Fates Warning

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Fates Warning
Fates Warning in Bratislava (2017).jpg
Fates Warning in Bratislava (2017)
Background information
Origin Hartford, Connecticut, United States
Years active1982−present
Associated acts
Website www.fateswarning.com
Members Jim Matheos
Ray Alder
Joey Vera
Bobby Jarzombek
Mike Abdow
Past membersVictor Arduini
John Arch
Joe DiBiase
Steve Zimmerman
Chris Cronk
Frank Aresti
Mark Zonder

Fates Warning is an American progressive metal band, [1] formed in 1982 by vocalist John Arch, guitarists Jim Matheos and Victor Arduini, bassist Joe DiBiase, and drummer Steve Zimmerman in Hartford, Connecticut. [2]

Progressive metal is a fusion genre melding heavy metal and progressive rock that combines the loud "aggression" and amplified guitar-driven sound of the former with the more experimental, cerebral or "pseudo-classical" compositions of the latter.

John Arch progressive metal singer from the USA

[[File:|alt=John Arch|thumb|John Arch with Fates Warning]]

Jim Matheos American musician

Jim Matheos is an American guitarist and the primary songwriter for the progressive metal band Fates Warning, in which he has been the only consistent member since the group's beginning. Matheos also plays in OSI alongside Kevin Moore, as well as making other appearances with many different bands and artists.


A pioneer of the progressive metal movement, Fates Warning is often credited as one of the so called "Big Three" of the genre, along with Queensrÿche and Dream Theater; namely, the bands who are most responsible for prog metal's creation, developing and popularization. [3] Their early work, influenced by new wave of British heavy metal, is also important in the development of American power metal. [4] [5] Fates Warning rose to international fame in the 1980s and has experienced numerous line-up changes. From 1982 to 1996 — and temporarily in 2010 — Matheos and DiBiase were the only remaining original members of the band, with the former being the only constant member. Their current lineup consists of guitarist Jim Matheos, vocalist Ray Alder, bassist Joey Vera, and drummer Bobby Jarzombek.

Queensrÿche American heavy metal band

Queensrÿche is an American heavy metal band. It formed in 1980 in Bellevue, Washington, out of the local band The Mob. The band has released 15 studio albums, one EP, and several DVDs, and continues to tour and record. The original lineup consisted of guitarists Michael Wilton and Chris DeGarmo, drummer Scott Rockenfield, bassist Eddie Jackson, and lead vocalist Geoff Tate.

Dream Theater American progressive metal band

Dream Theater is an American progressive metal band formed in 1985 under the name Majesty by John Petrucci, John Myung and Mike Portnoy while they attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. They subsequently dropped out of their studies to concentrate further on the band that would ultimately become Dream Theater. Though a number of lineup changes followed, the three original members remained together until September 8, 2010, when Portnoy left the band. Mike Mangini was announced as the new permanent drummer on April 29, 2011.

The new wave of British heavy metal was a nationwide musical movement that started in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s and achieved international attention by the early 1980s. Journalist Geoff Barton coined the term in a May 1979 issue of the British music newspaper Sounds to describe the emergence of new heavy metal bands in the mid to late 1970s, during the period of punk rock's decline and the dominance of new wave music.

Fates Warning has released twelve studio albums, two live albums, one compilation album, one VHS, three DVDs (each of them features live concerts) and four demo tapes. The band experienced major American commercial success with the 1986 release of their third studio album, Awaken the Guardian , which peaked at number No. 191 on the Billboard 200, [1] and became the first album released on Metal Blade to enter that chart. Their next three albums — No Exit (1988), Perfect Symmetry (1989) and Parallels (1991) — were also successful; the first two peaked at No. 111 and No. 141 on the Billboard 200, respectively. By 2001, Fates Warning had sold over a million albums worldwide. [6] Their most recent studio album, Theories of Flight , was released on July 1, 2016.

