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(9/10) It was in 1986 when prog metal legend Fates Warning released a milestone in metal - an album entitled “Awaken of the Guardian”. The longplayer was the third one the band released, following the debut “Night at Bröcken” and the sophomore “The Spectre Within”.

These three albums together have been cornerstones in progressive US metal; records, which were and still are influencing many bands around the globe. So what could be more natural than to celebrate the milestone record "Awaken of the Guardian" with a show that’s build on these eight terrific tracks.

What might sounded in the beginning as a mission impossible became true in 2016. The organizers of the ‘Keep It True’ festival came up earlier with some reunion shows of other bands and also unexpected surprises took place, but this time the guys outdo themselves – Fates Warning performed a set on the 2016 festival edition, playing the entire “Awaken the Guardian” album in the original line-up. Fortunately this show was filmed so that every Fates Warning fan has a fair chance to get this concert being delivered right into the living room.

John Arch, Frank Aresti, Jim Matheos, Joe DiBiase and Steve Zimmerman performed an old-school set that was a treat for each metal head that calls him a serious fan of this kind of music. Songs like “The Sorceress”, “Guardian” and “Exodus” are classics written for eternity, performed as if this Fates Warning line-up would have never parted ways. What surprises (or not) is John Arch whose voice sounds excellent. DiBaise and Zimmerman act as the powerhouse, providing a spot-on rhythm base on which Matheos and Aresti could build on with razorblade sharp riffs.

The encore was a special treat for everybody who likes this first era of Fates Warning since two songs from “Night at Bröcken” (“Night at Bröcken” & “Damnation”) and “The Spectre Within” (“The Apparition” & “Epitaph”) acted as the icing on this metal cake.

A few months after the ‘Keep It True’ festival gig a second concert in the same line-up took place – this time in North America. ‘ProgPower USA’ hosted the same show, which was built on the exactly same setlist. One exception though. The encore included with “Kyrie Eleison” another tune from “The Spectre Within” while “Night at Bröcken” was not played at ProgPower USA.

This release includes the footage from both shows. Each of them is a treat in itself and brings back a time when metal was heading towards its first peak.

Both concerts are highly entertaining, not only because of the music. They are professionally filmed with various cameras in different angles, which gives, thanks to a well-done cutting, almost three hours of pure metal joy. And the fact that Bill Metoyer was responsible for mix and mastering also means that you can count on an excellent sound that blows your speakers.

This album is a more than worthy celebration of one of the most important records on progressive metal music.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

‘Keep It True’ show:

  1. The Sorceress
  2. Valley of the Dolls
  3. Fata Morgana
  4. Guardian
  5. Prelude to Ruin
  6. Giant’s Lore (Heart of Winter)
  7. Time Long Past
  8. Exodus
  9. The Apparition
  10. Damnation
  11. Night at Bröcken
  12. Epitaph

‘ProgPower USA’ show:

  1. The Sorceress
  2. Valley of the Dolls
  3. Fata Morgana
  4. Guardian
  5. Prelude to Ruin
  6. Giant’s Lore (Heart of Winter)
  7. Time Long Past
  8. Exodus
  9. The Apparition
  10. Damnation
  11. Kyrie Eleison
  12. Epitaph

 

Label: Metal Blade Records

Genre: Prog Metal

Release Date EU: April 28th, 2017

 

 

The album will be available as:

  • Ltd. Boxset (4-CD/DVD/Blu-ray)
  • 2-CD/DVD
  • Vinyl
DVD review FATES WARNING "Awaken of the Guardian"
Tag(s) : #Fates Warning, #Metal Blade, #Prog Metal, #US Metal, #Power Metal, #Heavy Metal, #DVD Review, #CD Review, #News, #Live, #Jim Matheos

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