown/Those final words/That goodbye/Those thoughts you’ll hold forever/Escaping pain, forsaking light, can we find the way home?”  That final question, “Can we find the way home?” almost seems to hint at someone asking can we get back to that innocence that we as a people had before leaving that security and certainty of our little worlds, because the world has become such a negative place.  This is, as always, just this critic’s own interpretation.  Hopefully it is close to being accurate.  Regardless, the story that is told lyrically and musically here makes for a positive example of what makes Fates Warning’s new album itself such a strong new album.  It is just one of the songs that makes the album stand out, too.  ‘The Longest Shadow of the Day’ is another clear example of what makes Long Day Good Night an appealing new record.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘The Longest Shadow of the Day’ is unlike anything else featured in this record.  It goes I so many directions over the course of its nearly eleven-and-a-half minute run time, but still manages to keep listeners fully engaged and entertained throughout.  It opens with a bass-centered approach that comes across as a sort of jazz-fusion work.  Approximately three minutes into the arrangement, it evolves from that jazz-fusion style approach to a sort of hybrid prog/death metal style sound, as is evidenced through the guitar lines, bass, and drums.  It isn’t even until almost six minutes into the song (more than halfway through the multi-movement composition) that the song’s lyrical content comes into play.  Before getting to the song’s lyrical theme, it should be noted as the song enters this final movement, a distinct Pink Floyd influence becomes audible alongside the band’s trademark heaviness.  That and everything else noted here makes the arrangement in whole such a standout addition to this record.

The song’s musical arrangement is just one aspect of what makes the song stand out.  Its deeply metaphorical lyrical content adds its own punch to the composition.  The lyrical theme in question comes across as a philosophical discussion on at least one aspect of the human condition.  In this case that aspect would seem to be the fact that we as humans are imperfect and capable of failure.  This is inferred in the song’s lead verse as Alder sings, “The longest shadow of the day/Stretches out into the gray/Paints our flight in softening light/Bends our aim to the night/The longest shadow of the day/Reaches out along the way/Shrouds our sight in failing light/Turns our gaze to the night.”  The song’s second verse hints at the noted theme just as much as Alder sings, “We all will go down/We all fall prey/Lose the fight to the dying light/The longest shadow of the day.”

That note that “We all fall prey/Lose the fight to the dying light/The longest shadow of the day” is perhaps one of the clearest statement of all here about the noted theme.  It’s as if Alder is singing about the fact that we are all imperfect and that we all fail in life at points.  This, again, is this critic’s interpretation and should not be taken as the only interpretation.  One could actually argue just as much that maybe this song is actually lyrically about mankind’s refusal to accept his mortality.  Again, it is all open to interpretation.  Regardless of interpretation, the fact that Alder and company have crafted such a lyrical presentation that can generate so much discussion is a statement in itself.  When this is considered along with the discussions sure to come from the song’s musical arrangement, the whole shows without question even more why it is another of this album’s most notable works.  It still is not the last of the album’s most prominent works.  ‘When Snow Falls,’ which comes late in the album’s run is yet another example of what makes Long Day Good Night such a strong return for Fates Warning.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘When Snow Falls’ is another work that shows a clear Tool influence.  The subtle guitar lines and their layering couples with the equally controlled drums and vocals to give the song such a mysterious sense.  The addition of the vibraphone as a backing element adds even more interest to the composition.  As the song progresses, the already noted Pink Floyd influence becomes audible, too.  That the band balanced all of these influences for yet another original composition here is more than worthy of applause.  It makes the song’s arrangement in itself more than enough reason for audiences to take in this work.  The arrangement couples with the song’s introspective and contemplative lyrical content to make for even more interest.

The lyrical theme featured in this song is another deeply metaphorical message.  Alder sings here in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “We betray innocence/When we choose to stray beyond the fence/Now its dawn/Sky is gray/And the path before us fades away/And snow falls now blinding me/Through the dark we have to feel/Our way back home.”  He adds in the song’s second verse, “I felt safe in that bed/In a way I’m sure you’d understand/But snow falls now/I know I’m lost/Looking back I cannot count the cost.”  He adds in the song’s third and final verse, “Holding on desperately/To a world that’s wrong for me/And I know it’s cold outside/Just say goodbye.”  It is almost as if what this song is stating is that we make our own paths in life, and it is up to us to find our way through each situation, even with the obstacles.  That is once more just this critic’s own interpretation.  Hopefully it is close to being correct.  Regardless, that the song is so deep, lyrically, in its own right is worthy of applause, too.  The song is even more worthy of applause when this deep lyrical content is considered alongside the song’s musical arrangement.  When the whole of this work is considered along with the other songs examined here and the rest of the album’s works, the album in whole shows without doubt why it is such a strong new offering from Fates Warning.

