When Fates Warning release an album, you can always bet it will be a musically challenging album, though not always too easy to digest. Personally I somehow couldn't get too grips with "A Pleasant Shade of Gray", not after the three song-oriented albums that came before and that I liked a lot. Musically excellent, but somehow not for me.

"Disconnected" is a cross between a "Parallels" type album and "A Pleasant Shade of Gray" - the songs are semi-long, there is less repetition of themes, and there are the usual stellar performances (in particular of drum wizard Mark Zonder).

"Disconnected Part 1" and "Disconnected Part 2" are the opening and closing songs of the album, framing a set of ace compositions. "So" is the first really good track on the album, followed on its heels by the even better "Pieces of Me", in which the band do not shun the use of slight industrial (dance?) elements. "Pieces of Me" is followed by "Something from Nothing", a 11+ minute menacing song, kindof dreamy, which gets better every time you listen to it. "Still Remains" is another excellent track. In fact, only "One" is a slightly weaker track, the rest is all grade A music - challenging, technical, well done, and good to listen to.

On this recording, the usual triumvirate of Mark Zonder, Ray Alder and Jim Matheos is helped out by Joey Vera and Kevin Moore (like on "A Pleasant Shade..."). It's worked before, and it's worked again.

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Written July 2000


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