Fates Warning Awaken the Guardian

Much like its excellent reissue last year of Voivod’s classic debut War and Pain, Metal Blade has done another great job on this deluxe reissue of Fates Warning’s 1986 album. A three-disc collection comprised of two music CDs and a DVD, this is something that every fan of the progressive metal band will want to have in their collection. The first disc contains a remastered version of the album itself. The last to find the band fronted by original singer John Arch, the quintet were in transition from their more thrash-inspired roots into the prog band they would become. With many time changes contained in each song, this album helped set the stage for a whole movement of likeminded bands in the ’90s. It also contains two of the band’s signature songs, "Fata Morgana” and "Prelude to Ruin.” The final two discs are all previous unreleased bonus material. The second music disc contains demos of three album tracks and another six songs recorded live, including an interesting cover of Black Sabbath’s "Die Young.” The third and final disc is a DVD, made up of a late 1986 live set filmed in Long Island, NY. While the quality isn’t nearly as good as that of the music discs, this rare glimpse at the band performing live nearly 20 years ago will definitely appeal to long-time fans. Nicely done from start to finish, this may not bring many new fans to the band, but it is surely enough to remind some of their old fans just how amazing they were back in the day. (Metal Blade)