Maximum Metal Rating Legend
5 Excellent - Masterpiece. A classic.
4.5-4 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a lacking.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio.
2.5-2 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors.
1.5-1 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible - Waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.
Fates Warning
Awaken The Guardian-Reissues
Metal Blade
9/15/2005 - Review by: Ken Pierce
Fates Warning - Awaken The Guardian (Remastered/Expanded Edition) - 2005 - Metal Blade Records

Track Listing
1. The Sorceress
2.Valley of the Dolls
3.Fata Morgana
5.Prelude to Ruin
6.Giants of Lore Heart of Winter
7.Time Long Past

Track List CD2:
1.The Sorceress (demo)
2.Valley of the Dolls (demo)
3.Prelude to Ruin (demo)
4.Fata Morgana (live)
5.Damnation (live)
6.The Apparition (live)
7.The Sorceress (live)
8.Guardian (live)
9.Die Young (live)

Track Lists DVD:
1.Valley of the Dolls
2.Pirates of the Underground
3.Orphan Gypsy
4.Fata Morgana
5.Traveler in Time
6.The Sorceress
8.Prelude to Ruin
10.The Apparition
11.Die Young
12.Kiss of Death

One cannot deny the contributions that Fates Warning has given to the Progressive Metal genre over the course of their career. They were one of the first to be labeled as such a band and if one listens to their release “Awaken The Guardian” you can easily see why. This 3rd release by the band is considered a masterpiece among fans of Progressive Heavy Metal music. Given their being a major staple in the Metal Blade Records artist roster it was fantastic to see this CD (originally released in 1986) be given the upgrade. This CD is special for a number of reasons for it is not only a careful and effective remaster of the original release; it is also a bonus CD and DVD as well. On the original CD, the music is clearer and everything just seems to have a little more punch. John Arch’s vocals slice through Frank Aresti’s guitar playing like a knife. The drums and bass are also nice and solid and seem to be a little heavier even on the updated version. You will feel as if you are listening to brand new recordings of songs like “The Sorceress” and “Guardian” when you first begin to absorb the CD. The bonus CD is more geared towards the type of fan who used to hunt for demos and alternate versions of tracks that were on an album. I remember endless walks through Greenwich Village in NYC with Friends who were like that. Comprised mainly of demos and live tracks this is sure to fill the need for those who hold this album in high regard.

The addition of the DVD that is the third disc is also a welcome thing but the buyer must be aware of the limitations that plague this video. It’s more important to take this as a piece of history in the bands career than a fine audio visual of the band. Filmed at a live concert at The Sundance club in Long Island on 12/28/1986; the viewer gets to enjoy what appears to be the only footage of the lineup of 1986. There is a terrible audio hissing, so you might want to play it low and just take in the visual. To my knowledge no other live footage of Fates Warning when John Arch was singing for them exists. The packaging is smartly done as well, as the whole thing is surrounded by a cardboard box that holds the two jewel-cases very nicely. The booklet is filled with lyrics and pictures while the DVD contains liner notes from Dream Theater’s Mike Portnoy. This CD/DVD is not only for the diehard Fates Warning fans, but also those that enjoy the band and replace that original copy that will sound so inferior compared to this.
Check it out.

Rating: 8/10

--Ken Pierce 09.01.05


Awaken The Guardian-Reissues
Metal Blade
Ken Pierce9/15/2005
Theories of Flight
David Loveless8/8/2016

Bobby JarzombekMark Cubbedge11/10/2020"Worth the Time Spent"

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