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ARCH / MATHEOS

Progressive Metal • United States


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Arch / Matheos biography
Founded in Los Angeles, USA in 2010

ARCH / MATHEOS is a project evolving around FATES WARNING guitarist Jim MATHEOS and former FATES WARNING vocalist John ARCH
.
The band also features Frank ARESTI on guitars, Joey VERA on bass, and Bobby JARZOMBEK on drums.

ARCH / MATHEOS began tracking their full length debut album "Sympathetic Resonance" on January 12th 2011. It was released on September 13th.

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ARCH / MATHEOS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.10 | 302 ratings
Sympathetic Resonance
2011
3.90 | 97 ratings
Winter Ethereal
2019

ARCH / MATHEOS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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ARCH / MATHEOS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Winter Ethereal by ARCH / MATHEOS album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.90 | 97 ratings

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Winter Ethereal
Arch / Matheos Progressive Metal

Review by Norbert

5 stars Winter Ethereal is the second full-length studio album by the progressive metal project of guitarist Jim Matheos and  singer John Arch. Sympathetic Resonance, their debut from 2011 is one of my favourite Progressive Metal albums ever, so I was very excited to hear about a second album after 8 years. The artwork is quite nice, far better, than the front cover of the debut. Jim and John probably wanted to avoid any misunderstanding and internal  tensions, so the current rhythm section of Fates Warning does not appear together in any song of Winter Ethereal, although both bassist Joey Vera, both drummer Bobby Jarzombek play on the album. There are numerous musicians in the rhythm section, maybe former Fates Warning members, bassist Joe DiBiase and drummer Mark Zonder,  plus the drummer of Leprous, Baard Kohlstad, and especially bass players Sean Malone (Formerly with Cynic and Gordian Knot) and Steve Di Giorgio (Formerly with Death) are the most notable. Former Fates Warning guitarist Frank Aresti plays the guitar solo in two songs. The line-up is completed by drummers Thomas Lang and Matt Lynch, plus a certain George Hideous appears in the song called Tethered on bass guitar, who is most possibly Jim Matheos himself... Winter Ethereal has 9 tracks in about 68 minutes, the shortest track is Straight and Narrow  with 4 minutes, the longest is the concluding Kindred Spirits with almost 13 minutes. The remaining songs are between  5 and 9 minutes. Musically Winter Ethereal is a continuation of Smypathetic Resonance, a dynamic powerhouse of unbridled progressive metal passion, rooted in the beginnings of this kind of music without sounding nostalgic and out of date. These are quite intricate progressive heavy metal songs, well written and varied, performed by exceptional musicians and a brilliant singer. The voice of John Arch, and his high pitched vocal style, and his ornamented vocal lines are probably an aquired taste for many, but I am always impressed by his performance. Winter Ethereal sounds a bit heavier and more dense than, the debut, otherwise it is not very different,  but I do not see this as a problem. Musicians approaching their 60s rarely reinvent themselves, and especially rarely in a positive way. Secondly, there is no drop in quality, no sub-par track on Winter Ethereal. If this turns out to be the last album featuring John Arch, this is a worthy way to close his career as singer. I see no reason to rate Winter Ethereal lower than Sympathetic Resonance.
 Sympathetic Resonance by ARCH / MATHEOS album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.10 | 302 ratings

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Sympathetic Resonance
Arch / Matheos Progressive Metal

Review by 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.
 Winter Ethereal by ARCH / MATHEOS album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.90 | 97 ratings

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Winter Ethereal
Arch / Matheos Progressive Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars They're back! In 2011, guitarist Jim Matheos and vocalist John Arch created quite a storm when they released 'Resonance', but they were at pains to state that Arch wasn't again fronting Fates Warning (which he and Matheos formed back in 1982), and that it may or may not be a one-off. Fast forward to 2017, and they started writing together again, specifically for this release. While between them they cover off the vocals and guitars, this time they decided to bring in a few different musicians to add their particular touches to the finished version, so in came both present and former Fates Warning drummers and bassists Joey Vera, Bobby Jarzombek, Joe Dibiase and Mark Zonder, alongside the likes of Steve Di Giorgio (Death, Testament, Charred Walls Of The Damned), Cynic's Sean Malone, and renowned drummer Thomas Lang.

