Arch/Matheos – Sympathetic Resonance Review
First and foremost, John Arch is in my top 2 or 3 singers of all time. Personally I feel that man can do no wrong vocally. His 3 albums with Fates Warning are easily the best 3 consecutive albums a band could ever dream to put out. From Night On Brocken to Awaken the Guardian his voice progressed along with Fates’ music. By the time Awaken came out, I felt the band had set a standard for themselves that would make a follow-up album tough to compare. Then I read in one of the metal magazines that Arch had left the band. Seriously? Then out comes No Exit, a serious let down for me. It wasn’t that Ray Alder was a bad singer, but that certain something that only Arch could bring to the table wasn’t there. No Exit is a good album in its own right and I’ll be the first to admit that Perfect Symmetry is a great record, but still, it didn’t have John and after that one I was done with Fates Warning forever. They got too light and proggy for me.
In 2003 Arch released the 2 song EP A Twist of Fate and it was great to hear his voice again. At the beginning of this year it was announced that he had signed on with Jim Matheos to do an album. The band was dubbed Arch/Matheos and also includes journeyman bassist Joey Vera, Bobby Jarzombek and Frank Aresti. Wait, why not just call it Fates Warning? I’m sure respect for Ray and probaby some legal issues abound that keep that from happening along with John probably not in the mode for touring. Fair enough.
But for me, this is a Fates Warning album. This is the album that could have followed Awaken the Guardian. I finally bought this from iTunes this past Friday night and have listened to it about 8 times all the way through along with the new Anthrax album. This one’s better by a county mile, no disrespect to ‘Thrax.
I am loving this album on so many levels and for so many reasons. John’s voice and lyrical phrasing, the lyrics, Bobby Jarzombek’s drumming, Aresti’s contributions, Matheos’ riffage and song structures. I only wish the bass was a tad more prominent.
The album consists of 6 songs that all seem to flow together very well, much like they do on Awaken. Under a stained Glass Sky is my favorite so far, but the whole album just great. And seriously, Bobby Jarzombek is easily one of the best drummers in metal today along with Van Williams (Pure Sweet Hell/ex-Nevermore). Bobby doesn’t suck and he is perfect for this project.
This album is beautiful from front to back surely a must for any John Arch-era Fates Warning Fan. I am calling it the album of the year and it gets a 10/10. This will stay in steady rotation and I can’t get enough of it already. While it’s not Awaken the Guardian or Spectre Within, it is a wonderful new Fates Warning album with a phenomenal singer/lyricist.
I hope that a second album could be in the works somewhere down the road. This is good enough to warrant a follow-up. A tour? Please? Doubtful I know, but a man can dream, yes?
Again…10/10. Buy it!
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