Awaken the Guardian

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Awaken the Guardian
Awaken the guardian.jpg
Studio album by Fates Warning
Released Late 1986
Recorded September–October 1986 at Stagg Street Studios in Los Angeles; Preferred Sound in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles
Genre Heavy metal, progressive metal
Length 47:57[1]
Label Metal Blade
Producer Fates Warning, Brian Slagel
Fates Warning chronology
The Spectre Within
Awaken the Guardian
No Exit
Alternative cover
2005 deluxe edition

Awaken the Guardian is the third studio album by progressive metal band Fates Warning, released in 1986 through Metal Blade Records. The album was the band's first to enter the U.S. Billboard 200, reaching No. 191 and remaining on that chart for four weeks.[2] It is also the band's last album to feature original singer John Arch, who was replaced by Ray Alder on their subsequent 1988 album No Exit.


Awaken the Guardian has been reissued several times. The first was as part of a double album with No Exit in 1992,[3] followed by a remastered edition in 1994,[4] and once again as a deluxe Digipak edition on June 28, 2005.[5] The latter includes a bonus disc containing demos and live tracks, as well as a DVD of a concert from December 28, 1986 at the Sundance Club in Long Island, New York; this being the only known video footage of the Awaken the Guardian line-up performing live.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[6]

Robert Taylor at AllMusic gave Awaken the Guardian three stars out of five, calling it "a closet classic from the underground metal years of the '80s" and the song "Guardian" being noted as a highlight. As with Fates Warning's previous album The Spectre Within (1985), Taylor recommended it more for fans of heavy metal than progressive metal, remarking that "the song structures are too rudimentary to be called progressive."[6]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Jim Matheos and John Arch, except where noted.

No. Title Length
1. "The Sorceress" 5:44
2. "Valley of the Dolls" 5:22
3. "Fata Morgana" 5:25
4. "Guardian" 7:33
5. "Prelude to Ruin" 7:23
6. "Giant's Lore (Heart of Winter)" (Arch, Frank Aresti) 6:00
7. "Time Long Past" (Matheos) 1:51
8. "Exodus" 8:39
Total length: 47:57


  • John Archvocals, production
  • Frank Aresti – guitar, production
  • Jim Matheos – guitar, production
  • Jim Archambault – keyboard
  • Steve Zimmerman – drums, production
  • Joe DiBiase – bass, production
  • Bill Metoyer – engineering
  • Scott Campbell – engineering assistance
  • Steve Himelfarb – engineering assistance
  • Kevin Beauchamp – engineering assistance
  • Dave Obrizzo – engineering assistance
  • Eddy Schreyer – mastering, remastering (reissue)

Chart performance[edit]

Year Chart Position
1987 Billboard 200 191[2]


  1. ^ Awaken the Guardian (CD release "Enigma/Metal Blade "1877-73231-2").
  2. ^ a b "Awaken the Guardian - Fates Warning". Billboard. Retrieved 2015-03-16.
  3. ^ "Fates Warning – Awaken The Guardian / No Exit". Discogs. Retrieved 2015-03-17.
  4. ^ "Fates Warning – Awaken The Guardian". Discogs. Retrieved 2015-03-17.
  5. ^ "Awaken the Guardian". Amazon. Retrieved 2015-03-16.
  6. ^ a b Taylor, Robert. "Awaken the Guardian - Fates Warning". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 2015-03-16.