CD review RAY ALDER ‘What the Water Wants’

(8/10) Ray Alder, the voice of Fates Warning, worked on his first real solo album. ‘What the Water Wants’ is the title of the record that showcases one of the best singers in Metal.

Although Alder released under the banner of Engine two albums a couple of decades ago it is the new release that lasers in on him as a singer more than him being the mainman of a band, like Engine.

The American musician worked with two guitarists on ‘What the Water Wants’. One of them is Tony Hernando, known from Lords Of Black. The axeman is a big fan of Fates Warning, the guys met and work on first songs started. However, things didn’t progressed as fast as Alder envisioned with Hernando also having had to pay attention to his mothership band. This leads to the second guitarist on ‘What the Water Wants’. Fates Warning touring guitarist Mike Abdow was happy to support the process of creating the album.

The sound of the two guitarists is mirrored in the songs on Alder’s debut. Hernando contributed to three tunes, ‘Shine’, ‘Wait’ and ‘Beautiful Lie’. The songs are more the heavy ones on the album, having also a closer link to Fates Warning, not only due to Alder’s voice. Each of the three songs features great music with vocals being the centerpiece.

Compared with the metallic tracks it’s the songs done in a collaboration with Abdow reflecting bigger soundscapes. Tracks like ‘The Road’ are calmer and have another level of depth. ‘The Road’, but also ‘Crown of Thorns’, include an atmospheric component adding greatness to the mix. Although the album shows influences of two different co-writing guitarists the entire longplayer still stands as a rock. It’s Alder, his voice and his phrasing that keeps things together and act a the glue that connects the dots.

‘What the Water Wants’ isn’t a Fates Warning album even though fans of the Prog Metal legends will appreciate Alder’s solo debut too. ‘What the Water Wants’ became a cool longplayer done by one of the most gifted singers in progressive Heavy Metal.

Tracklist:

  1. Lost
  2. Crown of Thorns
  3. Some Days
  4. Shine
  5. Under dark Skies
  6. A Beautiful Lie
  7. The Road
  8. Wait
  9. What the Water Wanted
  10. The Killing Floor

Label: Inside Out Music

Genre: Progressive Rock/Metal

Release Date EU: October 18th, 2019

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