I was fascinated by the album title itself, as originally, I read it as "Eternal" but when I realised it was "Ethereal" it felt very different indeed. While not a concept album, Arch asserts that "anyone who takes the time to read the lyrics will probably connect with a recurring theme touching on the mysterious weight or flight of human emotion that leaves us with more questions than answers. "In the context of the title, rather than referring to the season, Winter was chosen for having "certain connotations sometimes associated with it, such as isolation, a withering to rebirth", and with Ethereal meaning "not of this world, or otherworldly", there came a "meaningful marriage between the two words that best summed up the theme of the album".

The album itself is progressive metal, strongly based around the two main pillars of vocals and guitars, with everyone else challenged to keep up. Fates Warning have been at the top of the game for a long time, and Matheos continues to drive them forward, so it is no surprise to hear his licks and shreds dominating proceedings. But what many people don't realise is that John Arch is not a full-time musician, in fact he left Fates Warning after the third album as he couldn't leave his job due to financial commitments, and has recorded only sparingly since, although he did re-join Fates Warning for the shows which led to the 2017 live album 'Awaken The Guardian'. His range and power is huge, and that he has recorded so little is a huge loss to metal fans. Here he is in his element, taking the music of Matheos and adding his lyrics and melodic vocals over the top, which shows that neither of them are thinking of slowing down any time soon.

For any fan of the genre this is essential, majestic throughout.

 Winter Ethereal by ARCH / MATHEOS album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.90 | 97 ratings

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Winter Ethereal
Arch / Matheos Progressive Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars "Winter Ethereal" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US progressive metal act Arch / Matheos. The album was released through Metal Blade Records in May 2019. Arch / Matheos is a project formed by former Fates Warning frontman John Arch and Fates Warning guitarist and main composer Jim Matheos. While Matheos since the early 80s has continuously recorded and toured with Fates Warning (and has released a couple of solos albums and has recorded a couple of OSI albums), Arch had a longer break from the music industry after leaving Fates Warning in 1987. It wasnīt until 2003 that he stuck out his head again, when he released the "A Twist of Fate" EP, which was released under his own name. The EP was created in collaboration with Matheos, and while it didnīt initially mean a comeback to the scene for Arch, the seeds were sown for the Arch / Matheos project.

The projectīs debut album "Sympathetic Resonance" was released in 2011 and featured bassist Joey Vera (Fates Warning, Engine, Armored Saint), drummer Bobby Jarzombek (Fates Warning, Halford, Iced Earth) and lead guitarist Frank Aresti (Fates Warning) in addition to Arch on lead vocals and Matheos on guitars. While the three mentioned session musicians are also featured on "Winter Ethereal", the album features quite a few other session bassists and drummers, including former Fates Warning drummer Mark Zonder, former Fates Warning bassist Joe DiBiase, and the omnipresent bassist Steve DiGiorgio (Sadus, Death, Testament, Iced Earth...etc.). With musical capacities like that itīs no surprise that the musicianship on "Winter Ethereal" is exceptionally strong.

The stars of the show are of course Arch and Matheos though. Matheos as always have written some tasteful and quite intricate progressive metal songs and his riffs and sense for rhythm are dynamic, and can be both heavy and loud but also subtle and more sophisticated. Arch is a skilled vocalist with a strong voice and a wide range (although he predominantly sings in a very high register). His long break from the scene has probably meant that there hasnīt been the wear on his voice other singers his age typically experience. He sounds almost exactly as he did in the 80s. His high pitched vocal style, voice, and ornamented vocal lines are probably an aquired taste, but personally my jaw drops every time he opens his mouth and sings. To my ears he is an incredible vocalist with a distinct sounding voice and vocal style. A top tier progressive metal vocalist.

"Winter Ethereal" features 9 tracks and a total playing time of 67:59, so itīs a fairly long album, but it doesnīt really feel that long, as the material are both well written and relatively varied. Highlights include album opener "Vermilion Moons", the power ballad type track "Tethered" (well...power ballad is probably stretching the definitions of that term, but there are some similar features), the short and powerful "Straight and Narrow", and the 13 minutes long closing epic "Kindred Spirits". This is a high quality album through and through though, and thereīs not a single sub par track in sight.