<i>Awaken the Guardian</i> 1986 studio album by Fates Warning

Awaken the Guardian is the third studio album by progressive metal band Fates Warning, released in 1986 through Metal Blade Records. The album was the band's first to enter the U.S. Billboard 200, reaching No. 191 and remaining on that chart for four weeks. It is also the first Fates Warning album to feature guitarist Frank Aresti and the last with original singer John Arch, who was replaced by Ray Alder on their subsequent 1988 album No Exit.

The Billboard 200 is a record chart ranking the 200 most popular music albums and EPs in the United States. It is published weekly by Billboard magazine. It is frequently used to convey the popularity of an artist or groups of artists. Often, a recording act will be remembered by its "number ones", those of their albums that outperformed all others during at least one week. The chart grew from a weekly top 10 list in 1956 to become a top 200 in May 1967, and acquired its present title in March 1992. Its previous names include the Billboard Top LPs (1961–72), Billboard Top LPs & Tape (1972–84), Billboard Top 200 Albums (1984–85) and Billboard Top Pop Albums.

Metal Blade Records record label

Metal Blade Records is a heavy metal independent record label founded by Brian Slagel in 1982. The U.S. office for Metal Blade is located in Agoura Hills, California. It also has offices in Germany, Japan, Canada, and the UK. The label is distributed in the U.S. by RED Distribution, and in Canada by Sony Music Entertainment. It was distributed by Warner Bros. Records in the United States from 1988 to 1993.


Early career and first three albums (1982−1986)

The first album, Night on Bröcken , was released in 1984 on the Metal Blade label. Mainly influenced by Iron Maiden and other heavy metal bands, in songs like the title track and, particularly, "Damnation," there were prog aspects that would be developed in subsequent albums. The Spectre Within , which was released in 1985, featured a more progressive approach with songs like "The Apparition", "Epitaph", "Pirates of the Underground" and "Traveler in Time", with many tempo changes, a greater complexity in the arrangements and fantasy lyrics full of symbolism and double meaning [7] .

<i>Night on Bröcken</i> 1984 studio album by Fates Warning

Night on Bröcken is the first studio album by progressive metal band Fates Warning, released in September 1984 through Metal Blade Records.

<i>The Spectre Within</i> 1985 studio album by Fates Warning

The Spectre Within is the second studio album by progressive metal band Fates Warning, released in October 1985 through Metal Blade Records. It has been reissued three times: first as a double album together with Night on Bröcken (1984) in 1992, followed by a remastered edition in 1994, and again in 2002 with four bonus tracks as well as new cover art.

In 1986, original guitarist Victor Arduini left the band and was replaced by Frank Aresti. The third album, Awaken the Guardian - regarded as a groundbreaking and essential prog metal release [8] [9] [10] - was launched in that year, moving towards a more mythical atmosphere and a fully progressive approach towards song form, full of complex and unusual riffs and numerous tempo changes, on frenetic and evocative vocal lines, maintaining, however, a basic fluidity. [11]

Fates Warning @ KIT Festival (2016) Fates Warning during the Keep It True Festival, Germany, 2016 (2).jpg
Fates Warning @ KIT Festival (2016)
Fates Warning @ KIT Festival (2016) Fates Warning during the Keep It True Festival, Germany, 2016 (1).jpg
Fates Warning @ KIT Festival (2016)

Lineup changes and rise to near fame (1987−1993)

In 1987, original vocalist John Arch left the band prior to the start of work on the band's next album. Ray Alder joined the band later that year. The first album with Alder, No Exit was released in 1988 and further developed the route taken by the prior album with a more powerful sound while setting aside the fantasy themes and atmospheres. It featured the first prog metal suite of the genre, "The Ivory Gate of Dreams," which is based on the Gates of horn and ivory.

Ray Alder musician

Ray Alder has been the lead vocalist of the progressive metal band Fates Warning since their 1988 release No Exit. He is of Mexican descent.

