Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Arch / Matheos-Sympathetic Resonance

Metal Blade Records

Last month I reviewed a 2-song sampler from this very album. The two tracks in question ("Midnight Serenade" and "Stained Glass Sky") were quite good and frankly I had been anxiously awaiting the whole 6-song affair. At the time "Midnight Serenade" reminded me of classic Fates Warning while "Stained Glass Sky" actually had me thinking about a Fates Warning/Seven Witches hybrid. At times on Sympathetic Resonance I still hear a lot of Fates Warning and some Seven Witches although the album as a whole has a different feel now. For those who don't know Arch/Matheos is made up of Fates Warning/OSI guitarist Jim Matheos and former Fates Warning vocalist John Arch. Joining them are Joey Vera (Armored Saint, Anthrax, Fates Warning, Seven Witches) on bass, Bobby Jarzombek (Halford, Fates Warning, Sebastian Bach, Riot) on drums, and Frank Aresti (Fates Warning) on additional lead guitar. Now as Jim Matheos himself notes in the promo material: "a lot these songs, Neurotically Wired, Midnight Serenade, Stained Glass Sky, and parts of others, started off as material for the next Fates Warning record. Ray (Alder) was unable to commit to a record at that time so I approached John about doing a couple songs together, maybe another EP. We just took it one song at a time and didn't even really consider doing a full length CD until probably over half the record was written." So, it does make sense that many will no doubt have a strong sense of Déjà vu after listening to this album. Those looking for it will certainly hear Fates Warning in these six songs. Still though I'd like to think that these songs could stand on there own and are more than just potential left-over Fates Warning tracks. "Neurotically Wired" for example (the lead-off track) is a great way to start off any album. Full of top-notch progressive metal moments that cut along with the number "Any Given Day (Strangers Like Me)" could easily stand on their own even if they were not from such heavyweight musicians. All in all the six tracks here offer refreshing progressive rock/metal that will appeal to Fates Warning fans naturally but also progressive metal fans in general. Sympathetic Resonance is a great collaboration album from some of heavy metal's top musicians.


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