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Spectre Within Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Extra tracks

4.2 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Spectre Within
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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, September 24, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

FATES WARNING The Spectre Within CD
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 24, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: September 24, 2002
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Extra tracks
  • Label: Metal Blade
  • Run Time: 79 minutes
  • ASIN: B00006IT5B
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,967 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This is a good album and in my opinion an album that was ahead of it's time. Some of the people reviewing this album negatively were probably not even born when this album came out. It is unfair to compare Korn with Fates Warning- there is decade of differance between the two. Fates were pioneers of metal (like tons of the 80s'bands that get zero credit). Metal was a new world in the 80s'- bands like Fates Warning laid the groundwork for bands like Korn etc. Have a little respect for your elders and listen to this stuff with a sense of perspective. Compare Spectre Within to other titles that were around at the time (1985) and I believe you will see that Fates Warning were breaking new ground.
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By A Customer on December 29, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I don't know where to begin. John Arch has the most beautiful, intense, incredible, gorgeous, perfect voice ever, and the music and lyrics of the songs match his voice perfectly. My favorite song on the album is "Epitath". It's hard to explain, but when I listen to this album, I almost feel enlightened. John Arch sings of mystical places and life after death and other planes of existence, and listening to this album makes you truly believe it is all possible. Five stars is not enough for this record!
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Format: Audio CD
Fans of Fates Warning seem to be understandably divided between the early John Arch era (1984-1987) and their work since with singer Ray Alder. I still feel the later albums are very good, but they'll never match the power that's heard in stuff like THE SPECTRE WITHIN. The performance here is exciting, energetic, thoughtful, and always interesting. "The Apparition" is a FW classic, and the twelve minute "Epitaph" features some outstanding songwriting. As always, John Arch's vocals are excellent, his melodies soaring high and his lyrics thought-provoking. The musicianship is intense yet still tasteful, the emphasis on complementing the songs rather than detracting from them. As a side note, the guy who labelled this shred-metal plainly missed the mark; no band wrote songs this deep or convincing in that bygone era.
Fates' progressive element was still developing here, as a few songs sound slightly disjointed and others more straightforward. That element would be manifested in their subsequent masterpiece, AWAKEN THE GUARDIAN. Nevertheless, this album is essential early Fates Warning and recommended for those seeking something heavier than their current material.
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Format: Audio CD
Spectre Within is a brilliant 80s underground metal masterpiece. A lot of 80s metal either leans into the "hard rock/pop metal" scene (including most 70s metal bands' 80s albums and a lot of the NWOBHM), or the thrash metal scene (which tended to have weaker vocals and starker arrangements to my ear). In the middle there's Iron Maiden, some Judas Priest, and a number of lesser known bands (Omen, Fates Warning, Cirith Ungol, Mercyful Fate) - I think the John Arch era Fates Warning albums are my favorite from these lesser known bands. The first (Night On Brocken) is a little more straight-forward metal and John's vocals are still "developing", while the third (Awaken the Guardian) is about 50% brilliant but has maybe a little too much slower stuff towards the latter part of the disc. Spectre Within gets everything right - the songs are complex and progressive, and the quality doesn't waver. John Arch's vocals are very metal and very original, he has an unusual phrasing and elaborate lyric-writing that put him above the pack (even if he's not quite as great as, say, Dickinson or Halford - but who is?). The songs are total riff-fests of in-your-face metal - progressive metal like Queensryche and the later-era Fates Warning tend to have a smoother, less intense guitar style (sometimes hardly metal at all), but I certainly prefer this edgier approach. I got the remaster of "Awaken the Guardian" and John Arch's vocals are totally drowned in the mix - I'm actually planning on repurchasing the old edition (I gave my original copy to a friend) - I assume the case is the same with this album? (Ray Alder's vocals, on the other hand, were very high in the mix for the early albums he's on, so the remasters of "No Exit" and "Perfect Symmetry" are fine).Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
I know Fates Warning is a hugely influential band in the progressive metal world, and that their later, proggier albums are highly acclaimed, but it's the early albums with John Arch on vocals that I enjoy the most.

1985's The Spectre Within was the band's second album, and it bears little resemblance to the progressive metal band Fates Warning would become. Like their debut Night on Bröcken, The Spectre Within is almost a prototypical mid-80's Metal Blade American power metal album. There are traces of the band's future direction, particularly on lengthier songs like "Traveler in Time" and the epic "Epitaph", but for the most part I hear a band that wanted to sound like Iron Maiden, and that always works for me! John Arch's wailing vocals tend to dominate the album as much as the intricate instrumental work, and I can see how that could turn people off, but to me his voice is perfect for that style in that era.

The presence of the classic Fates Warning song "The Apparition" alone makes this album well worth checking out. Fans of the band's later, acclaimed, progressive offerings probably won't find a lot to love about these early Fates Warning releases, but anyone interested in the early power metal scene and bands like Warlord, Vicious Rumors and Armored Saint will definitely want to check out The Spectre Within.

NOTE: The Spectre Within was reissued in 2002 with digitally remastered sound and 4 bonus tracks. I've heard some complaints about the remastering, but to my ears it sounds pretty decent. The bonus tracks are demos and rough live recordings, and don't really add much.
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