Fates Warning – Long Day Good Night

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Reviewed: November, 2020
Released: 2020, Metal Blade Records
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Erich

Album cover

This year, 2020, has been a miserable year. Musicians and bands are suffering as much or more than everyone else, as tours and concert halls remain shuttered in much of the world. When Fates Warning feels the call of the muse though, nothing stops them. They have been inspired these last seven years, releasing three albums during that period after the long nine-year delay between FWX and DARKNESS IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT. LONG DAY GOOD NIGHT is a milestone, the band’s 13th album in a career that spans thirty-six years. The album’s thirteen songs even have a running time of 72:22 which adds up to thirteen. Drummer Bobby Jarzombek assured me in an interview prior to the release (look for the interview in the next week or so) that nothing unusual happened that would interest the superstitious fan. However, fortune has shined on the band creatively and professionally, as they are now back on Metal Blade Records after a sixteen-year absence. Considering how closely the history of the band and label are intertwined, this is a good thing.

Matheos and Alder started writing the album in 2019 and worked on it for a year, as the members each tracked their parts from home studios all over the world. Hats off to Joey Vera, who was also recording the new Armored Saint album at about the same time. The result is my favorite album of the most recent three, an album that captures the diverse styles and influences of the band. Yes, that is saying something because THEORIES OF FLIGHT has quickly become a fan favorite and deservedly. I have been listening to the band since 1985 when I picked up the AWAKEN THE GUARDIAN album, and there is music on here that new and long-time fans can appreciate. We get a mix of ethereal and contemplative music, semi-ballads, heavy riffs, grooves and one long, epic track.

“Under The Sun” features the first full string section the band has ever used on an album. “Scars” gets the blood pumping with Vera and Jarzombek’s rhythm section locked in thumping unison. This could easily be a concert opener. Pathways to the past are interspersed through the album such as the APSOG influence on “The Way Home”, and the quick hitting three and a half minute “Glass Houses” with accessible vocal melodies that recall PARALELLS. Ray Alder sounds great, his melodies always seeming to complement the various styles of music Matheos throws at him. Joe Barresi’s mix gives the distorted guitars a harsher edge than on the past two albums, but the bass and drums are captured in all their sonic glory.

There are some guest appearances included, with touring guitarist Mike Abdow contributing some solos to the album, while Porcupine Tree drummer Gavin Harrison plays on “When Snow Falls”, and “Under The Sun.” LONG DAY GOOD NIGHT is nothing short of a triumph. As the longest Fates Warning studio album ever recorded, it will take some time to fully absorb. Fortunately, so many songs have an immediate resonance that the album feels shorter than 72 minutes.

When you survey the current landscape of progressive metal, it is easy to make the case that Fates Warning has been the most consistent and accessible for quite some time. Songs that can stand on their merits as short pieces of art, rather than a stitching of complex passages and labyrinthine structures has been the Fates Warning approach. LONG DAY GOOD NIGHT continues to show the band refuses to conform to expectations and to experiment with an eye towards the future and a foot in the past.


Track Listing:

1. The Destination OnwardFates Warning Band Photo
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. The Last Song


Jim Matheos – Guitars
Joey Vera – Bass
Bobby Jarzombek – Drums
Ray Alder – Vocals