Long Day Good Night is a welcome new return for Fates Warning.  The 13-song, 72-minute record is a presentation that once again shows why this band is to this day, one of the elite acts in the prog-metal community.  That is evidenced through the record’s musical and lyrical content alike.  All three of the songs examined here support the noted statements.  All things considered, Long Day Good Night is a record that prog-metal fans and Fates Warning’s fans alike will welcome into their home libraries.  The album is scheduled for release Nov. 6 through Metal Blade Records.

More information on Long Day Good Night is available online now along with all of Fates Warning’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.fateswarning.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/FatesWarning

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/fateswarning

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Illuminated Minerva Debuts New Single, ‘Wilder (Mother Goddess)’

Courtesy: Asher Media Relations

Independent prog-rock band Illuminate Minerva debuted the latest single from its new album last week.

The band debuted its new single ‘Wilder (Mother Goddess) Thursday through New Fury Media. The song is the third single from its album Enigma Adamantine, which is available now. Its debut comes more than a month after the band premiered the album’s second single single, ‘Abductions,’ and approximately two months after the debut of the record’s lead single, ‘Sightings’ and its companion video.

As with the song’s predecessors, this work’s lyrical content follows the record’s overarching theme of UFOs and alien abductions. Its musical arrangement is a heavy but controlled prog-metal composition that will appeal to fans of bands, such as Fates Warning and ream Theater, as well as Arch Echo.

The track listing for Enigma Adamantine is noted below.

Track Listing:
1. Heart Beat of Creation (9:48)
2. Sightings (5:08)
3. Abductions (7:05)
4. Wilder (Mother Goddess) (8:37)
5. Illuminatus Majoris (13:03)
Album Length: 43:44

More information on Illuminated Minerva’s new single is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://illuminatedminerva.bandcamp.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/illuminatedminerva

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Fates Warning Debuts ‘Now Comes The Rain’ Lyric Video

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Fates Warning debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the lyric video for its new single ‘Now Comes The Rain‘ Wednesday. The song and its video are the second from the band’s forthcoming album Long Day Good Night, which is scheduled for release Nov. 6 through Metal Blade Records. The song’s debut comes more than two months after the band debuted the album’s lead single, ‘Scars.’

Fittingly, the video for the band’s new single features the song’s lyrics presented against the backdrop of the album’s artwork. Raindrops are present throughout the video, even being used in the video’s intro to make it look as it viewers are looking through a rain-covered window.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Now Come The Rain’ is a heavy, yet somewhat melancholy presentation. Its lyrical theme comes across as delivering a message of hope. It notes through its metaphorical language that for all the rain that falls, there is some sunshine. It is certain to engage and entertain audiences.

Pre-orders are open now for Long Day Good Night.  The album will be available through a variety of platforms, all of which are noted below.

– digipak-CD
– ltd. digibook-CD
– 180g black vinyl (EU exclusive)
– red / black marbled vinyl (EU exclusive – limited to 500 copies)
– dark goldenrod marbled vinyl (EU exclusive – limited to 300 copies)
– clear / black marbled vinyl (EU exclusive – limited to 200 copies)
– orange / black dust splatter vinyl (Kings Road exclusive – limited to 100 copies)
– orange / red marbled vinyl (US exclusive)
– clear w/ red & orange splatter vinyl (US exclusive)

Fates Warning signed a new deal with Metal Blade Records last year, through which it has released the majority of its albums, after having spent recent years signed to InsideOut Music.  The band was signed with Metal Blade Records from the release of its 1984 debut album Night on Brocken, releasing albums through the label until 2013, when it released Darkness in a Different Light through InsideOut Music.  Theories of Flight followed in 2016.  The band’s 1998 live recording Still Life was also released via Metal Blade Records, as was the band’s 2017 live recording Awaken The Guardian Live.

Front man Ray Alder addressed the reunion in an interview last year.

“All of us in Fates Warning are happy to announce that we are back with Metal Blade Records,” Alder said.  “Metal Blade has been there for us since the very beginning, and we are proud to call them part of our family.  The journey begins again, and we cannot begin to say how excited we are to work together once more.  A big thank to our fans for sticking with us through all these years.  We could not be here today without all of you.  That is a fact.  Thank you, everyone.  Here’s to making some new memories.”

