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John Arch was the first vocalist for Fates Warning. He provided his unique voice to their first three albums, then retired from his music occupations. In 2002, after having neglected Jim Matheos' (Fates Warning) offer to provide his vocals to the OSI project, John Arch finally contacted Jim and Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater) joined them after the OSI sessions were closed. The collaboration between John Arch, Jim Matheos, Mike Portnoy and Joey Vera (a current member of Fates Warning) resulted in the EP named A Twist of Fate, consisting of two epic tracks. After sixteen years of absence, John Arch's voice sounds as fresh as in his debuts in Fates Warning and even better, very high-pitched and the music is in the vein of the last albums produced by Dream Theater and Fates Warning. One can notice that Jim Matheos plays not only the guitar but also the keyboard parts. read more...
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JOHN ARCH A Twist of Fate album cover 4.54 | 20 ratings
A Twist of Fate
Progressive Metal 2003

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JOHN ARCH A Twist of Fate

EP · 2003 · Progressive Metal
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Fates Warning are one of my all-time favourite bands, so it should come as no surprise that when their original vocalist, John Arch, returned to the music scene after a 16-year absence and released 'A Twist of Fate', that it was an EP I had to have!

I'm not going to deny, prior to hearing this disc I wasn't the biggest Arch fan. Whilst I enjoyed his early contributions to Fates Warning, I've always preferred Ray Alder's vocals. In fact, although Arch was good, there were times when I found his high-pitched vocals quite grating. However, 'Twist...' has changed that. Because the years have been kind to his voice, or perhaps modern production has been, but either way, this EP is something very special!

Despite featuring only two tracks, 'A Twist of Fate' is an absolute delight to listen to. Both songs, 'Relentless' and 'Cheyenne' are overflowing with emotional vocals and tasty guitar riffs, and are almost unique in their own special ways. Clocking in at about half an hour, this EP features some of the most beautiful musical passages I've ever heard, particularly in 'Cheyenne', which is probably one of the best progressive metal songs that you've never heard of.

Featuring a "who's who" of musicians, Arch has recruited some of the finest players in the genre. These include his former Fates Warning brethren Jim Matheos on guitar, drummer Mike Portnoy, best known for his work with Dream Theater and Transatlantic, and bassist Joey Vera of Armoured Saint and Fates Warning fame. Impressive, right?

Fantastic music, intelligent lyrics, told through one unmatched and totally unique voice. It doesn't matter if you don't like Fates Warning. It doesn't even matter if you don't like progressive metal, because this simple EP is so much more than that! Let's hope Mr. Arch plans on sticking around this time!

JOHN ARCH A Twist of Fate

EP · 2003 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
I reviewed this in 2006 and mentioned at the time that it was the best EP that i had ever heard.Well i still feel this way some 4 1/2 years later.John Arch made a triumphant return back in 2003 with this 28 minutes EP.Two long tracks that are very personal for Arch.Helping out are long time friends Jim Matheos,Mike Portnoy and Joey Vera.This rocks big time but really it's the emotion and John's vocals that make this stand above just about every Prog-Metal album i have heard.The first track "Relentless" deals with John's childhood and the fact his dad left him and his mom when he was a kid.A lot of the lines start woth "I remember..." it's all so touching.And yes this is also a killer track instrumentally.The second tune "Cheyenne" deals with John's ancestry as he is part Native Indian.Man this track is amazing.Again a lot of emotion and really the two tracks are linked by the fact that the Cheyenne people and John personally were treated horribly by someone more powerful than themselves.A twist of fate.I love the vocal melodies late where he sings it in the Native chanting style.Gulp.Then he spits out the lyrics with "Save your pity...".What's done is done just leave us alone are the feelings you get from the words.It's cool too when a native actually takes part in speaking during one section of the song. For me it doesn't get any better but then Arch is my favourite singer.

JOHN ARCH A Twist of Fate

EP · 2003 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Time Signature
A twist of fate...

Genre: progressive metal

Upon first listen, I was totally taken by this EP, which immediately earned a place up there as one of my favorite progressive metal releases.

Here is why: the voice!

John Arch's voice is phenomenal, and it's much better on this EP than on any of the Fates Warning albums he fronted. Especially the vocals of the track Cheyenne are fantastic. The two tracks are epic and complex in structure making great use of dynamics, yet quite easy to listen to for fans of non-progressive music.

Another thing that I like is that, while the musicians performing on the EP are members of Fates Warning (Matheos and Vera) and Dream Theater (Portnoy), the EP sounds like neither Fates Warning nor Dream Theater, I think, but strikes me as being very original.

I hope John Arch will find the time to release more albums now and then!

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