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[ALBUM REVIEW] FATES WARNING: Awaken The Guardian Live

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Band: Fates Warning
Album Title: “Awaken The Guardian Live”
Record Lable: Metal Blade
Release Date: 28th April 2017

In November 1986 Fates Warning released their seminal LP “Awaken The Guardian”. Cited by many bands including, Dream Theatre, as the founders of the Progressive Metal Genre, they have gone on to produce some truly outstanding albums and despite several lineup changes they have remained true to the style they pioneered.

We now leap forward to 2016, 30 years since its first release, founder member, and songwriter Jim Matheos decided to get the same lineup from the 1986 original together for two festival shows to celebrate the anniversary. ‘Awaken The Guardian Live’ showcases Jim Matheos (guitar), Frank Aresti (guitar), Steve Zimmerman (drums), Joe DiBiase(bass), along with John Arch (vocals)

CD1 takes us to Keep It True XIX in Lauda-Konigshofen, Germany, and CD2 is from Prog Power USA XVII in Atlanta, Georgia. Both discs present the album along with other classic tunes from the band.

Singer, John Arch who left the band shortly after the original release, was back with his stunning vocal gymnastics reaching notes that many can only aspire to. He comments: “It was truly a surreal experience being able to share the spirit of ‘Awaken The Guardian’ at these shows. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the fans that have given back so much over the 30-year span since the album’s release. To all our family and friends, much gratitude.”

The double release captures the spirit of these shows perfectly. Although I would have to say that the second show has the band sounding a little more relaxed on stage with one another and flows a little better. There is, however, no doubt that the talent on show here is superb, in particular, the guitar work of Matheos and Aresti whose riffing and soloing are second to none.

Fans of the band will surely appreciate this release particularly if they were unable to see these reunion shows, if you are new to the band you will hear just what is so special about Fates Warning and why they hold a special place in the hearts of many Prog Metal bands and their fans.

Awaken the Guardian Live consists of both festival performances in their entirety. This piece of progressive metal history will be available on CD, DVD, Blu-ray, and double gatefold vinyl.

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