Alder had the following to say of the band’s new album in a recent interview.

“The styles of music we’ve written distinguish this record from the rest of our catalogue,” said Alder. “There are some songs with electronics and some with a nice ethereal feel, as well as some pretty straightforward grooves, at least for us. And there are also some pretty heavy songs. We tried to give the listener a host of different things to listen to, as opposed to an album where every song sounds the same.”

Guitarist Jim Matheos expanded on Alder’s statements with his own comments.

“Like all albums, nothing comes easy,” said Matheos. “It’s quite a process to go from the idea to the actual finished song. Sometimes you think you’re done with it, then you hear something else and you have to try that. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but you at least have to try it just so you know that in the end you’ve done everything possible to make it as good as it can be. Jim and I spent practically every day for the last year writing this album. I am very happy with the outcome, and with the blend of styles. I guess I could say that this album represents all of the years that we have been together.”

Porcupine Tree/The Pineapple Thief drummer Gavin Harrison makes a guest appearance on Fates Warning’s new album in the songs ‘When The Snow Falls’ and ‘Under The Sun.’

Long Day Good Night‘s track listing is noted below.  The album’s total run time is one hour, 12 minutes.

Long Day Good Night track-listing
1. The Destination Onward
2. Shuttered World
3. Alone We Walk
4. Now Comes the Rain
5. The Way Home
6. Under the Sun
7. Scars
8. Begin Again
9. When Snow Falls
10. Liar
11. Glass Houses
12. The Longest Shadow of the Day
13. The Last Song

More information on Long Day Good Night is available online now along with all of Fates Warning’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.fateswarning.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/FatesWarning

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/fateswarning

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Metal Blade Announces Release Date, Specs For Fates Warning Vinyl Re-Issues

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Metal Blade Records is re-issuing three classic albums from Fates Warning.

The label will re-issue The Spectre Within (1985), No Exit (1988), and Inside Out (1994) on Aug. 7 on vinyl.  Pre-orders are open now in the U.S. and EU.

Each re-issue will release on a standard 180-gram pressing and on separate color pressings.  The full details for the re-issues are noted below.

 

The Spectre Within “Originals-Series” LP re-issue
– sky blue marbled vinyl (USA exclusive)
– 180g black vinyl (EU exclusive)
– night blue marbled vinyl (EU exclusive – limited to 300 copies)
– violet / blue marbled vinyl (EU exclusive – limited to 200 copies)
– blue / white melt w/ red & white splatter vinyl (EU webshop – limited to 100 copies)

No Exit “Originals-Series” LP re-issue
– signal red / white marbled vinyl (USA exclusive)
– 180g black vinyl (EU exclusive)
– opaque deep red vinyl (EU exclusive – limited to 300 copies)
– light grey / black marbled vinyl (EU exclusive – limited to 200 copies)
– silver / blackdust vinyl (EU webshop – limited to 100 copies)

Inside Out “Originals-Series” LP re-issue
– grass green marbled vinyl (USA exclusive)
– 180g black vinyl (EU exclusive)
– dark brown marbled vinyl (EU exclusive – limited to 300 copies)
– opaque beige marbled vinyl (EU exclusive – limited to 200 copies)
– green / brown / red melt vinyl (EU webshop – limited to 100 copies)

The Spectre Within track-listing
SIDE A
1. Traveler in Time
2. Orphan Gypsy
3. Without a Trace
4. Pirates of the Underground
SIDE B
5. The Apparition
6. Kyrie Eleison
7. Epitaph

No Exit track-listing
SIDE A
1. No Exit
2. Anarchy Divine
3. Silent Cries
4. In a Word
5. Shades of Heavenly Death
SIDE B
6. The Ivory Gate of Dreams
I. Innocence
II. Cold Daze
III. Daylight Dreamers
IV. Quietus
V. Ivory Tower
VI. Whispers on the Wind
VII. Acquiescence
VIII. Retrospect

Inside Out track-listing
SIDE A
1. Outside Looking In
2. Pale Fire
3. The Strand
4. Shelter Me
5. Island in the Stream
SIDE B
6. Down to the Wire
7. Face the Fear
8. Inward Bound
9. Monument
10. Afterglow

 

Metal Blade Records and Fates Warning reunited so to speak early last year. The band announced in February 2019, it had signed a new record deal with Metal Blade Records.

