No Exit (Fates Warning album)

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No Exit
Fates Warning No Exit.jpg
Studio album by Fates Warning
Released 1988 (1988)[1]
Recorded October–December 1987 at Carriage House Studios in Stamford, Connecticut
Genre Progressive metal
Length 40:04[2]
Label Metal Blade
Producer Roger Probert, Max Norman
Fates Warning chronology
Awaken the Guardian
(1986)Awaken the Guardian1986
No Exit
Perfect Symmetry
(1989)Perfect Symmetry1989

No Exit is the fourth studio album by progressive metal band Fates Warning, released in 1988 through Metal Blade Records. It is the first Fates Warning album to feature current vocalist Ray Alder, who replaced John Arch after the release of Awaken the Guardian (1986), as well as the last to feature drummer Steve Zimmerman, who left the band just prior to the recording of their subsequent album Perfect Symmetry (1989). The title was inspired by No Exit, a 1944 play written by French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre.[3]

Music and style[edit]

Musically, No Exit is considerably different from the band's previous efforts, incorporating strong elements of thrash metal, although maintaining the complex structures and powerful vocal performances found in the earlier albums. Although the lyrics are less influenced by fantasy themes which were predominant in the earlier albums, the philosophical element is still present.


No Exit has had two major reissues. The first was in 1992 as part of a double album with Awaken the Guardian.[4] The second was a remastered edition containing three bonus tracks and a DVD of live material, released on September 4, 2007 to coincide with Metal Blade's 25th anniversary.[5]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[1]

Eduardo Rivadavia at AllMusic gave No Exit four stars out of five, saying "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."[1] The album reached No. 111 on the U.S. Billboard 200[6] and remained on that chart for thirteen weeks, longer than any of the band's albums before or since.[7] In a 2007 article by IGN, it was ranked No. 14 on their list of "Top 25 Metal Albums".[8]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "No Exit" Jim Matheos Matheos 0:41
2. "Anarchy Divine" Frank Aresti Aresti, Matheos 3:46
3. "Silent Cries" Matheos Matheos, Aresti, Joe DiBiase, Steve Zimmerman 3:17
4. "In a Word" Aresti Aresti 4:25
5. "Shades of Heavenly Death" Aresti Aresti, DiBiase, Matheos, Zimmerman 5:57
6. "The Ivory Gate of Dreams"
  • "I. Innocence"
  • "II. Cold Daze"
  • "III. Daylight Dreamers"
  • "IV. Quietus"
  • "V. Ivory Tower"
  • "VI. Whispers on the Wind"
  • "VII. Acquiescence"
  • "VIII. Retrospect"
Matheos Matheos 21:58
Total length: 40:04


Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1988) Position
US Billboard 200 111[7]


  1. ^ a b c Rivadavia, Eduardo. "No Exit - Fates Warning". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 2014-07-16.
  2. ^ No Exit (CD release "Metal Blade 3984-14047-2").
  3. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)". Archived from the original Archived July 26, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 2014-07-16.
  4. ^ "Fates Warning – Awaken The Guardian / No Exit". Discogs. Retrieved 2015-03-17.
  5. ^ "No Exit". Retrieved 2014-10-21.
  6. ^ "No Exit - Fates Warning | Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 2014-07-16.
  7. ^ a b "Fates Warning - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 2014-07-16.
  8. ^ T. Spence D; T. Ed (2007-01-20). "Top 25 Metal albums". IGN. Retrieved 2014-07-16.

External links[edit]