When prog rock first reared its head during the early '70s, it contained elements of hard rock, but few bands crossed the line into heavy metal. This all changed during the '80s, when bands such as Dream Theater, Watchtower, and Fates Warning merged their love of Yes and Rush with their admiration for Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. Formed in Hartford, Connecticut in 1983, Fates Warning have endured quite a few lineup changes since their inception, with the exception of guitarist Jim Matheos, who has been present through it all. Starting off as a straight-ahead metal band (their progressive side didn't show up until a few years later), Fates Warning built up a regional following, which soon led to a recording contract with metal indie label Metal Blade. With vocals being handled by John Arch, Fates Warning issued such titles as 1984's Night on Brocken, 1985's The Spectre Within, and 1986's Awaken the Guardian, the latter of which became the first record from the group to appear on the Billboard album charts.