This is Fates Warning's second-to-most-recent release, judging by the band's homepage(if I'm not mistaken), and I'm impressed. I don't want to make it out to say that we have another Dream Theater on our hands here, but this is some good stuff.(Well, we mustn't forget that there are equal parts Warning fans and DT fans in the metal universe) Alder has some very raw, bare, intuitive, deceptively facile vocal stylings that engender him to be a prog metal force to be reckoned with, but the feeling--the emotional power of Labrie doesn't measure up, nor will it ever in the foreseeable future. That doesn't matter so much in all actuality, however, since this is a band roughly in the same musical parameters with their own initiatives of artfully contrived performance pieces.
Each song serves to encapsulate the listener in a 'Black-metal-Wall-of-Sound' aural aesthetic that only leaves the semicircular canals in utter 'almost-orgasm'. The focus is not to take the listener on a gleeful 'merry-go-round' adventure with solos that whip the medulla oblongata into a furious, fluffy fiasco, but rather to keep him or her grounded in earthly marvel.
It goes without saying that this EARTHLY marvel is not so much as so as you might think when you think about what prog metal and/or what any derivation of it is all about. We're talking about well-planned, organized opuses of ornate musical fusion or schematic fission...odes to exorbitance with meager sprinkles to homeostasize the homogeneous(or heterogeneous) mixture.
The drums serve their purpose well, in addition, if only existing because they're 'there' and bands need 'drums'. I'm not downplaying the abilities of the drummer...oh no, not by a long shot, but what's offered by him is nothing truly groundbreaking, or at least instantly memorable and/or headbangable, in my opinion. Now I know that it is usually conceived that the mallcore, unkvlt-type outfits are the ones dubbed as 'stupidly headbangable' to us kvlters, but none of us can argue that you can headbang, or thrash your neck convulsively, or kick your leg hyperactively, or lash out your arms frantically, to virtually any type of music.
As far as the bass is concerned, see above. It's adequate...GOOD... but I'm just not cooking up that whole 'DT' prize-winning recipe mentally at the moment, and that's fine. Hey, though...I'm tired of DT anyway. There are plenty of other prog metal bands out there, some undoubtedly better than DT(Six Degrees is unbeatable in my mind for emotional reasons, mostly)[PoS, Symphony X, Vanden Plas, and Wuthering Heights are way up there too], so as a metal listener, and particularly as a prog metal enthusiast, it's your personal responsibility to seek out these bands and cross-reference styles.
For example, I discovered Wuthering Heights because I had a previous cognition of the title because of the corresponding title of a classic Emily Bronte work. I somehow noticed the band name Wuthering Heights on this site merely by frequenting it and I was so intrigued that I had to investigate further. Not only did I make a conscious neural connection to both titles and their linguistic sameness, but I was further gratified by the fact the band are in league with the countless other metal bands who sing often, if not exclusively, about J.R.R. Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings and what have you. This was enough stimulus for me to want to buy their album, and maybe even their entire discography, now that I think about it.
Using this same kind of thinking, you can think "Oh, DT, ok, ok, Royal Hunt, right, well...what do we have here--umm...Royal Hunt, Queensryche...aha, FATES WARNING! YES! Hmm...which album should I check out? Well, the most popular one The Spectre From Within isn't available--yeah, no X, no Night on Brocken...etc. etc. You know what? I'll just buy Disconnected and I am glad I did. It's not the best f**king progressive metal in the world, but it's some rocking sh*t and I can fill up a LOT of free time listening to this sh*t"
Anyway, you get the picture. So get off your lazy, complacent metallic posterior anal puncture pinpoint and do something about your f**king ignorance, you prick. That's right, I'm your goddamned drill sergeant. I'm the warden on The Shawshank Redemption who ominously threatens: "Your soul may belong to God, but while you're here, your ass belongs to me". That's right, you better get your ass together because if you don't, you're going to get knocked the F******CK OUT! You have been warned...