Most recently, the band was signed with InsideOut Music, which released the band’s most recent recordings, Theories of Flight (2016) and Live Over Europe (2018).

Front man Ray Alder addressed the reunion in an interview at the time.

“All of us in Fates Warning are happy to announce that we are back with Metal Blade Records,” Alder said.  “Metal Blade has been there for us since the very beginning, and we are proud to call them part of our family.  The journey begins again, and we cannot begin to say how excited we are to work together once more.  A big thank to our fans for sticking with us through all these years.  We could not be here today without all of you.  That is a fact.  Thank you, everyone.  Here’s to making some new memories.”

Fates Warning was signed with Metal Blade Records from its inception, releasing albums through the label until 2013, when it released Darkness in a Different Light through InsideOut Music.  Theories of Flight followed in 2016.  The band’s 1998 live recording Still Life was also released via Metal Blade Records, as was the band’s 2017 live recording Awaken The Guardian Live.

More information on that album is available online now along with all of Fates Warning’s latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://www.fateswarning.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/FatesWarning

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/fateswarning

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Michael Abdow Continues To Make His Mark In The Progressive Music World With His Latest LP

Courtesy: Couch Cat Records

Guitarist Michael Abdow is scheduled to release his latest studio recording Heart Signal Friday.  The new, eight-song collection of songs is a presentation that Abdow’s fans will appreciate just as much as progressive rock and metal fans.  That is proven in part through the arrangements that make up the body of the 43-minute record.  Those arrangements will be discussed shortly.  The sequencing of those arrangements adds even more strength to the album’s presentation, and will be discussed a little later.  The record’s overall production puts the finishing touch to its presentation, and will also be addressed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Heart Signal.  All things considered, they succeed in achieving Abdow’s goal of evoking a response from listeners; a positive response at that.

Michael Abdow’s new LP Heart Signal is a presentation that sends its own strong signal to audiences.  The signal in question is that this record deserves as much attention from audiences as works from the likes of John Petrucci, Al Joseph and Joe Satriani.  While the clearly prog rock/metal arrangements do lend themselves to comparisons to works from the noted counterparts to Abdow, audiences will be pleased to know that they still boast their own unique identities.  The album’s 12-minute-plus opener ‘Weight of the World’ is just one example of the identity that the arrangements present.  Yes, there are some distinct progressive elements here, but there are also some bluesy elements set alongside the more progressive elements.  The work of Abdow’s fellow musician, bassist Tony Franklin adds its own touch to the song, as do the electronic elements, which create kind of a unique “spacey” vibe to the song.  At the same time that all of that is going on, there is also a subtle Pink Floyd influence evidenced at one point in the song, adding even more interest to the composition.  The balance of all of these noted elements throughout the song’s nearly 13-minute run time keeps the song’s energy stable throughout, and in turn keeps the engagement and entertainment just as solid.  Abdow’s control of his own instrument throughout is just as noteworthy.  He shows that he can shred and that he can play with a bit more finesse throughout, really presenting a rich view of his talents.

The arrangement at the center of ‘Synthetic Origins’ is another example of how this record’s arrangements make it such an intriguing new offering.  The heaviness and precision in Abdow’s guitar work and that of Franklin, and the very experimental nature of the arrangement is in itself truly noteworthy here.  The inclusion of the old school metal elements that are included so subtly adds a nice touch to the whole.  Drummer Shawn Deneault’s ability to maintain the time keeping throughout the whole of the song is just as admirable in its own right.  The collective talents of each musician and the overall sound and feel of this song serves to make it another example of how this record holds its own easily against any other solo guitarist’s record and even that of any other progressive rock act.  It’s just one more way in which the arrangements prove their importance to the bigger picture of the album’s presentation.  ‘Nature of Play,’ the record’s finale, is one more example of the importance of the record’s arrangements.

The arrangement at the center of ‘Nature of Play’ is important as it truly does evoke a certain sense of happiness.  The harmonics that Abdow uses and the very interplay (pardon the pun) between Abdow, Franklin and Deneault evokes its own sense of playfulness.  Everything is so precise, yet so light throughout the course of the song.  It generates such a positive feeling in a person’s mind.  Considering this, the thoughts and emotions evoked by the other discussed songs and the rest of the record’s arrangements, the whole of the record’s content provides listeners with something that is unique from start to end even with its similarities to other well-known solo guitarists’ works.  That uniqueness (is that even a real word?) and the energies in each song ensures listeners’ engagement and enjoyment even more.  Speaking of energies, the energies in each song are connected to the album’s sequencing – another of the album’s most important elements.

Heart Signal’s sequencing is important to the album’s whole because of the balance in the record’s energy that it exhibits.  The album starts off in a nice, mysterious fashion in the opening bars of ‘Weight of the World.’  That vibe and sound soon after gives way though, to the song’s more aggressive tones and feeling.  There are also some more contemplative moments added to the mix that are well-balanced in their own right.  The album’s energy pulls back in its title track, which immediately follows ‘Weight of the World,’ keeping things interesting for listeners.  The record goes in a decidedly different direction in its third track, ‘We Live Here.’  The energy is clearly on the rise throughout here thanks to the arrangement.  One could argue that there is a certain manic energy here whereas the energy in the album’s first two songs was more controlled and focused.  That is not a bad thing, though.  It just means that once again, it gives listeners even more reason to remain engaged.  The album’s energy and direction takes yet another turn as it progresses into ‘Heavy Drifter.’  The sound and the sense that the arrangement creates is something that can only be heard to fully comprehend, but it is unlike anything else on this record.  The change in pace and feel doesn’t end in ‘Heavy Drifter.’  It continues in ‘The Hand That Takes.’  The arrangement’s energy is decidedly upbeat, but is also very focused and driving.  This will in turn keep listeners focused, listening to every nuance in the song.  It is just a good modern, prog-metal opus.  Abdow and company really throw a wrench into the works as Heart Signal progresses from ‘The Hand That Takes’ into the album’s next song, ‘Cherry Blossom Descent.’  This song’s arrangement presents an energy that is more reserved than other works on the album, but not by too much.  It creates an emotional impact through the approach here, that will keep listeners just as engaged as that of the album’s other works.  The group doesn’t let things sit back for too long as the record makes its way into ‘Synthetic Origins.’  The energy is high in this song to say the least, and stays high throughout.  Things ease off a little bit as the record enters its finale, ‘Nature of Play,’ but still leaves listeners feeling fulfilled in its own right.  By the time the song (and album) ends, listeners can look back and know that from beginning to end, the energies in each song rise and fall and move in all of the right directions throughout, ensuring listeners’ engagement and entertainment even more.  When this positive is considered along with the positive impact of the record’s content, the end result is a presentation that works just as well for its aesthetics as for its content.

Heart Signal gets a lot right in looking at its content and its sequencing.  While those noted elements do a lot to make the record worth hearing.  Those elements are not the record’s only important elements.  Its overall production puts the finishing touch to its whole.  As has already been pointed out twice over, there is a lot going on throughout this record, and that is just from three musicians.  Considering the complexity of each song, that meant that a lot of attention had to be paid to the sound balance in each work and to making sure that the intended emotion was fully captured, by connection.  Those behind the glass did just that, and did so expertly, too.  Each musician gets his own time in the limelight so to speak.  Whether in the balance between Abdow and Franklin’s parts in the manic ‘We Live Here’ (and the keyboards in the song, too), that of the frenetic performance of Abdow to Deneault’s time keeping in ‘Synthetic Origins’ or even the effect used on Abdow’s guitar and its balance with the guitars and bass in ‘Nature of Play,’ it is clear that a lot of time and work was put into making sure each song’s fullest effect was presented.  That effort paid off all the way through the album, too.  When this is considered along with the impact of the album’s content in general and that content’s sequencing, all three elements come together to make Heart Signal a record that has plenty of heart and sends its own strong signal to audiences and other rockers alike.

Michael Abdow’s fourth full-length solo record Heart Signal is a presentation that prog-rock and prog-metal fans alike will agree is worth at least one listen.  It lends itself to comparisons to work from the likes of Liquid Tension Experiment, Dream Theater and even his Jason Kui.  At the same time, the record’s arrangements still boast their own unique identity, giving reason in itself for audiences to take in this record.  The record’s sequencing adds even more interest to its presentation, as it balances each song’s energy well against one another.  The album’s production puts the finishing touch to its presentation, as noted.  Each item addressed here is important in its own way to the whole of the record.  All things considered, they make Heart Signal a work that is certain to appeal to any progressive music fan.  The record is scheduled for release Friday through Couch Cat Records.  More information on the record is available along with all of Michael Abdow’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://michaelabdow.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MichaelAbdow

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Fates Warning, Metal Blade Reunite

Photo Credit: Stephanie Cabral

Fates Warning and Metal Blade Records have reunited.

