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Arch / Matheos - Sympathetic Resonance CD (album) cover

SYMPATHETIC RESONANCE

Arch / Matheos

 

Progressive Metal

4.10 | 302 ratings

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Norbert
5 stars Sympathetic Resonance is the debut full-length studio album by the progressive metal project of Jim Matheos and John Arch. The album artwork is not really that beautiful, it is better than the somewhat similar artwork of Reinventing the Steel by Pantera that's true, but the main thing is that the music here does not dissappoint. Jim Matheos is the guitar player and mastermind of the US band Fates Warning, who can be safely be considered as one of the founders of progressive metal. John Arch was the singer on the first three albums of Fates Warning. After the third album Awaken the Guardian John Arch disappeared altogether from the music scene, he made a comeback with an EP called A Twist of Fate. The debut album of this project is the first full-length studio album featuring John Arch in 25 years. The line-up of this album with Frank Aresti playing the 2nd guitar, bassist Joey Vera and drummer Bobby Jarzombek. So apart from the singer the lineup is identical with the line up of Fates Warning. John Arch in the liner notes even thanks Ray Alder for alowwing him to lend his band. There are 6 tracks in 54 minutes, two relatively short and simple songs around 5 minutes, one song abou 8 minutes and three songs clock over 10 minutes, the longest is over 13 minutes long. It is great for the dynamics of the album that the band alternates more direct and relatively more simple tracks and the longer, even more elaborated pieces. The music is very heavy (not in an extreme black/death metal sense, but more in terms of the sheer heaviness of the riffs), complex, and technical progressive metal, which does not bear a whole lot of resemblance to the Ray Alder period of the band, maybe somewhat similar of the No Exit and Perfect Symmety era, but not that much. Especially the longest tracks go through multible sections and atmospheres. Although the musicians seem to be dedicated to creating progressive metal as it was originally intended in the late eighties, at the same time they do not sound nostalgical, or out of date. This is an album which rooted in the keyboardless past of progressive metal, but offers a quite an original and fresh approach of progressive metal. Especially considering the 21st century. The guitar playing is outstanding, especially the riffs, the rythm section provides complex and powerful playing. John Arch's signature high pitched and nasal vocal delivery may be an acquired taste for many, but in my opinion he is one of the most powerful and distinct sounding vocalist in metal, plus his way of writing melody lines is brilliant as well. However, the biggest achievement of Sympathetic Resonance is, that all 6 tracks are brilliant, there is no filler here, the album is a constantly great flow.
Norbert | 5/5 |

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