Formed in Hartford, Connecticut, 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 was invited to contribute a track (Soldier Boy) to the Metal Massacre V compilation, released on Metal Blade Records in 1984. The label immediately signed the band to a long-term recording agreement and released the debut album, entitled Night On Bröcken, in the same year. The album was very reminiscent of early Iron Maiden, both in the compositions and Archs vocal style. The Spectre Within followed in 1985, but shortly after its release guitarist Arduini left the band to be replaced by Frank Aresti. Awaken The Guardian showed the bands 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 bands finest work to date, partially thanks to producer Max Norman, who strove for a clean, Queensrÿche -like sound. Soon after its release, 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. With 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.
Matheos released a solo album in 1993, following which the band returned with Inside Out. By 1996 Aresti and DiBiase had left the band, with seasoned player Joey Vera (ex-Armored Saint) taking over on bass guitar. The following years A Pleasant Shade Of Grey, eschewing the more compact style of the previous two releases, was comprised of a single 50 minute track. Alder also records with Bernie Versailles (guitar), Joey Vera (bass) and Pete Parada (drums) as Engine.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.