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Various Artists: Through Different Eyes-A Tribute to Fates Warning

Through Different Eyes is an ambitious tribute album which sees some of 90s finest progressive metal bands paying homage to the great Fates Warning. Among them are true legends like Wolverine and Spiral Architect as well as more obscure yet equally fantastic acts like Mayadome, Steel Prophet, and Prymary.

Immediate standouts are Spiral Architect covering "Prelude to Ruin" and Wolverine covering "A Pleasant Shade of Gray Part XII." The vocal melody of the former remains unrivaled today -- its complex vocal lines are testimony to how much Oyvind Haegeland has been influenced by the great John Arch. The acoustic intro is amazing and a perfect replication of the original, but Spiral Architect makes the song their own with their intensified technical sections, especially the dazzling lead solo. Wolverine does an equally satisfying job, bringing in their own touches. As can be heard on their debut EP, Fervent Dream, they utilize some death growls for added atmosphere and Stefan Zell sounds amazing even during his very early 20s. Admittedly, he would find his true self on their 2001 album, The Window Purpose, and the subsequent releases, but it is still great to hear their embryonic phase.

Mayadome's version of "The Strand" makes both of their studio releases essential listens. The singer's unique accent gives them character, especially during the more aggressive parts. The guitar and bass work are also worth paying attention to. Make sure that the singer on this tune appears on Mayadome's second album, Near Life Experience. Steel Prophet's "The Apparition" predominantly highlights Rick Mythiasin's great singing. Also, this song sounds so much like the band's albums in terms of production. If you like what you hear on this cover, check out their studio albums, such as Unseen. Mythiasin also sang on the first Redemption album by the way. Dreamline may be a band you've never heard of, but they are actually the band from Puerto Rico that would eventually change their name to All That I Bleed, releasing their one and only album, Dying to Remember, a few years after this recording. Their high level of technicality in their riffs and soloing makes up for their mediocre vocalist, though the cover is quite good.

Besides these bands, there are also some bands I've never heard of except for on this recording. Vendetta's rendition of "Monument" is awesome (killer synth solo!) with a singer who does justice to the great Ray Alder while Planet Sarcasm's singer recalls Murat Ilkan from Turkish metallers Mezarkabul as well as grungy singers. The production of this song is great as is the multi-tracked chorus. It is hard to believe they totally vanished without releasing a single album. Finalxit is another unknown band that disbanded after putting out an EP. Their version of "The Eleventh Hour" has dark and menacing vocals whilst Reignstorm couldn't get past their demo stages either. Though a compilation album was released a decade after their breakup.

Prymary is a great band whose rhythm section rules in prog. The production on the song is decidedly better than the other material, but doing the instrumental song does not quite capture their magic. Soundscape does "Fata Morgana," but they have chosen one of the songs that simply cannot be covered, even by Ray Alder. Soundscape's own songs sound a lot more fitting to their sound as it is simply impossible to recreate Arch's stratospheric vocals. Morpheus Web who I have never heard of before or after this album also falls prey to this trap. The vocals fall short and the band's playing is more so in the vein of traditional metal without Fates Warning's progressive vision.

Overall, this is a special disc for two reasons: first, it is the only Fates Warning tribute album; and second, some of these bands are really worth checking out as they released quality material in the late 90s and early 00s.

01 A Pleasant Shade Of Gray Part II (Planet Sarcasm) 3:19
02 The Strand (Mayadome) 5:06
03 The Apparition (Steel Prophet) 5:47
04 Prelude To Ruin (Spiral Architect) 7:33
05 Nothing Left To Say (Dreamline) 7:49
06 Monument (Vendetta) 6:20
07 Outside Looking In (Prymary) 4:46
08 The Eleventh Hour (Finalxit) 7:56
09 We Only Say Goodbye (Reignstorm) 5:06
10 The Sorceress (Morpheus Web) 4:57
11 Fata Morgana (Soundscape) 4:33
12 A Pleasant Shade Of Gray Part XII (Wolverine) 9:09

Added: May 26th 2011
Reviewer: Murat Batmaz
Related Link: More Info
Hits: 2817
Language: english

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