After years of not being present in the music scene at all and with only a release of a two-track EP in 2003, John Arch‚ known as the first singer of progressive metal band Fates Warning, finally returns with his first full length album together with guitarist Jim Matheos, also known as a Fates Warning member. “Sympathetic Resonance” is their first album under the name Arch/Matheos, released through Metal Blade Records.
The album itself only features six songs, most of them easily passing the eight minute mark. The eleven-minute-long opening track ‘Neurotically Wired’ makes it clear from the outset that this album follows a more a metal approach than a progressive one. Heavy guitars and drums dominate the sound most of the time but there are some semi-acoustic passages, too, for example during the excellent middle part of ‘Stained Glass Sky’ or the intro of ‘On The Fence’.
Although Arch’s high-pitched vocals and the guitars give the album a certain 80s touch it still has an overall modern sound, mostly thanks to the very good musical structures throughout. These structures are at the core of what makes the album so interesting and give it its progressive touch by adding a level of complexity to the songs. All the musicians on the album play with a constant power and precision, especially Arch and his stunning vocals, which top it all off. All in all the band’s performance is superb.
Arch/Matheos show what metal is all about on this album. “Sympathetic Resonance” has it all: rich melodies, interesting chord progressions and a heavy sound. It’s simply great!