Fates Warning was conceived by core members guitarist Jim Matheos and bassist Joe DiBiase. The band assembled in 1983 in Connecticut and included five original members: vocalist John Arch, guitarist Victor Arduini, drummer Steve Zimmerman and Matheos and DiBiase.1980s heavy metal band
They released their first single, "Soldier Boy," on Metal Massacre 5. By 1984, the band signed with Metal Blade Records and released two albums, their debut Night on Brocken (1984) and The Spectre Within (1985).
Frank Aresti replaced guitarist Arduini in 1986 and to record their third album, Awaken the Guardian. The band"s lineup changed again a year later when Ray Adler joined, replacing vocalist Arch. Adler"s distinct voice helped lead the band to more mainstream recognition with their fourth album, No Exit, in 1988. That same year, the band recorded their first video, "Silent Cries," completed a U.S. tour and replaced their original drummer with newcomer Mark Zonder.
A second video, "Through Different Eyes," was made in 1989, followed by a European tour and the release of the band"s fifth album, Perfect Symmetry. After the release of Parallels in 1991, the band reached a new level of commercial recognition. Yielding a number of singles, such as "Eye to Eye" and "Leave the Past Behind," the album reached a more mainstream metal-listening audience and sold their greatest number of albums to date.
Following a 1992 U.S. tour, Fates Warning headlined for the 1993 Wacken Festival in Germany. Over the following years the band released Inside Out (1994) and recorded the tracks for two tribute albums, "Closer to the Heart" on the Working Man Rush tribute album, and "Saints in Hell" for the Tribute to Judas Priest - Legends of Heavy Metal album.
By the time the band was ready to record A Pleasant Shade of Gray, the original bassist and founding member DiBiase left the band and was replaced by current bassist Joey Vera. Aresti also left the band, but was not replaced. Matheos instead took over all guitar parts and added a keyboard for the new album. The remaining and current four members of Fates Warning went on to record the album, which was released in 1997.
When asked about the album, its meaning and the amount of time it took to create, Matheos replied, "I don"t have anything to say on the lyrics, I"ll only regret trying to encapsulate in a few sentences what took a year to write and an hour to get across." (Source: Rolling Stone)