Ray Alder-What the Water Wants

So, 2019 finds us without a Fates Warning album, but we did get an Arch/Matheos album earlier in the year and now Ray Alder, the longtime voice of Fates Warning, is out with his first proper solo album.  So, that’s a good couple of tide-me-over snacks from the Fates camp this year.  Alder’s album features a good selection of songs that could all easily be found on a Fates Warning album.  It particularly reminds me of the Inside Out era of Fates.  So, if you’re a fan of that version of Fates, then you’ll probably dig this one.  It’s very well produced and is just a very clean prog metal album.

I’d probably label most of this album as Fates Warning-Lite.  Not in the sense that these songs are lightweight.  No, there’s a shitload of substance on this one, but the vibe is not nearly as intense as a Fates release.  This feels more laid back and more personal in tone for Ray.  Alder’s vocals are in fine fashion as usual on this album and are obviously the focal point of this album.  He’s just got one of the more recognizable croons in the prog metal world.  His vocal style is maturing nicely as he ages.  Gone are the high dog-whistle high pitch notes from his early Fates days, but in their place is a more confident delivery that just feels more warm and personal than the over-the-top efforts of old.  I dig it.  This is just a solid album all the way through.

4 flip flops out of 5

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