Let me preface this review by saying that I’ve never been a fan of Fates Warning. Personally, I could never see what the fuss was about them. I tried to listen to them many, many times over the years with little success. I could never get into them, much in the same way that I can’t get into Dream Theater or most other Progressive Metal bands. To me, Fates Warning was like Queensryche, just without any hit songs or even memorable riffs. But all of my friends who played guitar and listened to Metal loved them. Inside Out was initially released back in 1994, however if you love Fates Warning, there’s plenty of additional stuff on this “expanded edition” to entice the money out of your pocket if you already own this. The album is completely remastered and comes with a second CD of live and demo tracks as well as a DVD that has concert footage and interviews on it. Since the label decided not to include the DVD footage with the review materials, I can’t tell you if any of it is worth watching. The live audio tracks on the second disc sound like they are soundboard recordings so they’re almost studio quality. There are some uneven bits (usually in the vocal department) but for the most part, they sound very much like the studio versions. The demo tracks definitely sound like demo recordings, sonically nowhere near as good as the final album versions. The quality is definitely lower, but when I hear a demo recording with audible bass guitar, it always makes me take notice. I imagine that if I actually liked Fates Warning, I would think this was an awesome release. Even after years of trying, I’m still not a fan. They don’t suck, but I don’t like listening to an album for technicality or for the “little things” that a musician would notice but a casual fan wouldn’t give a flying shit about. If you like Fates Warning, this has plenty of stuff that you’ll enjoy. If you’re like me and wouldn’t buy this anyway, nothing here will change your mind about the band. Metal Blade went the extra mile and added quite a lot that a fan of Fates Warning would definitely want in a re-release. I wanted to give this one a five on just the music, but because I got my bachelor’s degree in marketing, I had to add extra points on because of the quality of the bonus materials and because the label cared enough about the fans to give them something extra. I just wish someone would’ve done anything like this when they re-released Possessed’s Seven Churches years ago.
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