The veteran progressive rock band announced this week that it signed a new deal with Metal Blade Records.  Most recently, the band was signed with InsideOut Music, which released the band’s most recent recordings, Theories of Flight (2016) and Live Over Europe (2018).

Front man Ray Alder addressed the reunion in a recent interview.

“All of us in Fates Warning are happy to announce that we are back with Metal Blade Records,” Alder said.  “Metal Blade has been there for us since the very beginning, and we are proud to call them part of our family.  The journey begins again, and we cannot begin to say how excited we are to work together once more.  A big thank to our fans for sticking with us through all these years.  We could not be here today without all of you.  That is a fact.  Thank you, everyone.  Here’s to making some new memories.”

Fates Warning was signed with Metal Blade Records from its inception, releasing albums through the label until 2013, when it released Darkness in a Different Light through InsideOut Music.  Theories of Flight followed in 2016.  The band’s 1998 live recording Still Life was also released via Metal Blade Records, as was the band’s 2017 live recording Awaken The Guardian Live.

 

 

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Fates Warning is scheduled to join Queensryche on the road starting March 2 as a support act for Queensryche as it tours in support of its new album The Verdict.  That album is currently scheduled for release March 1 via Century Media Records.  The tour’s current schedule is noted below.

Fates Warning tour dates
w/ Queensryche

Mar. 2 – The Plaza Live – Orlando, FL
Mar. 3 – Culture Room – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Mar. 4 – Jack Rabbits Live – Jacksonville, FL *
Mar. 5 – Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
Mar. 7 – Sound Stage – Baltimore, MD w/ The Cringe
Mar. 8 – Sellersville Theater – Sellersville, PA *
Mar. 9 – Irving Plaza – New York, NY w/ The Cringe
Mar. 10 – Palladium – Worcester, MA w/ The Cringe
Mar. 12 – Bogarts – Cincinnati, OH
Mar. 13 – Diesel – Detroit, MI
Mar. 14 – Concord – Chicago, IL
Mar. 15 – The Rave – Milwaukee, WI
Mar. 16 – Medina Entertainment Center – Medina, MN
Mar. 17 – The Royal Grove – Lincoln, NE *
Mar. 19 – The Shrine – Tulsa, OK *
Mar. 20 – House of Blues – Dallas, TX
Mar. 21 – House of Blues – Houston, TX
Mar. 22 – Aztec – San Antonio, TX
Mar. 23 – El Rey – Albuquerque, NM
Mar. 24 – House of Bards – Tucson, AZ * w/ Push, DIRTNAP, Tribulance, Fire By Rank
Mar. 26 – The Marquee – Tempe, AZ
Mar. 27 – Observatory – San Diego, CA
Mar. 28 – The Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles, CA
Mar. 29 – Slim’s – San Francisco, CA
Mar. 30 – Ace of Spades – Sacramento, CA
Apr. 1 – The Dip – Redding, CA *
Apr. 2 – Crystal Ballroom – Portland, OR
Apr. 3 – Neptune – Seattle, WA
*=Fates Warning only

Once Fates Warning wraps its tour, it will start work on its 13th full-length studio recording, which will be released in 2020 via Metal Blade Records.  More information on that album is available online now along with all of Fates Warning’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.fateswarning.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FatesWarning

Twitter: http://twitter.com/fateswarning

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Eagle Rock’s Mingus Montreux Show Shines In Phil’s Picks’ 2018 Top New Live CDs List

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Going to live shows is neither easy nor inexpensive nowadays.  Between the collective cost of tickets — which is itself oftentimes bank-breaking — transportation, food, potential lodging and souvenirs, and of course planning around work and family schedules, getting out to live shows is not easy for anyone.

Those barriers make the availability of live recordings something critical for audiences everywhere, regardless of genre.  To that end, live CDs deserve their own consideration just as much as studio recordings, each year.  Keeping that in mind, Phil’s Picks has developed once again a list of the year’s Top 10 new live CDs.

This year has been an interesting one for live CDs.  Some notable live CDs were featured as part of bigger bundles (E.G. The Rolling Stones’ San Jose ’99 and Voodoo Lounge ’94 shows) while others, such as Alice Cooper’s A Paranormal Night @ The Olympia Paris and Marty Friedman’s One Bad M.F. Live were standalone offerings.

Some were standout offerings for all of the best reasons.  Others had some problems to note.  Keeping all of this in mind, this year’s crop of live CDs deserves just as much attention as the vast sea of studio recordings released throughout the year.

Topping this year’s list is yet another live CD from the people at Eagle Rock Entertainment in the form of Charles Mingus’ classic 1975 Montreux Jazz Festival show.  This recording presents Mingus at one of his finest moments, and why his live performances were — and still are today — such powerful presentations.

Coming in second in this year’s list is the new Jimi Hendrix live CD, Live at the Hollywood Bowl.  This CD was released as part of the bigger Electric Ladyland box set, and stands out so strongly because of its set list, Hendrix and company’s performance and the production values.

Third place in this year’s list of the year’s best new live CDs goes to veteran viking metal outfit Amon Amarth.  The 30-song set list spans two nights and quite an expansive portion of the band’s catalog.  That set list is directly mirrored on its DVD and BD presentation, and sounds just as good.  Though because of the intensity of the show, it is still better appreciated being seen and heard and not just heard.  That’s not to say the CD presentation is bad, but audiences will agree that hearing it makes for far more appreciation for the concerts’ DVD and BD presentations.

Also featured in this year’s list of top new live CDs are those noted new offerings from Marty Friedman, Alice Cooper and The Rolling Stones alongside new offerings from Opeth, Devin Townsend and John 5 to name just a few more titles.  As always, this critic’s list features 10 of the year’s top new offerings plus five honorable mentions, which follow, for a total count of 15.  Without any further ado, here is Phil’s Picks’ 2018 Top 10 new Live CDs.

PHIL’S PICKS 2018 TOP 10 NEW LIVE CDs

  1. Charles Mingus — Live at Montreux 1975
  2. Jimi Hendrix — Live at the Hollywood BowlAug. 14, 1968
  3. Amon Amarth — The Pursuit of Vikings25 Years in the Eye of the Storm
  4. Devin Townsend Project — Ocean MachineLive at the Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv
  5. Opeth — Garden of the TitansLive at Red Rocks Amphitheatre
  6. The Rolling Stones — No SecuritySan Jose ’99
  7. The Rolling Stones — Voodoo Lounge Uncut
  8. John Mclaughlin & The 4th Dimension and Jimmy Herring & The Invisible Whip — Live in San Francisco
  9. Marty Friedman — One Bad M.F. Live
  10. Accept — Symphonic TerrorLive at Wacken 2017
  11. Alice Cooper — A Paranormal Night at The Olympia Paris
  12. Fates Warning — Live Over Europe
  13. Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow — Memories in Rock II
  14. John 5 and The Creatures — It’s Alive
  15. Overkill — Live in Overhausen

Fates Warning Debuts ‘Point of View’ Lyric Video

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Fates Warning has released another video in support of its new live recording Live Over Europe.

The band debuted the lyric video for the song ‘Point of View‘ today via YouTube.  Created by John Kaimakamis and the Nightwatchers, the song is the partner to the song taken directly from the song from the recording.  The video’s design places the song’s lyrics over a blueprint style background, with the lyrics written on sheets of paper on said backdrop.  Pictures of the band performing live are also incorporated into the final design, adding even more depth to its presentation.

The band is scheduled to perform live in October at a trio of South American shows.  Those dates are also in support of Live Over Europe.  Drummer Craig Anderson (Ignite, Crescent Shield) will fill in for regular drummer Bobby Jarzombek for those shows.  That is because Jarzombek has previous commitments on said dates, which are noted below.

FATES WARNING – Live 2018:
October 9th – Santiago (Chile) – Club Subterráneo
Tickets: https://www.eventrid.cl/eventos/spiderprod/fates-warning-en-chile

October 11th – Arequipa (Peru) – Jarawa / Lima Metal Fest Sideshow

October 13th – Lima (Peru) – Lima Metal Fest III

Tickets: https://www.joinnus.com/PE/conciertos/lima-lima-metal-fest-3-2018-20073

 

‘Point of View’ is just the latest single to come from Live Over Europe.  The record — mixed by Jen Bogren (Opeth, Kreator, Symphony X) and mastered by Tony Lindgren at Fascination Street Studios in Sweden — has also spawned the singles ‘Firefly,’ ‘The Light and Shade of Things‘ and ‘Life in Still Water.’  Those songs and the others featured in the record were culled from eight different cities in which Fates Warning performed earlier this year across Europe in support of its most recent full-length studio recording Theories of Flight.

