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Awaken The Guardian - Reissue CD+DVD, Original recording remastered, Extra tracks

4.6 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Awaken The Guardian
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Audio CD, CD+DVD, Original recording remastered, June 28, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Originally released in 1986, Fates Warning’s third release, "Awaken The Guardian" would forever seal the band’s place in Heavy Metal history. Regarded as the band’s breakout release, original member and Fate Warning brainchild, JIM MATHEOS has gone to the vaults to offer, to the fans, and extraordinary glimpse back to 1986 with a 2 CD, 1 DVD set of rare demos, a live concert video and more.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. The Sorceress
  2. Valley Of The Dolls
  3. Fata Morgana
  4. Guardian
  5. Prelude To Ruin
  6. Giant's Lore (Heart Of Winter)
  7. Time Long Past
  8. Exodus

Disc: 2

  1. The Sorceress (Demo)
  2. Valley Of The Dolls (Demo)
  3. Prelude To Ruin (Demo)
  4. Fata Morgana (Live)
  5. Damnation (Live)
  6. The Apparition (Live)
  7. The Sorceress (Live)
  8. Guardian (Live)
  9. Die Young (Live)


Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 28, 2005)
  • Rmst ed. edition
  • Original Release Date: June 28, 2005
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: CD+DVD, Original recording remastered, Extra tracks
  • Label: Metal Blade
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • ASIN: B0009JK0X4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,553 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I'm going to review here this new edition, more than the original album. We all know (and those who don't, should) that John Arch wrote some historic pages as the first vocalist of Fates Warning. This 2CDs/1DVD extended reissue of "Awaken the Guardian" has made a superb job in documenting that golden époque of these progressive metal pioneers.

First of all, the remastered version of the classic album (CD#1) has indeed a brighter sound than the original; but of course there is nothing new at this point in there. As expected, the haunting and unorthodox melodies of John Arch are the "meat" of this release, while the rest of the band completed the recipe with a bunch of odd tempo changes, a bold musicianship and a great attitude. For John Arch this was his third album, so at that moment he had finally found his voice and style. The finished product is simply a brilliant, revolutionary and beautiful work of art; and a milestone in the history of metal music.

CD#2 contains demo versions of three songs of the album, plus six other live songs. The value of this CD is more historical than anything else, as the quality of the sound is far from being top notch. However, the "rawer" feeling of it all transported me to those years when the history of progressive metal had still to be written. This second CD, at the very end, is a draft produced by the original writers of the final paper. The creation of something new can be felt in its most spontaneous form by listening to this CD. That's why I welcome it with open arms -- and ears.

Finally, enters the DVD. Seeing John Arch performing live, even if his performance was not perfect at all, is a sheer of an experience.
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Format: Audio CD
This is the last album Fates Warning recorded with original vocalist John Arch, before he decided to pursue the glorious life of a carpenter and the rest of the band moved on to become a bunch of heavy metal English professors with a Rush fixation. "Awaken" expands gloriously on the sound of the first two albums, with more bizarre mystical imagery and complex song arrangements. What sets Arch's lyrics apart from other D&D singers (Dio leaps to mind) is that he used such imagery to address serious questions about life and death. For instance, the words to "Valley of the Dolls" contain thinly veiled references to the glam posers of the 80's ("camouflage the battle scars with Oxy 10 and Maybelline, cloning the heroes in hype magazine") and "Guardian" was at least partially written about that girl who was in a coma during the 80's ("Karen's been asleep forever, I know she hears me, she has so much to say"). "Prelude to Ruin" could be about any nation, real or mythical, that is on the verge of downfall. Arch's delivery is beautiful- his voice is high, almost in a bard-like way, without being overbearingly operatic. His melodies weave together cleverly and the dual guitar attack of Matheos and Aresti really came across on this album. I definitely suggest this album, as it is easily the best thing this band ever recorded.
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Format: Audio CD
Most prog metal fans overlook this masterpiece for some reason. To them, it all starts with Fates Warning's Perfect Symmetry, which is agreeable, since Perfect Symmetry is the band's first actual foray into prog metal. However, Awaken the Guardian, given its release date, was one of the driving forces of prog metal when a term as "prog metal" didn't even exist. Released almost 20 years ago, Awaken the Guardian is still as perfect as it was way back. This was the first Fates Warning disc I ever bought and I still listen to it on a regular basis. With each passing year, I re-discover its brilliance and impact on the genre. This band is kind of like Psychotic Waltz who were also as amazing and influential but were always overlooked by the masses.

If you've never listened to pre-Parallels period Fates Warning, then you might be pleasantly surprised. Awaken the Guardian is the last album with original singer John Arch and the best in my opinion. Arch seriously defined the sound of Fates Warning on the fist three releases since he co-wrote each song with guitarist Jim Matheos. He co-wrote each song on ATG as well, except the instrumental piece, "Time Long Past". Of note is that Arch co-wrote "Giant's Lore (Heart of Winter)" with second guitarist Frank Aresti and I believe this is the only track in the entire Fates Warning catalog that wasn't written by Jim Matheos. I said it before and I'll reiterate: John Arch is one of the most amazing singers that has ever walked the face of the earth. He can wail like every other screamer out there, but what's more is, he can still retain melody hitting those high notes.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is one of the best Heavy Metal CD's of the 80's. This is simply a masterpiece for it's time. I loved Fates back when they had John Arch on vocals, he was what really made Fates "Metal".

Anyways, back to "Awaken". This has very big Maiden influences, and is hinted throughout. The guitars are excellent, and have I said how much I love J. Arch's vocals???...

If you're a fan of Fate's "A Pleasant Shade Of Grey", you may want to think twice about buying this. This is not music to sleep to. This was Fate's when they were HEAVY.

I highly recommend "Awaken The Guardian" to anyone who has never heard Fates Warning, or to anyone who is a "Heavy Metal" fan. It's a unique masterpice that should not be forgotten...
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