Released: 2005, Metal Blade
A bonifide classic of Heavy Metal’s golden age, Fates Warning’s AWAKEN THE GUARDIAN has now undergone the deluxe reissue treatment courtesy of Metal Blade Records. Housed in not two, but THREE discs, this version of AWAKEN THE GUARDIAN not only contains the magnificent album itself (more on that later), but an additional second disc of demo and live versions, including a masterful cover of the Sabbath classic, “Die Young”. To make the deal even sweeter, a bonus DVD of this classic Fates Warning line up (featuring vocal acrobat John Arch), is also included!
On to the actual album, however! For those unfamiliar with this molten piece of metal, AWAKEN THE GUARDIAN features eight songs which encapsulate THE American Traditional Metal styling of the 1980s. Combining a knack for progressive song structures and riffing (courtesy of guitar maestros Jim Matheos and Frank Aresti, who actually made his debut on this album)) with driving, rugged Power/Speed Metal passages, and topped with the operatic, wailing voice of the inimitable Arch, this album serves as the absolute creative peak for the band up until that point.
Further along in their careers, Fates Warning would split with Arch, replacing him with the equally impressive Ray Alder. Although some stellar recordings would later surface from this Mk II version of the band (including PERFECT SYMMETRY, as well as the crushing NO EXIT), there was just something special about those early days of Fates Warning. They represented a simpler, more honest time for Heavy Metal; a time which was both ripe for both expression and experimentation.
Thus, this reissue of AWAKEN THE GUARDIAN comes at a perfect time. With the sudden resurgence of Heavy Metal within the mainstream consciousness, perhaps a new generation of metal fans will now be able to discover a true gem of the genre’s illustrious past. Additionally, older fans will be able to rediscover this record for the masterpiece it truly is, and revel within the extensive re-mastering and bonus goodies included.
Guardians! Awake from your slumber and re-discover FATES WARNING!!