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Arch / Matheos - Winter Ethereal CD (album) cover


Arch / Matheos


Progressive Metal

3.75 | 105 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 3.5 stars. The only other person I've seen with this rating is "angrymetalguy" and I respect his opinion on all things metal. But lets back up a bit because I feel that there have been three touchstone albums for John Arch and I have given them all 5 stars. "Awaken The Guardian" when he was with FATES WARNING is one that made me a fan of Mr. Arch and while many seem to have issues with his vocals I absolutely love them. His native chanting like singing on his solo album "Twist Of Fate" is amazing and his dad was Cheyene. Mike Portnoy on drums, Matheos on guitar and Vera on bass another 5 star album and touchstone record number two. Finally "Sympathetic Resonance" the third and last piece of the puzzle. What a comeback record with more of band there with Matheos, Vera and Jarzombek on drums. Frank Aresti the former guitarist for FATES WARNING who thankfully usually shows up for stuff like this adds guitars like on this record "Winter Ethereal". That's where the similarities end as we get five drummers, five bass players on here besides Matheos and Arch.

I thought this was a concept album but it isn't. There is a dark theme running through it and the cover art and pictures inside just aren't my thing. This is a lot longer than "Sympathetic Resonance" clocking in at 68 minutes and I feel it's less melodic, there's less uplifting moments and more vocals as this is fairly lyric heavy. Still those first four tracks are very good.

The opener "Vermilion Moons" is my favourite but that fourth track "Wrath Of The Universe" is right there too. I find "Straight And Narrow" as well as "Never In Your hands" are songs that aren't in the style to suit John's voice. But it's "Tethered" that fifth track that is ballad-like and for me a turn off that sort of sets me reeling for the rest of the album. Those final four tracks just aren't on the level of the first four although the closer "Kindred Spirits" comes close.

I still can't believe I can't get into this album, these are my guys! The musicianship is beyond incredible on this record by the way. I just haven't warmed to it sadly and my conscience won't allow me to go 4 stars here.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |


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