A Pleasant Shade of Gray is a concept album by the progressive metal group Fates Warning, released in 1997. It contains one song divided into twelve chapters. After the last track, there is a brief period of silence followed by 20 seconds of an alarm clock ringing.
A Pleasant Shade of Gray features elements of metal and New Age. The lyrics revolve around self-reflection and regret. The album's music and lyrics were entirely composed by guitarist Jim Matheos. The album marked their first collaboration with Armored Saint bassist Joey Vera and features contributions from ex-Dream Theater keyboardist Kevin Moore.
The album's credits featured a special thank-you to longtime bassist Joe DiBiase, who departed the band in 1995; this was the first Fates Warning album to not feature him.
In 2007 the album was re-released by Metal Blade Europe with a bonus DVD of the Pleasant Shade of Gray Live video, previously only on VHS.
The album was fairly controversial, getting many poor reviews as well as many great reviews. The sound is less accessible that Fates Warning's other works and many say that this album required several listens to "sink in".