"Winter Ethereal" features a powerful and detailed sound production, which suits the material perfectly and upon conclusion itīs a high quality sophomore release by Arch / Matheos and a more than worthy successor to "Sympathetic Resonance (2011)". Itīs not often you come across progressive metal releases of this quality, featuring an origial sound and musical style too, and add to that high level musicianship on all posts, this is simply layers upon layers of quality features, which work in perfect balance and symbiosis. A 5 star (100%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

 Winter Ethereal by ARCH / MATHEOS album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.90 | 97 ratings

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Winter Ethereal
Arch / Matheos Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars WINTER is coming. Oh, wait! It has already come! Emerging seemingly from nowhere in 2011, the early Fates Warning pioneers of prog metal, vocalist John ARCH and guitarist Jim MATHEOS took the world by storm after releasing the stunning collaborative effort in the form of "Sympathetic Resonance" under the moniker ARCH / MATHEOS which in many ways found resolution to the long lost continuation of what Fates Warning would have sounded like had they continued well into the 21st century with ARCH's vocal prowess still in command. With a classic prog metal sound that was clearly crafted for the modern world, the duo constructed six stunning tracks that took the early prog metal attributes of operatic vocals, heavy zigzagging guitar riffs and compositional complexities and married it all with the darker down-tuned realities of the 21st century.

While the project was never to be intended to be a permanent one, the obvious chemistry that was presented begged prog metalheads far and wide to ponder the possibilities of whether there could be the remotest possibility of a second edition to what would provide the next chapter in this project of such technical wizardry coupled with emotional outpourings. Due to other commitments, particularly on the side of MATHEOS who to this day remains a vital member in Fates Warning's modern prog metal excellence, no pressures were in play but lo and behold eight long years later and the duo has found themselves releasing the long awaited second coming with WINTER ETHEREAL which finds the dynamic duo in cahoots once again with bassist Joey Vera (Fates Warning, Chroma Key), drummer Bobby Jarzombek (Fates Warning, Spastic Ink) and guitarist Frank Aresti.

And this time around even more musicians came to the party which includes ex-Cynic bassist Sean Malone and two additional drummers, Matt Lynch (Trioscapes) and Thomas Lang (John Wetton, Stork, Paul Gilbert, Eric Gillette) as well as Steve Di Giorgio (Death, Testament, Charred Walls Of The Damned) and bassists Joe Dibiase and Mark Zonder. The guitar distortion is turned up to 11 and the musicians were chomping at the bit to unleash a new slab of highly technical metal that takes the ARCH / MATHEOS to the next level. While the Fates Warning comparisons are inevitable, once again this project finds a way to make the music its own despite the clear throwback to the long lost days when progressive metal existed as a mere collaboration between 70s prog rock and 80s classic heavy metal. And best of all, despite the decades that have elapsed, it's utterly amazing how well Mr. ARCH's glass shattering vox box has held up. Is this man [%*!#]ing immortal or what?

WINTER ETHEREAL cranks out nine hard driving prog metal tracks rooted in the previous century but clearly designed for 21st century consumption. A bit longer than the previous one and clocking in at about 108 minutes, this album bursts into the scene with the crushing "Vermillion Moons" which delivers the expected labyrinthine guitar riffs while taking a few breathers with some slower passages. Clearly on display and man of the hour vocalist ARCH shows off his high capacity pipes in an ever daring feat of vocal majesty which never fails throughout the album's lengthy parade through the progressively imbued compositions that seem to tackle the usual prog metal melodramatic lyrical esoterica in the fullest sonic regalia. Despite the plethora of musicians on board this time, the album comes off as a tightly woven musical experience with all eyes on the prize, that meaning the overall feel of consistency in this high quality musical sector of the prog metal universe.

Perhaps my only complaint of this dynamic powerhouse of unbridled prog metal passion is that despite the army of newbies in its midst, it doesn't deviate significantly from the majesty of "Sympathetic Resonance," as the tones, timbres, dynamics and songwriting techniques follow suit in much the same business as usual. Perhaps the creative aspects could've shined a bit more instead of making a second installment of album #1 however if a similar approach is what you've been salivating over then WINTER ETHEREAL will not disappoint one little bit as it tackles all the prog sophistication and ethereal nuances that the first ARCH / MATHEOS experience delivered so well. While overall i don't find this to be the perfect prog metal specimen that came before, it is nevertheless a high quality release that finds these elder statesmen of the genre not losing one bit of their musical mojo, in other words - this is some outstanding modern day prog metal delivering ALL the goods.

 Sympathetic Resonance by ARCH / MATHEOS album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.10 | 302 ratings

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Sympathetic Resonance
Arch / Matheos Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars Progressive metal had its origins in the early 80s when heavy metal was a fairly homogenous genre that featured operatic, high pitched vocals with aggressive guitar driven riffs accompanied by a solid bass and drum rhythm section, However certain bands were a bit more adventurous than the status quo and coupled these attributes with the more complex and layered arrangements that were established in the progressive rock that came before. Early on bands like Watchtower and Aslan soon to be Psychotic Waltz were crafting some amazingly brilliant mixes of the best of what the 70s prog and 80s metal scenes had to offer. Amongst these early pioneers included Fates Warning whose earliest albums didn't quite muster up the technical workouts styles that the prog metal of Watchtower was conjuring up, yet it was still a few steps ahead of the rest of the pack.