<i>No Exit</i> (Fates Warning album) 1988 studio album by Fates Warning

No Exit is the fourth studio album by progressive metal band Fates Warning, released in 1988 through Metal Blade Records. It is the first Fates Warning album to feature current vocalist Ray Alder, who replaced John Arch after the release of Awaken the Guardian (1986), as well as the last to feature drummer Steve Zimmerman, who left the band just prior to the recording of their subsequent album Perfect Symmetry (1989). The title was inspired by No Exit, a 1944 play written by French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre.

The gates of horn and ivory are a literary image used to distinguish true dreams from false. The phrase originated in the Greek language, in which the word for "horn" is similar to that for "fulfill" and the word for "ivory" is similar to that for "deceive". On the basis of that play on words, true dreams are spoken of as coming through the gates of horn, false dreams as coming through those of ivory.

Following the tour in support of No Exit, original drummer Steve Zimmerman left the band in 1988. He was replaced by Mark Zonder in 1989. Perfect Symmetry was released in the same year. The album abandoned the aggressive sound of No Exit in favor of a more melodic and experimental one along with a melancholic atmosphere and intimate lyrics; full of extremely complex arrangements and an unusual and very articulated rhythm section [12] , it is often regarded as a seminal prog metal album, “which laid the foundations of the sound of the 90s” [13] . Kevin Moore (keyboardist for Dream Theater at the time) was featured as a guest on the song "At Fate's Hands", while the cover is signed by Hugh Syme, famous for his work with the Canadian progressive rock band Rush.

1991 saw the release of Parallels , which was distributed by Warner. The album, which started the collaboration with Rush producer Terry Brown, contains more accessible and streamlined songs than in the past, except for tracks such as “The Eleventh Hour” and “Life in Still Water”. [14] Parallels is considered an essential album that “has influenced a great amount of subsequent musicians” [15] and is possibly the band’s most commercially successful record. [16] . New Dream Theater vocalist James LaBrie made a guest appearance on the song "Life in Still Water".

Later years (1994−2009)

Slowing down after the momentum of the previous releases, the band took two and a half years to complete 1994's Inside Out , which continued in the general vein of the previous album while adding more melody to the songs. The band's lineup also remained intact between albums for the first time since Spectre Within. Band members have attributed the album's comparative lack of success to confusion while writing this album in the wake of the success of Parallels and their subsequent failure to maintain release momentum. Inside Out was followed by a 1995 compilation, Chasing Time, which included two previously unreleased songs.

In 1996, both Joe DiBiase and Frank Aresti left the group.

The three remaining members, Alder, Matheos and Zonder, joined by new member Joey Vera on bass and Kevin Moore as a guest keyboardist, released A Pleasant Shade of Gray in 1997. Written as a concept album, A Pleasant Shade of Gray revealed a much darker and bleaker mood in songwriting style than had been heard before from the band. The album consists of a single 53-minute song split into twelve parts, making it the longest track Fates Warning has ever recorded.

A live two-CD set, Still Life , was released in 1998, containing A Pleasant Shade of Gray performed live in its entirety. Joey Vera (bass), Bernie Versailles (guitars) and Jason Keazer (keyboards) accompanied the group on this album. A Japanese version included a studio Scorpions cover, "In Trance."

The A Pleasant Shade of Gray lineup consisting of Alder, Matheos, Zonder, Vera, and Moore, returned to record Disconnected in 2000. In 2003, Frank Aresti was asked to fill in on a tour with Dream Theater and Queensryche. He officially rejoined the band as a full time member in 2005.

Their tenth studio recording FWX was released in 2004. Drummer Mark Zonder stated it would be his last album with the band, as he wished to pursue other interests, and left in 2005. Although an official member again, Frank Aresti did not appear because the writing had been completed and contracts had been signed already.

Live in Athens , a concert DVD, was released in 2005; This DVD included guest drummer Nick D'Virgilio.

