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Fates Warning: A Pleasant Shade of Gray [Expanded Edition] [Digipak]

Track List

>Part I
>Part II
>Part III
>Part IV
>Part V
>Part VI
>Part VII
>Part VIII
>Part IX
>Part X
>Part XI
>Part XII
>Part I [Live] - (live)
>Part II [Live] - (live)
>Part III [live] - (live)
>Part IV [Live] - (live)
>Part V [Live] - (live)
>Part VI [Live] - (live)
>Part VII [Live] - (live)
>Part VIII [Live] - (live)
>Part IX [Live] - (live)
>Part X [Live] - (live)
>Part XI [Live] - (live)
>Part XII [Live] - (live)
>We Only Say Goodbye [Live Soundcheck] - (live)
>In Trance - (live)
>Pleasant Shade of Gray [Pre-Production Demo], A
>Pleasant Shade of Gray [Instrumental Writing Demo], A
>Part II [Remix] - (remix)
>Pleasant Shade of Gray [Live in Europe, June 1997], A - (live)
>Pleasant Shade of Gray [Live at the Whisky, April 1998], A - (live)
>We Only Say Goodbye [Live in Athens, 1999], A - (live)

Album Notes

Fates Warning: Ray Alder (vocals); Jim Matheos (guitar); Joey Vera (bass); Mark Zonder (drums, background vocals).

Additional personnel: Kevin Moore (piano, keyboards); Bill Metoyer, Lydia Montagnese, Terry Brown, Lindsay Matheos (background vocals).

Recorded at Carriage House, Stamford, Connecticut in November & December 1996.

Personnel: Mark Zonder (vocals, drums); Lydia Montagnese, Lindsay Matheos, Ray Alder, Terry Brown, Bill Metoyer (vocals); Jim Matheos (guitar, guitar synthesizer); Kevin Moore (piano, keyboards).

Audio Mixer: Terry Brown.

Recording information: Carriage House, Stamford, CT (11/1996-12/1996).

Though they'd pretty much come to epitomize the very essence of progressive metal over the years with their ever-challenging work, Fates Warning had surprisingly never committed to a full-on concept album -- almost a prerequisite of the genre. That is, until 1997's ambitious A Pleasant Shade of Gray, which corrected this oversight with 12 tracks forming a single, Herculean magnum opus. But while it offers up another helping of rhythmically complex progressive metal full of intricately woven time changes, this is no Operation: Mindcrime. The guitar riffs and melodic hooks contained here are simply not that memorable, requiring way too many listens before leaving any lasting impressions and overshadowing the band's remarkable musicianship. There are no song titles either; each track is identified as "Part I," "Part II," etc., with perhaps the most memorable moments taking place on "Part IV" through "Part VIII" (the last, a loving tribute to Kansas if ever there was one). All told, A Pleasant Shade of Gray is a challenging listen and not for the faint of heart. ~ Steve Huey & Ed Rivadavia


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