Record Collector (magazine) - p.833 stars out of 5
-- "NO EXIT stands as a benchmark....The dual-guitar tempo-shifting pioneered by Iron Maiden is to the fore from the opening 'Anarchy Divine,' through numerous segued cuts..."
Fates Warning: Ray Alder (vocals); Jim Matheos, Frank Aresti (guitar); Joe DiBiase (bass); Steve Zimmerman (drums, percussion).
Additional personnel: Mark Castiglione (keyboards).
Recorded at Carriage House, Stamford, Connecticut between October & December 1987.
Personnel: Ray Alder (vocals); Frank Aresti, Frank Aersti, Jim Matheos (guitar); Steve Zimmerman (percussion).
Audio Mixers: Max Norman; Phil Magnotti; Roger Probert.
Audio Remasterer: Brad Vance.
Recording information: Carriage House, CT (10/1987-12/1987).
Photographers: Mick Rock ; Frank Aersti; Jim Matheos; Joe DiBiase; Ray Alder; Steve Zimmerman.
Usually regarded as the finest release from Fates Warning's early years, when their progressive leanings were tempered with no small amount of classic metal riffing, No Exit is a typically difficult album to come to grips with. As was often the case on prior releases, the band has a hard time reconciling its ruthless experimentation with the need to construct coherent songs, leading to any number of awkward passages in which melodies and riffs are recklessly spliced together. Still, the album is another step forward, and tracks like "Anarchy Divine," "Shades of Heavenly Death," and "In a Word" rank among the best of their career thus far. Side two is entirely taken by the daunting "The Ivory Gate of Dreams," which at over 20 minutes and eight separate parts, finds the band in its most extreme and complex progressive metal mode. Like his predecessor, new vocalist Ray Alder's piercing screams are something of an acquired taste (coming off like a less disciplined version of Queensr˜che's Geoff Tate), but the rest of the band perform to their usual high technical standards. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia