ARCH / MATHEOS

Progressive Metal • United States
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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.
Thanks to Time Signature for the addition and Stooge, colt for the updates

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ARCH / MATHEOS Sympathetic Resonance album cover 4.18 | 50 ratings
Sympathetic Resonance
Progressive Metal 2011
ARCH / MATHEOS Winter Ethereal album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
Winter Ethereal
Progressive Metal 2019

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ARCH / MATHEOS Winter Ethereal

Album · 2019 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"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 wasn´t 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 didn´t initially mean a comeback to the scene for Arch, the seeds were sown for the Arch / Matheos project.

The project´s 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 it´s 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 hasn´t 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 it´s a fairly long album, but it doesn´t 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 there´s 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 it´s a high quality sophomore release by Arch / Matheos and a more than worthy successor to "Sympathetic Resonance (2011)". It´s 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.

ARCH / MATHEOS Winter Ethereal

Album · 2019 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
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 fucking 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.

ARCH / MATHEOS Sympathetic Resonance

Album · 2011 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
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.

ARCH / MATHEOS Sympathetic Resonance

Album · 2011 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
AtomicCrimsonRush
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.

ARCH / MATHEOS Sympathetic Resonance

Album · 2011 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Sinkadotentree
I was so happy to see this named the album of the year for 2011 on this site. This was my favourite Metal album of that year and without question the most anticipated record for me as well for 2011. And no it did not disappoint. Unoficially this is a FATES WARNING album with the rest of the FATES band here helping Arch and Matheos out.I have to mention that Arch's solo record "Twist Of Fate" is still one of my favourite Prog-Metal albums ever and that's why i was so anxious to hear this when the news about this broke. Arch is my favourite vocalist ever and he really puts on a show here. "Neurotically Wired" is dark to start as reserved vocals join in.When it kicks in heavily i can't stop smiling. I'm just blown away by Arch. Incredible track ! "Midnight Serenade" is atmospheric to start as riffs and vocals follow. Another song i can't get enough of. "Stained Glass Sky" is the longest tune and they contrast the heavy and mellow sections well. "On The Fence" is another favourite. A dark and heavy ride just the way i like it. "Any Given Day(Strangers Like Me)" is another rip your face off intense track. "Incense And Myrrh" is my least favourite but it does sound great once it kicks in after a couple of minutes. A must have for Prog-Metal fans, no doubt about it. I can't praise this one enough.

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UMUR wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Wow this could prove to be fantastic.
more than 2 years ago
See more here: http://www.metalblade.com/news/01-19-11-02.html
Stooge wrote:
more than 2 years ago
This is the first time I've heard of this project (aside from their Twist of Fate collaboration). I wonder if this will be similar because the lineup is basically FW.

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