Liver Over Europe is available now in stores and online.  It is available digitally and as a 2CD and 3LP set.  The CD and LP sets can be ordered here.

More information on Fates Warning’s new lyric video is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.fateswarning.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FastesWarning

Twitter: http://twitter.com/fasteswarning

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Fates Warning Debuts ‘Firefly’ Live Clip From ‘Live Over Europe’

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Fates Warning is giving audiences their first preview of its latest live recording.

The band debuted its performance of ‘Firefly‘ today.  The song is taken from the band’s forthcoming live recording Live Over Europe.  It is streaming online now here.

Live Over Europe is currently scheduled to be released June 29 via InsideOut Music.  It will be available on 2 CD and 3 LP/2CD combo pack.  Pre-orders are available online now.

The 2-CD, 23-song recording culls performances from eight stops along Fates Warning’s run through Europe this past January in support of its latest album Theories of Flight — Aschaffenburg, Germany; Belgrade, Serbia; Thessaloniki and Athens, Greece; Rome and Milan, Italy; Budapest, Hungary and Ljubljana, Slovenia.

The double-disc set, which spans the band’s 30 year-long life, was mixed by Jens Bogren (Opeth, Kreator, Symphony X) and mastered by Tony Lindgren at Fascination Street Studios in Sweden.  It will be available as limited edition 2-CD deluxe mediabook, 3LP/2CD combo pack, and digitally.  The recording’s full track listing is noted below.

Front man Ray Alder said in a recent interview that he was looking forward to the recording’s release.

“We would like to thank each and every one of our fans that helped us make Live Over Europe,” Alder said.  “We had a great time making this album, and we hope that you enjoyed the shows as much as we did playing them!”

FATES WARNING – “Live Over Europe“

CD 1:
1. From the Rooftops
2. Life in Still Water
3. One
4. Pale Fire
5. Seven Stars
6. SOS
7. Pieces of Me
8. Firefly
9. The Light and Shade of Things
10. Wish
11. Another Perfect Day
12. Silent Cries
13. And Yet it Moves

CD 2:
1. Still Remains
2. Nothing Left to Say
3. Acquiescence
4. The Eleventh Hour
5. Point of View
6. Falling
7. A Pleasant Shade of Gray, Pt. IX
8. Through Different Eyes
9. Monument
10. Eye to Eye

More information on Live Over Europe is available online now along with all of Fates Warning’s latest news and more at:

 

Websitehttp://www.fateswarning.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/FatesWarning

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/fateswarning

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

Fates Warning Announces ‘Live Over Europe’ Release Date, Specs

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Fates Warning has a new live recording on the way.

The veteran progressive rock act announced Thursday that it will release its new live recording Live Over Europe on June 29 via InsideOut Music.  The 2-CD, 23-song recording culls performances from eight stops along Fates Warning’s run through Europe this past January in support of its latest album Theories of Flight — Aschaffenburg, Germany; Belgrade, Serbia; Thessaloniki and Athens, Greece; Rome and Milan, Italy; Budapest, Hungary and Ljubljana, Slovenia.

The double-disc set, which spans the band’s 30 year-long life, was mixed by Jens Bogren (Opeth, Kreator, Symphony X) and mastered by Tony Lindgren at Fascination Street Studios in Sweden.  It will be available as limited edition 2-CD deluxe mediabook, 3LP/2CD combo pack, and digitally.  The recording’s full track listing is noted below.

Front man Ray Alder said in a recent interview that he was looking forward to the recording’s release.

“We would like to thank each and every one of our fans that helped us make Live Over Europe,” Alder said.  “We had a great time making this album, and we hope that you enjoyed the shows as much as we did playing them!”

FATES WARNING  “Live Over Europe“

CD 1:
1. From the Rooftops
2. Life in Still Water
3. One
4. Pale Fire
5. Seven Stars
6. SOS
7. Pieces of Me
8. Firefly
9. The Light and Shade of Things
10. Wish
11. Another Perfect Day
12. Silent Cries
13. And Yet it Moves

CD 2:
1. Still Remains
2. Nothing Left to Say
3. Acquiescence
4. The Eleventh Hour
5. Point of View
6. Falling
7. A Pleasant Shade of Gray, Pt. IX
8. Through Different Eyes
9. Monument
10. Eye to Eye

More information on Live Over Europe is available online now along with all of Fates Warning’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.fateswarning.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FatesWarning

Twitter: http://twitter.com/fateswarning

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.