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A Pleasant Shade Of Gray

a Studio release
Fates Warning

Release Year: 1997

Date Label Catalog # Comments
Kevin Moore (ex-Dream Theater) plays keyboards and gives the album a ‘murder-mystery' feel. The album was recorded as one 54 minute song, but is divided into 12 parts for easier tracking. Though the music is conceptual, the band members claim it is not a concept album.
Zonder and Moore teamed up to start Chroma Key.
Added To Proggnosis Database on: 12/1/2000 12:00:00 AM
Entry Last Updated on: 11/21/2010 2:10:00 AM by: Rob
    A Twelve part Composition:
  1. Part I
  2. Part II
  3. Part III
  4. Part IV
  5. Part V
  6. Part VI
  7. Part VII
  8. Part VIII
  9. Part IX
  10. Part X
  11. Part XI
  12. Part XII
Ray Alder
Jim Matheos
Joey Vera
Mark Zonder
Kevin Moore
Piano & Keyboards

Reviewed by Rob on 08 Nov 2001

A pleasant shade of Gray is a great album with more relaxed songs.
Over the years Jim Matheos is more involved in the songwriting for this band.
This 12 part CD is completely from his hand.
It starts very slowly and builts up in every song that is in total one song. the voice of Ray Alder is as ever very important.
After a couple of times you will sing along, LOUDLY !!!
He sings the main theme while guitar and bass play repetedly different grooves changed with rhytyhm breaks and quiet peaces with some samples.
At one point itmade me think of some themes of A Saucerful of Secrets and some rocking Dream Theater For me this is a masterpiece.

Reviewed by MJBrady on 08 Sep 2002

The band name Fates Warning, seems to be on most everyone who knows list of pioneers for the Progressive Metal genre. With a discography that dates back to 1984, this is a valid argument, but the band really didn't explore their more progressive side until later on, some hints were shown on The Spector Within, Awaken the Guardian, and No Exit, yet what may seem to be a coincidence, the addition of new drummer Mark Zonder for the Perfect Symetry album in 1989, was a huge turning point for the band, and the complexity was turned up a few notches. A Pleasant Shade of Grey is thought of by many FW enthusiasts as the bands finest hour, an epic concept album, the music showed many fluctuations between Rush like atmospheric music, to a more technical variety that is heard by bands like DreamTheater. Fates Warning is a band loaded with musicianship, and everything, including the bass and drums are played with expertise. The band also posesses a fine singer in Ray Alder, he has an extremely powerful voice at many different ranges, full of expression, he is able to convey the lyrical drama penned by by Matheos, and co. There is no doubt that this is a cd that defines the band as a progressive metal powerhouse, the rigid technical structures in the music combine many of what I have heard in bands like Rush, DT, Sieges Even, or WatchTower, not surprisingly these bands were all active at the same time. It seems that Fates Warning was destined to create this masterpiece of progmetal, and have to this day(2002), have not been able to replicate the same magic found on this recording. Every fan of progmetal, old and new, owe it to themselves to put this cd into your collection.