About Fates Warning

A progressive metal band from US, Fates Warning was formed in the year 1982 by guitarists Victor Arduini and Jim Matheos, vocalist John Arch, drummer Steve Zimmerman and bassist Joe Dibiase in Hartford, Connecticut, United States. The early work produced by the band had heavy influences of NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal). In fact, it played a key role in the development of power metal music in the US. With time, the band gradually moved into the territory of pure progressive metal. Fates Warning witnessed several lineup changes over the years from 1982 till 1996, and then temporarily during 2010. Only Joe Dibiase and Jim Matheos remained the original Fates Warning members, with Matheos being the mainstay at all times.

The last known line-up of the band consisted of bassist Joey Vera, drummer Bobby Jarzombek, vocalist Ray Alder and guitarists Frank Aresti and Jim Matheos. Being one of the pioneers of the progressive metal movement in the United States, Fates Warning immediately rose to international fame during the 80s era, and was considered one of the early progressive metal flagship bands, alongside the likes of Dream Theater and Queensryche, who played a key role in creation, development and popularization of the genre in the US as well as throughout the world.

At the time of penning this write-up, Fates Warning had released 2 live albums, 11 studio albums, 3 DVDs (comprising of their live concerts), 1 VHS tape, 4 demo tapes and 1 compilation album. The band witnessed tremendous commercial success in the American marketplace after the release of their third studio album, Awaken the Guardian in the year 1986. The album quickly rose to 191 position on the Billboard 200. Why it was a great achievement was because it became the first ever Metal Blade records album ever to enter the Billboard chart. The next three albums produced by the band – No Exit in the year 1988, Perfect Symmetry in the year 1989 and Parallels in the year 1991 also achieved great success. The first two reached 111 and 141 positions respectively on the Billboard 200.

Early part of the Fates Warning history and their first 3 albums

The first album of Fates warning was titled Night on Brocken, and was released in 1984 under the Metal Blade label. It had heavy influences of the likes of Iron Maiden and other similar heavy metal bands, especially in the title track and specifically in the song ‘Damnation’. It was only in the following albums that some traces of progressive metal were found. The Spectre Within, their second album was released in the year 1985 and had more of a progressive approach in compositions like ‘Traveler in Time’, ‘The Apparition’, ‘Pirates of the Underground’ and ‘Epitaph’.

The year 1986 saw replacement of guitarist Victor Arduini with Frank Aresti. Fates Warning’s third album Awaken the Guardian got released the same year, moving the band towards an entirely progressive approach and a highly mystical atmosphere. The songs became full of complicated riffs and there were many important changes, all the while maintaining the originally heavy and powerful sound of the band. Thereafter, the band underwent various lineup changes and rose to fame with their many other successful albums.