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Parallels

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Reviews

Average Rating
★★★★½
(34 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews See All →

  • What seems to be misunderstood about this album is its conceptual nature. All eight songs, unified by Jim Matheos’ lyrics, deal with a fragmenting relationship and the emotional turmoil accompanying it. (It should be obvious enough considering the album begins and starts with the same three lines… that’s always a dead giveaway.) There is a strong main theme here, dealing with dichotomies and emotional differences (note the cover design), with a heavy emphasis on the pronouns “I” and “you.” When “we” is used, it is usually with a lamenting tone (“We Only Say Goodbye” is the obvious example.) Even with this morose lyrical subject, the album is sometimes exhilarating melodic metal. “Point of View” and “Don’t Follow Me” are intense works of speedy riffs and Mark Zonder’s hectic drumming. The rest of the album is mostly low-key, focusing on melody, Ray Alder’s conveyance of the lyrics, and emotion. “The Eleventh Hour” is the album’s most challenging track. It is heavy on atmosphere, subtleties, and even the fast, menacing riffs in the middle feature a sense of misery that keeps one from “rocking” with them. This is an excellent, underrated part of Fates Warning’s catalogue.

    Posted on February 5, 2010