Theories Of Flight
Released: 2016, InsideOut
The last Fates Warning album was a decent return but not exhilarating to my ears. It certainly was a step in the right direction. Upon hearing the new Fates Warning THEORIES OF FLIGHT I realized two things. The band is experiencing a bit of a renaissance with two quick (by their standards) in a row. Secondly, I finally clicked with me, what I missed with Fates all these years…the heaviness.
I suppose you could say I’m a ‘first 4-5 albums’ kind of guy with this band. All the rest…decent, solid etc….but not what attracted me to the band in the first place. My feelings are certainly not based on an ‘Artch vs. Alder’ thing, unlike some hard-core fans, it’s just many of the bands albums weren’t ‘Metal’ enough. Well, THEORIES OF FLIGHT is the best, heaviest, fastest album they have done in ages. All the touchstones are there, a cool cover, the old-school logo, and the band still happy and at home on InsideOut. After spending their entire career on Metal Blade Records and then making the shift to a new label, well they say a change is as goods as a rest. The line-up is stable as well, and things must be clicking, as I mentioned they have put out two albums in three years which makes me think they are having fun again…or at least ‘more’ fun?
The guitar tone is more aggressive, the tempos are faster and there is some grit and crunch that had been largely devoid from a number of their previous albums, except in very small bursts. This album is loaded with heavy months like the epic opening to ‘The Ghosts Of Home’. ‘White Flag’ is very punchy do I even hear some hints of….almost, double-kick drums from Jarzombeck? The whole band technical ability and compositional skill is beyond reproach but as a fan you already knew that. The album grinds along, with many shades but an overall very welcome, very heavy tone and vibe. Somewhat unexpectedly, the album closes with a odd ballad of a song with a mix of atmospheric sounds, creepy voices, monologues, haunting acoustic refrains and some understated soloing. It is a bizarre instrumental tune an even odder choice to be the title track of the album, but I like it.
Trite as it seems, and it not just me saying it, THEORIES OF FLIGHT is easily the best Fates Warning album since INSIDEOUT well over two decades ago.