Almost a decade has passed since we were last treated with brand new material by Fates Warning and this is truly a huge time gap especially since we are talking about one of the most important representatives of the prog sound. In the meantime, various members of the band participated in projects, offered solo endeavors, recorded an album with old and much beloved friends and gave many shows (Greece was a regular stop). But, let’s see what “Darkness In A Different Light” had in store for us…
Naturally, don’t expect me to say that the album is the natural successor to “FWX”…after all, 9 whole years have passed by. In addition, it doesn’t remind of the last Matheos effort (with John Arch) although I might be mislead on this estimation by the vast difference in the atmosphere of those two records. All in all, I cannot really say that it bears many similarities with a previous Fates record. Maybe at points, it reminds the melancholic mood of “A Pleasant Shade Of Grey” or the up tempo moments of “Disconnected” or “FWX”. Having said that, the new Fates album definitely pushes the boundaries as it includes some really difficult to absorb moments (eg. “Kneel and Obey”), many accessible and why not catchy songs (eg. “Firefly”, “Into The Black”), and the familiar dark sonic trips of Matheos (eg. “Lighthouse”). However, I strongly believe that the closing 14-minute track called “And Yet It Moves” embodies the whole essence of the new Fates album as it includes many elements of the aforementioned songs.
All in all, “Darkness In A Different Light” is qualitative, atmospheric, imposing and at moments experimental. Is that what we were looking for from Jim Matheos and Co. in 2013…? I think so although I must say that I was far more impressed with the Arch collaboration a while ago.
Highlight: Ray Alder’s voice might not be as it used to be but it still remains supreme.