Fates Warning No Exit

Fates Warning No Exit
To celebrate the label’s 25th anniversary, Metal Blade re-released a slew of back-catalogue albums with bonus tracks, DVDs and extras to keep on milking the cash cow and Fates Warning’s pivotal 1988 platter receives the same treatment. These rising prog metal masters had just replaced founding vocalist John Arch with newcomer Ray Alder, in order to pursue a more commercial level. This move resulted in immediate success, as No Exit became their highest charting album ever. Building on the Queensrÿche formula (which Dream Theater would command in the early ’90s), "Anarchy Divine” and "In A Word” set the pace for the record, and "Shades of Heavenly Death” flexes the band’s prog muscles even more. Much like Rush’s 2112, eight-part epic "The Ivory Gate of Dreams” compiles all the band’s best aspects, from galloping, Maiden-esque thrash ("Cold Daze,” "Ivory Tower”) and Metallica-like prog ("Acquiescence”) to heavy streamliners ("Quietus,” "Daylight Dreamers”) and a what would soon become commonplace ballad ("Whispers on the Wind”), all encased by acoustic bookends ("Innocence,” "Retrospect”). The bonus demos are tinny and uneven but the DVD of the supporting tour and music videos shows a bygone era of early metal mayhem. (Metal Blade)