Existing on the melodic side of the progressive metal nascency, Fates Warning was considered one of the big three of the genre along with Queensryche and Dream Theater in terms of popularity. The band was formed in 1982 by vocalist John Arch, guitarists Jim Matheos and Victor Arduini, bassist Joe DiBiase and drummer Steve Zimmerman in Hartford, Connecticut. While the debut " Night on Brücken" displayed blatant unbridled Iron Maiden worship, the band quickly jumped into gear and evolved exponentially on the following "The Spectre Within" where the band developed not only its own distinct sound but found more progressive elements that culminated on the epic length "Epitaph." Followed by "Awaken The Guardian" Fates Warning only continued to ratchet up the intensity and was poised to break into the mainstream much as Dream Theater would in the early 90s however just as the band was reaching a new apex of the progressive metal paradigm, John Arch left the band.

While Fates Warning would continue, the band jumped into ever greater complexities and as the metal universe splintered into the thrash, death, black and power metal worlds, some of the most adventurous bands incorporated the progressive metal elements that had emerged in the 80s. By the 90s however progressively infused metal albums were all over the placed with bands like Tool existing in the alternative side of the genre whereas bands like Atheist, Gorguts and Ved Buens Ende taking things in the more extreme depths of darkness laid out by Bathory and Morbid Angel. The traditional sounds laid out by Fates Warning and Dream Theater were giving way to more experimental approaches and the more extreme reaches of the metal universe. Fast forward nearly 30 years after Fates Warning was founded, JIM MATHEOS successfully convinced JOHN ARCH out of his musical hibernation and the two began work on a new project together mostly due to the fact that a new Fates Warning album had been put on hold.

The new project simply called ARCH / MATHEOS actually began on ARCH's 2003 EP "A Twist of Fate" where the chemistry was reignited and the duo knew that a full-length album just had to happen. The result was the 2011 release SYMPATHETIC RESONANCE which inserted itself into the 21st century and brought and with it brought the classic progressive metal styles of the past back into the limelight. The duo accompanied by drummer Bobby Jarzombek (Riot, Halford), Joey Vera (Armoured Saint, Fates Warning) and guitar soloist Frank Aresti crafted an excellent display of retro prog metal delivered with all the fiery passion that accompanied some of the early examples of the genre. Despite three tracks which included "Neurotically Wired", "Midnight Serenade" and "Stained Glass Sky" initially intended to appear on the next Fates Warning album, they were redesigned to fit in with this new project and all the better for it since they fit the style presented here perfectly.

SYMPATHETIC RESONANCE consists of six well-constructed tracks that display the classic operatic vocal style of ARCH who hadn't missed a beat in his multi-decade absence from the music scene. His lyrical delivery resonates in divine splendor while the music artfully mixes the expected technical workouts with a well balanced emotional performance. The classic prog metal melodic approach infuses the ambitious compositional workouts with all the softer and heavier dynamics falling into place. While the album consists of fairly standard length tracks, the mid-section that consists of "Stained Glass Sky," "On The Fence" and "Any Given Day (Strangers Like Me)," all exceeding eight minutes in length, takes things full force into the prog-o-sphere with not only extremely heavy guitar riffage but highly demanding compositional approaches that wend and wind through many movements.

No one was expecting this one but when it emerged it took the metal world by storm and reminded a much more diverse metal universe what the classics sounded like and with SYMPATHETIC RESONANCE both ARCH and MATHEOS simply nailed the perfect flow of progressive metal excellence on par with the parent band Fates Warning who had long moved on from this stylistic approach as well as putting some of the young whippersnappers to shame. While rooted in the past, ARCH / MATHEOS were paying attention to the new reality of metal music in the 21st century and in the process eschewed a tinny high pitched production job that plagued many 80s releases. Instead the music sounds dark and downtuned and exists in a murkier world than that of the earliest Fates Warning albums. The music is just perfect as it delivers the perfect mix of excellent musicianship that serves the greater good of a strong emotional connection. Sometimes it takes the masters of the past to remind the world how to make a consistently brilliant flow of music that doesn't believe in filler tracks and with SYMPATHETIC RESONANCE they did just that.

