A Pleasant Shade of Gray 
Artist: Fates Warning  
Label: Metal Blade  

This is an artistic concept album separated into twelve numbered parts. The album starts off by creating a gray rainy atmosphere and every song seems to take on a different shape without ever leaving the original feel behind. The "gray" theme pervades the album without being oppressive. As the title suggests, it's a pleasant shade of gray. The lyrics take us into a reflective journey into ourselves with memories, questions and regrets.  

    so where do we begin 
    and what else can we say?  
    when the lines are all drawn  
    what should we do today?.... 

    drifting in and out 
    his mind never rests 
    lying in shadows  
    replaying a thousand regrets

The search for spiritual answers is woven throughout this piece, but without a savior, Fates Warning can only offer: 
    to see another day 
    and with hope in our hearts 
    embrace this shade of gray 
    this pleasant shade of gray
Despite the theological poverty, Fates Warning has created an incredible masterpiece of progressive yet very introspective music with a lot of depth and complexity. 

This is the ninth release for Fates Warning. They have a new lineup that includes Joey Vera (Ex-Helstar) on bass guitar and keyboard virtuoso Kevin Moore (Ex-Dream Theater). All the songs are tight and well produced with excellent workmanship throughout the album. The Christian options for prog-rock fans are limited, so this will definitely tide me over until the new Dream Theater is released. --Shari Lloyd 

Copyright© 1997 The Phantom Tollbooth