CD review FATES WARNING ‘Long Day Good Night’

There aren’t any live shows at the moment, but the amount of stellar album releases is sky high. Benediction returned with a sonic strike the other day, Mr Bungle unveiled a few days ago an album that is pure thrash metal and also Armored Saint unleashed an album that is a candidate for ‘Album of the Year’.

On November 6th another nominee for the best album of 2020 reveals a new offer. Legendary Fate Warning has with ‘Long Day Good Night’ their next milestone in the starting blocks, album number 13.

Fates Warning’s new longplayer is impressive. Already a running time of 72 minutes stands for musical quantity and knowing the quality aspect of their music clarifies that it’s a lot of music on an extremely high level you get. The 13th album is certainly one of the most complete one’s the band ever revealed. Jim Matheos began to work on song right after having finished the tour with Queensryche and it was frontman Ray Alder who was involved heavily in the creative process too.

Work on the album was challenging. Not only that it takes time and effort to get from idea to song, it’s again the arch enemy of music, called COVID, that also made life difficult for Fates Warning and Ray Alder in specific. With Jim Matheos at the helm, that album was recorded in US while Alder, being homebased in Spain, had trouble with the lockdown situation and strict limitation to move outside ones home. Timing aspects forced him though to get to the studio to not put the release date of the album at risk. He found creative way to get to the studio and basically slept in the vocal booth for a couple of weeks. If dedication for recording an album is so strong, the result must be a good one. Listening to ‘Long Days Good Night’ proves throughout that it was worth all the effort.

To pick some highlights for a deep-dive is a mission impossible for this album. Each of the 13 tracks on this delivery is stellar and there is simply no weak spot on ‘Long Day Good Night’. One tune that standout from a length perspective though is ‘The Longest Shadow of the Day’. It’s a song that shows the entire width of Fates Warning’s musical repertoire. From the gentle and calm moments, like in the middle section, to wild sonic eruptions, the track is right on the money. ‘The Longest Shadow of the Day’ also shows the musical diversity Fates Warning can bring to the plate. The song has many shades and repetition isn’t what you get as a listener. The first 5 minutes being purely instrumental unveil the musical expertise of everybody involved in an impressive way. It feels more like listening to a jam session since it’s hard to predict what’s next and still it’s 100% Fates Warning. ‘The Longest Shadow of the Day’, a timeless metal anthem.

As mentioned, it’s highlight after highlight on ‘Long Day Good Night’. The heavy ‘Alone We Walk’, the calmer and half acoustic ‘Under the Sun’ and the straight-forward ‘Liar’, all examples for excellent music.

Fates Warning defines progressive metal since 35 years and they manage to constantly surprise, entertain and satisfy. As all the predecessors also ‘Long Day Good Night’ is a jaw-dropping album, showcasing a band that shares a same musical vision and constantly lifts the bar without losing the core trademarks of the typical Fates Warning sound. This album will block your record player for quite a while, I can promise that.

Rating: 10 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  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. 13. The Last Song

Label: Metal Blade Records

Genre: Progressive Metal

Release Date EU: November 6th, 2020

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