 Winter Ethereal by ARCH / MATHEOS album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.90 | 97 ratings

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Winter Ethereal
Arch / Matheos Progressive Metal

Review by javajeff

5 stars Another Fates Warning album is such a treat since Jim Matheos is a compositional genius. Arch / Matheos is the Fates Warning that could have been, and this version features the original vocalist Jon Arch. With some of the Fates band members adding to the ingredients, Arch / Matheos will always be a second instance of Fates Warning. I love the Ray Alder Fates Warning, and A Pleasant Shade of Gray is one of my favorite albums of all time. However, Sympathetic Resonance is a masterpiece, and Winter Ethereal feels like a continuation of the predecessor with a fantastic collection of songs. While there are some shorter songs, and more of them on Winter Ethereal, the album ends with a longer track that feels more like it is from their debut called Kindred Spirits. Although some of the songs are shorter, they feel faster and heavier eating up that timeline at a quicker pace. The production is top notch, and the album flat out rocks. It has a nice flow, and is one of the best Progressive Metal albums you can get this year. Another gem in a saturated genre. 4.5 stars for Winter Ethereal.
 Sympathetic Resonance by ARCH / MATHEOS album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.10 | 302 ratings

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Sympathetic Resonance
Arch / Matheos Progressive Metal

Review by Progrussia

4 stars This is basically Fates Warning reunited with their old vocalist. John Arch has a distinctive voice, very high-pitched wailing style even by 80s metal standards, Sympathetic Resonance sports a sound similar to recent Fates Warning releases - technical (with wild drumming) and dense, but with one crucial difference - songs are longer and unconventionally structured, but, thankfully, not sacrificing listenability. If there one thing I'd like to note, though, its that the epic songs (there are also two quasi-ballads here), for their sheer size, could have been more varied. Its like a 90-percent pounding with only a brief respite or an instrumental surprise here and there.
 Sympathetic Resonance by ARCH / MATHEOS album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.10 | 302 ratings

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Sympathetic Resonance
Arch / Matheos Progressive Metal

Review by javajeff

5 stars John Arch on vocals and Jim Matheos on guitar is pure magic. If you do not already have the Twist of Fate EP with these two, then you need to get that immediately as well. Sympathetic Resonance could easily be called a Fates Warning album since it has the current lineup adding the original vocalist over the current one, Ray Alder, who is also excellent. Anyone that likes Fates Warning or Progressive Metal should immediately pick this up. I think it is one of the best Progressive Metal albums released by anyone. That list includes Dream Theater, Opeth, Symphony X, Pain of Salvation, and many more that I also enjoy. If you do not have Sympathetic Resonance, it is a must buy. I tend to listen to it often, which is a testament to the quality of the release. It is a Progressive Metal masterpiece.
 Sympathetic Resonance by ARCH / MATHEOS album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.10 | 302 ratings

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Sympathetic Resonance
Arch / Matheos Progressive Metal

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Arch/ Matheos is the project that was to be the next Fates Warning album but never came to be. Instead Fates Warning's vocalist John Arch and guitarist Jim Matheos came together to create something as special that would please Fates Warning fans and beyond.

The album "Sympathetic Resonance" opens with 'Neurotically Wired', and immediately the high powered high register vocals of Arch resonates beautifully. The vocals are as clear and exceptional as in the Fates Warning days. The guitars hammer on with pounding riffs as one would expect from the legendary guitarist Matheos. There are some stunning time sig changes and overall a strong prog metal vibe.

The melodic chorus on 'Midnight Serenade' is infectious, and this is followed by the longest song,'Stained Glass Sky'. This features amazing dextrous lead guitar work and a killer riff. 'On the Fence' is more emotional, a power ballad of sorts, and particularly shines with Matheos' lead breaks and guitar tones. 'Any Given Day (Strangers like me)' begins with wonderful instrumentation, and acoustic vibrations. It builds with a great percussion meter from Bobby Jarzombek, and switches tempo at will with some pummeling riffs and the omnipresent bassline of Joey Vera.

The closer is 'Incense and Myrrh', a short track with enough power to make it worthwhile. The distorted riffs resound nicely in the ears, and has an outstanding melody. Overall this album is a real crowd pleaser, a definitive prog metal album, and hopefully not the last time Arch and Matheos will collaborate, as they are obviously capable of greatness even without the Fates Warning moniker.

Thanks to bonnek for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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