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Fates Warning – Perfect Symmetry (Reissue)

Label:Metal Blade
Format: CD
Released: 2008
Reviewed By: Rich Catino
Getting to revisit this chapter in Fate’s history I was thinking maybe the album should have been titled “Through Different Eyes”. My reason, with the previous gem “No Exit” (which was Ray Alder’s debut replacing original singer John Arch), you can hear Fates Warning’s choice in arrangement was going through a change.
“No Exit” maintained the progressive elements found on “Awaken the Guardian” even beefing up the guitar sound and turned up the edginess of the music, but also worked in more dynamics within passages including clean melodic guitar and less aggressive tempos. The lineup for “Symmetry” remains almost the same from “Exit” with Jim Matheos and Frank Aresti on guitar, Joe Dibiase on bass, with new addition Mark Zonder on drums. And a bit of trivia, did you know Kevin Moore one time Dream Theater keyboardist guests on the album?

“Perfect Symmetry” (released in 1989), and the follow up “Parallels”, are the next step after “No Exit” in the evolution of the band’s sound. The only unfortunate fact I find is sonically the heavy bottom end created by the guitar, bass and drums has been diluted. The heavier sound has been replaced by one that is very clean which can be heard right off the bat from opener “Part of the Machine” and single/video “Through Different Eyes”. Ray Alder’s voice sits so very well for this sound and his high pitched Geoff Tateish (Queensryche) tone just leaps forward out of each song.

Throughout the album movements of clean/acoustic guitar set the tone for many of the verses with harder riffs returning for chorus’. Staccato riffs introduce the partial melancholy “Nothing Left to Say” but like I said before Fates are creating a different soundscape with each of these songs and a musical pattern or template of sorts is also being established.

For fans of Fates really proggy dynamic arrangements this is your album. Check out “At Fates Hands” as the last half of the song is without vocal and a jam segment with guitar, drums and keyboards.

As a bonus, for this reissue you get a second cd with demos for each song from “Perfect Symmetry” plus a third DVD with songs taken from five different shows and the promo video for “Through Different Eyes”. Twenty seven performance clips all together. The live footage is pretty decent for bootleg quality. The camera and audio is probably the best for the Allentown show in Pennsylvania but for all five shows you can hear the music and vocals rather well and the camera does occasionally zoom in and out. Many times on bootlegs the audio is muffled and terrible but not here.

Another great reissue from Metal Blade Records and if you don’t already own the reissue of “No Exit”,do pick it up.
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