Friday, October 9, 2015

CD Review: Metal Blade Records Revisits Fates Warning Epic Album "A Pleasent Shade Of Gray"

Connecticut progressive heavy metal band Fates Warning have had a pretty successful career that has lasted over 30 years. They are also considered one of the developers of Power Metal in the U.S. Throughout their career, they have released 11 studio albums and are looking to release their 12th in 2016. One of the band's former albums is getting expanded by Metal Blade Records. The critically acclaimed "A Pleasant Shade Of Gray" was originally released in 1997 as a 12-part song that mixes together different heavy metal genres.
The new expanded edition was released on October 2nd and is presented as a 3CD/DVD set. Disc one features the original album in its entirety. The darker tones of the music presented on this album had fans wondering about the direction of the band, but over 25-years later the album's sound still sounds timeless. Disc two are where fans will be heading as it presents a live recording of the album taken from the band's 1998 European tour. While the recording is exceptional and the crowd are really into the live performance, many of the parts of the album play-out better in a studio setting. Also added to the live disc is a soundcheck version of "We Only Say Goodbye" and the Japanese only release of Fates Warning's cover of The Scorpions' "In Trance." Disc three is where the buried treasure lies in the form of a 15-minute pre-production demo of the album. The music in this first track has a much heavier sound with crashing drums and blazing guitars. This is followed by the full twelve-part piece of music presented as a fifty-minute instrumental track. This is where you can fully appreciated the time and effort that went into this production. The disc closes with an electronic metal remix of "Part II" of the album, which adds very little to the set, but it's also nice to have everything that is available with this album. Also included with this set is a DVD of the restored VHS only version of "A Pleasant Shade Of Gray" performed live by Fates Warning at the Whiskey A Go Go in Hollywood, CA in 1998.
Fates Warning are beginning their U.S. tour tonight in their hometown of Hartford, CT. For a complete list of tour dates and for more information on the new "expanded edition" of their album "A Pleasant Shade Of Gray," please visit

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