In the liner notes to the 2005 expanded edition of the Awaken the Guardian album, Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy noted that, "very often fans and critics credit Dream Theater for creating a whole new genre of progressive metal music in the late '80s/early '90s, . . . but the truth is Fates Warning were doing it years before us." [17]

The band has recorded songs for various "tribute" albums, including "Closer to the Heart" on the 1996 Working Man Rush tribute, "Saints in Hell" on the 1997 Legends of Metal Judas Priest tribute, and "Sign of the Southern Cross" on the 2000 Holy Dio Ronnie James Dio tribute. [ citation needed ]

Reunions with former members, Darkness in a Different Light and Theories of Flight (2010−2017)

In 2010, Fates Warning played select dates with the Parallels lineup (Alder, Matheos, Zonder, Aresti and DiBiase) to celebrate the reissued, remastered and expanded edition of the classic album.

At the beginning of 2011, an announcement was made that Matheos and original vocalist John Arch had formed a band called Arch / Matheos. Their debut album was released in the autumn of that year, also featuring Joey Vera on bass guitar, Bobby Jarzombek on drums, and Frank Aresti on additional lead guitar. [18]

After many delays, Fates Warning released its eleventh studio album Darkness in a Different Light on September 27, 2013. It was the band's first album since 2004's FWX . [19] [20] [21]

In March 2016 the Awaken the Guardian lineup (Arch, Matheos, Aresti, DiBiase and Zimmerman) reunited for a European show to celebrate the album's 30th anniversary. That lineup also headlined the Progpower USA Festival in Atlanta, Georgia in September 2016. [ citation needed ]

Fates Warning entered the studio in December 2015 to begin recording their twelfth studio album, which was planned for release in early 2016. [22] The album, titled Theories of Flight , was released on July 1, 2016. [23]

Return to Metal Blade and upcoming thirteenth studio album (2018−present)

When asked in a June 2018 interview about the thirteenth Fates Warning album, frontman Ray Alder stated: "Right now, we're not in a writing mode. Everyone is kind of doing their own thing. I'm sure that will come out soon enough, of what everyone is doing. For the meantime, there are no plans to write another Fates Warning album — not in the near future, at least." Alder also commented on the band's future, saying: "Right now, there's just no plans to go into the studio or write. But, people are working on different things and we're working on another tour right now for South America, so that is still a little up in the air. It's 90 percent sure, but we'll see what happens with that. I can't say anything until it's confirmed." [24]

On February 15, 2019, it was announced that Fates Warning had resigned to Metal Blade Records, and plans to begin working on a new album, for a 2020 release, after their spring tour with Queensrÿche. [25]


Band members

Ray Alder (Fates Warning) Ray Alder with Fates Warning (2).jpg
Ray Alder (Fates Warning)
Jim Matheos (Fates Warning) Jim Matheos of Fates Warning in Bratislava.jpg
Jim Matheos (Fates Warning)
Fates Warning
Joey Vera (Fates Warning) Joey Vera with Fates Warning (1).jpg
Joey Vera (Fates Warning)
John Arch (Fates Warning) John Arch, original Fates Warning vocalist during the Keep It True Festival (Awaken The Guardian album 30th Anniversary Show) in Lauda-Konigshofen, Germany (2016.04.30).jpg
John Arch (Fates Warning)


2010 Parallels reunion lineup

Frank Aresti (Fates Warning) Frank Aresti with Fates Warning (2).jpg
Frank Aresti (Fates Warning)

2016 Awaken the Guardian reunion lineup

Touring members

Touring guests


Guitar rig and signal flow

A detailed gear diagram of Jim Matheos' 2012 Fates Warning guitar rig is well-documented. [26]

Related Research Articles

Bobby Jarzombek is an American musician of Polish and German ancestry who is currently the drummer for progressive metal band Fates Warning and former Skid Row vocalist Sebastian Bach.

<i>Disconnected</i> (Fates Warning album) 2000 studio album by Fates Warning

Disconnected is the ninth album by the progressive metal group Fates Warning, released in 2000. Kevin Moore previously played on the Fates Warning album A Pleasant Shade of Gray and later appeared in OSI with Matheos.

