Metal pleasantries

Fates Warning 10.11.2012 Session
Essen - Turock, Germany Fates Warning 10.11.2012 Session Essen - Turock, Germany

Fates Warning comes to Oddbody’s

By Allyson B. Crawford

Photo: Fates Warning will perform on Oct. 21 at Oddbody’s; photo: Axel Jusseit

“We are certainly going to play a few things we haven’t done in a very long time! Hopefully there will be a few surprises for some,” Fates Warning vocalist Ray Alder excitedly tells the Dayton City Paper. The progressive metal act will roll into Oddbody’s on Wednesday, Oct. 21. Imminent Sonic Destruction and 80 Proof will provide support.

Connecticut-based Fates Warning is touring America this fall to gin up excitement for the re-release of their classic album A Pleasant Shade of Gray. The concept album was originally released in 1997. The album is actually one long song, broken into 12 pieces. Now, 18 years later, the band’s former label Metal Blade is reissuing the disc.

“Metal Blade has been re-releasing our albums with a re-mastered CD as well as rare live cuts and video from that specific album,” explains Alder. “I think it’s pretty nice to have something you’ve owned before and have it come out again sounding even better, as well as having something you didn’t know existed from that album, like demos or a rare video of a concert.”

Reissues are another way for bands to make money. In an age when new music doesn’t really equal album sales, bands fortunate enough to have a long history and fan base can often cash in again on past brilliance. The diehards will buy an old album again to maintain a complete collection, and new fans will often choose the reissued work for remastered sound and all the rare cuts. Basically, it’s a win-win for everyone. Still, Fates Warning isn’t a band to just look back. Instead, members are actively working on new tunes. Alder says the band is nearly done writing and expects to be in the studio by December. He hopes the new album will be ready for release around May.

In a 2013 interview with the Dallas Observer, Alder reflected on the band’s progressive metal label.

“It’s a label we’ve been given,” he said. “I’ll take it. It doesn’t piss me off, but I don’t think about us as a metal band. We are a heavy rock band, although the term heavy metal seems dated to me. I don’t want to dismiss anybody or any genre. I don’t know if there is a correct term for us.”

Progressive, metal, rock or otherwise, Fates Warning is in great company. Most critics and fans lump the band in with big names like Dream Theater, Queensryche and even Rush.

Like most bands that have been around awhile, Fates Warning has dealt with its share of lineup changes and turmoil. When Fates Warning formed in 1982, John Arch stood behind the mic. He left the band after their third album, Awaken the Guardian. Alder joined the band in 1988. Still, other members of Fates Warning, especially guitarist Jim Matheos, have worked with Arch since his formal departure. In 2016, Fates Warning, with Arch fronting the band, will headline ProgPower USA. For Alder, this is perfectly normal.

“All of us in Fates Warning (bassist Joey Vera, Jim Matheos, drummer Bobby Jarzombek and myself) play at one time or another in many different bands,” Alder explains. “We work out schedules and try to accommodate each other. Sometimes we have conflicting schedules and that can sometimes be a pain, but in the end we usually figure it out.”

True to form, Vera just released new music with his side project Motor Sister, which also features Scott Ian of Anthrax and other notable musicians. Not to be outdone, Alder and his side project Redemption just finished a new album and announced a record deal with Metal Blade.

Still, most fans, musicians and journalists agree: the setup is not normal. For many, this will be their chance to see Awaken the Guardian performed as a snapshot in time because Fates Warning will perform that album in its entirety during the headline gig. ProgPower USA is set for Sept. 9 and 10, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Beyond ProgPower, Fates Warning, with Alder at the helm, will continue to tour America, plus Europe and also pick up several festivals along the way. It’s been a while since Fates Warning has played in Ohio, so the Oddbody’s show presents a unique and intimate experience for fans of true progressive rock.

Doors for the show open at 7 p.m. Get there early to check out the support acts. 80 Proof is a Dayton-based cover band focusing on ‘80s metal acts like Metallica and Iron Maiden. Imminent Sonic Destruction is a Detroit-based progressive metal band, focusing on creating new music with a unique sound. Their influences include Opeth, Symphony X and Rush.

Fates Warning will perform on Wednesday, Oct. 21 at Oddbody’s Music Room, 5418 Burkhardt Rd. in Dayton. The show is 18 and over. Tickets in advance are $20 or $25 day of show. For Fates Warning VIP packages, tickets and more information, please visit

Allyson B. Crawford lives in Kettering and writes about ’80s metal bands on her daily blog You can usually find her at all sorts of metal shows around Ohio and across the country. Allyson can be reached at

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About Allyson B. Crawford

View all posts by Allyson B. Crawford
Allyson B. Crawford lives in Kettering and writes about ’80s metal bands on her daily blog You can usually find her at all sorts of metal shows around Ohio and across the country. Allyson can be reached at

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