article on Arch / Matheos (06/30/2011)

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By Michael Mueller
Original article:


Longtime fans of progressive metal band Fates Warning will remember the band’s early albums, like The Spectre Within and Awaken the Guardian, with original vocalist John Arch. With his dismissal, in 1987, the band brought in singer Ray Alder and released No Exit, which garnered high praise in prog circles and set the band on the path to success.

But in 2010, guitarist Jim Matheos contacted his old friend Arch about doing a few tunes together, and as things clicked, a new project,Arch/Matheos, was born. The band, which also features Joey Vera on bass, Bobby Jarzombek on drums, and Frank Aresti on additional lead guitar, is set to release their debut album, Sympathetic Resonance, on September 13, on Metal Blade Records. The record comprises just six tracks but—in true prog fashion—clocks in just shy of 55 minutes, with three tunes eclipsing the 10-minute mark.

In a strange twist of fate (pardon the pun), much of the material was destined for a new FW record. “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,” says Matheos. “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.”

Matheos further offered his insight on the writing and recording process of Sympathetic Resonance: “I think John and I work really well together. There’s a lot of mutual respect and trust in what we do. But, we’re also both very critical of ourselves, and each other. This can make for a long and, sometimes, tedious process. But ultimately it’s one I enjoy because I think it brings out the best in both of us.”

John Arch adds: “When I first heard some of the arrangements Jim had written and recorded, it took quite some time before I could wrap my mind around the odd time signatures and guitar work going on here. There are some long compositions, so putting anxiety and apprehension on the back burner it was time to dissect these numbers into digestible bits. After the lengthy process of lyrics and melodies, listening to the songs now, I can’t imagine them any other way.

“Lyrically—with the exception of ‘Epitaph’ from The Spectre Within, where I am in the first person, there has been a pattern of using characters, imagery and symbolism to create stories, where the characters are in the forefront acting out the story line. This time, much like A Twist of Fate, the man again steps out from behind the curtain without the third person to reveal his human flaws. There are still plenty of metaphors and phrases that are open to interpretation, but just how transparent or relevant the meanings are to those who read the lyrics we will have to see.”

We got to hear one sample tune, and the very promising beginning of a second, but not enough to render any real judgment. But if it’s anything like the classic below, we’ll be looking forward to this album very much.

By | 2016-12-02T14:01:14-07:00 June 30th, 2011|Interview|0 Comments

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