<i>FWX</i> album by Fates Warning

FWX is the tenth studio album by progressive metal band Fates Warning, released on October 5, 2004 through Metal Blade Records; their last album on the label until re-signing in 2019. It is also the band's last studio album to feature drummer Mark Zonder.

<i>Perfect Symmetry</i> (Fates Warning album) 1989 studio album by Fates Warning

Perfect Symmetry is the fifth studio album by progressive metal band Fates Warning, released in 1989 through Metal Blade Records; a remastered edition was reissued on June 10, 2008 together with a bonus disc containing studio demos, as well as a DVD of live performances from the 1989–90 Perfect Symmetry world tour. It was with this album that the band's more modern, progressive direction was established.

<i>Parallels</i> (album) 1991 studio album by Fates Warning

Parallels is the sixth studio album by progressive metal band Fates Warning, released on October 29, 1991 through Metal Blade Records. The album reached No. 20 on the U.S. Billboard Heatseekers chart.

<i>Inside Out</i> (Fates Warning album) 1994 studio album by Fates Warning

Inside Out is an album released in 1994 by Fates Warning. The album continues with the commercial sound that Parallels began, but was not received as well. It was the last to feature long-time bassist Joe DiBiase, who left after its release, as well as the last to feature guitarist Frank Aresti until his return to band in 2005. Aresti later appeared on their 2013 album Darkness in a Different Light as a full-time member and on the 2016 album Theories of Flight as a guest. DiBiase would return in 2010 and 2016 for a number of shows, but did not officially rejoin.

<i>A Pleasant Shade of Gray</i> 1997 studio album by Fates Warning

A Pleasant Shade of Gray is a concept album by the progressive metal group Fates Warning, released in 1997. It contains one song divided into twelve parts and is noted for its darker mood and more progressive style.

<i>Still Life</i> (Fates Warning album) 1998 live album by Fates Warning

Still Life is a live album by progressive metal band Fates Warning, released in 1998. The Japanese release of this album includes a studio cover version of the Scorpions song "In Trance".

<i>A Twist of Fate</i> 2003 EP by John Arch

A Twist of Fate is an EP by singer John Arch, released on June 17, 2003 through Metal Blade Records. At the time, the EP was Arch's first musical work in over seventeen years since leaving progressive metal band Fates Warning in 1987, with whom he recorded their first three albums; the last being Awaken the Guardian (1986). Consisting of only two tracks, A Twist of Fate features Fates Warning founder and guitarist Jim Matheos, with whom Arch would later release a collaborative album in 2011, entitled Sympathetic Resonance, under the banner of Arch/Matheos. Also among the line-up are former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy and current Fates Warning bassist Joey Vera.

<i>Sympathetic Resonance</i> (album) 2011 studio album by Arch/Matheos

Sympathetic Resonance is a collaborative studio album by singer John Arch and guitarist Jim Matheos, released on September 9, 2011 through Metal Blade Records.

Frank Aresti American guitarist and composer

Frank Aresti is an American guitarist and composer and former member of progressive metal band Fates Warning.

Arch/Matheos is an American progressive metal project.

<i>Darkness in a Different Light</i> 2013 studio album by Fates Warning

Darkness in a Different Light is the eleventh studio album by progressive metal band Fates Warning, released on September 30, 2013 (Europe) and October 1 through Inside Out Music It is the band's first album since FWX (2004), marking the longest gap between two studio albums in their career, as well as being their first studio album with guitarist Frank Aresti since Inside Out (1994). Drummer Bobby Jarzombek also makes his debut with Fates Warning on this album. It is also the band's first release through Inside Out Music.

<i>Theories of Flight</i> 2016 Fates Warning album

Theories of Flight is the twelfth studio album by progressive metal band Fates Warning. It was released on July 1, 2016. Theories of Flight marked the first time since 2004's FWX that Fates Warning had recorded as a four-piece. Although guitarist Frank Aresti was still a member of Fates Warning at the time of the album's writing and recording sessions, he does not appear in band photos inside the album booklet and is credited only as a guest, for providing guitar solos on two tracks.


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