Disconnected (Metal Blade)
by Martin Popoff
A mournful cry of guitars announces a less pleasant shade of gray, and then we’re off into a record that italicizes and bolds the ever-present, ever-distinct darkness of Fates Warning‘s particular form of progressive metal. Making this album was at times trying, vocalist Ray Alder in particular was plagued with laryngitis through the sessions. Alder is also distinguished by his lyrical contributions on three tracks, lyrics usually being Jim Matheos’ domain. Not one long track like last album, Disconnected is still rife with massive compositions and is indeed loosely a concept album, based on all sorts of disconnection, and actually connection; one being a passionate, powerful track that handles the crowd/band live show connection with atypical literary aplomb. Throughout, however, there is a doomful, slow and sobbing, droning insistence to the album, Fates Warning asserting themselves as a prog presence well off on their own morose dance through odd time signatures. Note: Alder has indicated that the reason the band is listed as himself, Matheos and drummer Mark Zonder, with Armored Saint’s Joey Vera and ex-Dream Theater keyboardist Kevin Moore as ancillary members, is that the band wanted to stress that it was these three calling the shots.
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