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3.9.11

Arch / Matheos - 'Sympathetic Resonance' (metalblade) 4.5/5

This is a rather interesting one. Arch/Matheos are a brand new prog metal outfit formed around the core of former Fates Warning duo John Arch and Jim Matheos along with ex Armored Saint bassist Joey Vera, former Halford drummer and current Sebastian Bach sidekick Bobby Jarzombek and another former Fates Warning guy, Frank Aresti on the six string.

Now with that kind of talent lined up you would be expecting Sympathetic Resonance to be something worth checking out,  and you would be right. Opening with the eleven minute epic Neurotically Wired, this album is as fine a slice of prog-metal as you'll hear anywhere. When its prog it drips all the power and variety you'd expect to find on any Pallas or Pendragon album, when its metal it has all the balls of classic Armored Saint and when they combine the two you have a sound that Dream Theater would be proud of.

There are six songs on offer here three of which weigh in at way over the 10 minute mark and shortest one is still well over five. Yet at no point do they fail to hold the interest. Midnight Serenade is a fabulous slice of moody broody musical darkness that comes over a bit like Mercyful Fate without the faux operatic vocals. The thirteen minute epic Stained Glass Sky is a real classic in the making, with an expertly performed four minute intro before the vocals cut in and comes over like a beefed up Canterbury era Diamond Head. Any Given Day (Strangers Like Me) sounds not unlike Helloween on an Emerson Lake and Palmer trip, whilst closer Incense and Myrrh ( a light weight at a mere five and a half minutes) features a beautiful acoustic opening section that resolves to a wonderfully slick anthem for our time.

 Over all this is a damn fine record, one of the best prog metal releases of the past few years and is a must buy for proggers and metal heads alike.

 for fans of... Fates Warning, Dream Theater, Pendragon, Demon, Evergrey etc

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