Fates Warning - Night On Brocken
Metal Blade
Heavy Metal
9 songs (42:46)
Release year: 1984
Fates Warning, Metal Blade
Reviewed by Khelek
Archive review

Fate's Warning are know by many as one of the earliest heavy metal bands to incorporate prog elements into their music. These veterans have been around since the early 80s writing great material. This is the very first album from the band, released in 1984. This is far from their best, though it's an enjoyable heavy metal album that led the way for greater endeavors from John Arch and co.

The first song, Buried Alive, starts off with strong riffs and the high pitched vocals of John Arch. It has some great ideas, but they can feel a bit disconnected, though I love the guitar solos and overall energy of the song. So far the production is a little weak in the lower end, but it's not bad at all. The guitars are really what stand out the most, and they stand out in a good way. Vocals remind me of most heavy/power bands of the 80s, Judas Priest, Helloween, etc. The next track, The Calling, has a more hard rock edge to it, more aggressive and reminding me of early 80s metal juggernauts like Savatage and Iron Maiden. Pounding, march-like melodies dominate this song and it's just fun to listen to from beginning to end. The intro to the title track catches my attention with its catchy stop and go bassline, soon giving way to faster guitars and drums. Not liking the vocals as much though. Arch has a powerful voice, but it is sometimes lost in the music and renders the lyrics indistinguishable. S.E.K. is a nice little acoustic piece that provides a lull in the heavy atmosphere. Shadowfax is another good instrumental track that really shows the skill of the band in terms of technicality, and it's actually exciting and fun to listen to. The final two tracks, Damnation and Soldier Boy, are the longest songs on the album at over 6 minutes and slow things down a bit to try to create a more epic sounding atmosphere. Damnation starts out slow with acoustic guitar and clean vocals, creating a serene atmosphere that I would expect from a band like Rush. This continues until the heavier riffs come in, creating a catchy melody that is very enjoyable. Soldier Boy takes a bit faster approach from the start, once again using some great guitar riffs.

In my opinion the album suffers only from a weak production and occasionally the songs sound a bit too much alike. It's mostly straight up heavy metal with the occasional complex guitar solo or experimental song structure, and certainly not the most remarkable. In the end it’s a good listen, especially for fans of heavy metal from the late 70s and early 80s. For a debut it's definitely pretty impressive, but based on what the band went on to accomplish that's not surprising.

Killing Songs :
The Calling, Misfit, Damnation
Khelek quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Fates Warning that we have reviewed:
Fates Warning - Darkness In A Different Light reviewed by Joel and quoted 90 / 100
Fates Warning - Awaken The Guardian reviewed by Khelek and quoted 93 / 100
Fates Warning - The Spectre Within reviewed by Storm and quoted CLASSIC
Fates Warning - FWX reviewed by Marty and quoted 86 / 100
Fates Warning - Disconnected reviewed by Claus and quoted 80 / 100
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