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Fates Warning Biography

Last updated: 11/23/2005

Formed in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, in 1982, initially as Misfit, the original line-up of Fates Warning consisted of John Arch (vocals), Jim Matheos (guitar), Victor Arduini (guitar), Joe DiBiase (bass) and Steve Zimmerman (drums). After a couple of early demos the band were invited to contribute a track to the METAL MASSACRE V compilation released on Metal Blade Records in 1984. The label signed the band immediately to a long-term recording agreement and released the band's debut album, entitled NIGHT ON BROCKEN, in the same year. The album was very reminiscent of early Iron Maiden due to the song compositions and John Arch's vocal style. Shortly after its release guitarist Victor Arduini left the band to be replaced by Frank Aresti. The next two albums, THE SPECTRE WITHIN and AWAKEN THE GUARDIAN, released in 1985 and 1986 respectively, showed the band's music to be more progressive and complex than first impressions had suggested. However, vocalist John Arch was unhappy with the musical direction that Fates Warning had begun to pursue and left, but was soon replaced by Ray Alder, whose voice was better suited to the material. This was most noticeable on NO EXIT. Released in 1988, it was widely recognized as the band's finest work to date, partially thanks to producer Max Norman, who strove for a clean, Queensr├┐che-like sound. Soon after its release drummer Steve Zimmerman left the band to be replaced by Mark Zonder. PERFECT SYMMETRY was released in 1989 after the band had completed a couple of rather uneasy European tours. The result was an album that in some places sounded orchestral in its arrangements, and featured Dream Theater keyboard player Kevin Moore as a guest musician. Come the next album, PARALLELS, released in 1991, the band returned to their earlier techno-pomp metal influences. It was well received by the press, who were beginning to acknowledge a band who had a lot to offer and deserved more recognition than had previously been awarded them.