ARTIST:

ARCH / MATHEOS

(UNITED STATES)
TITLE:

WINTER ETHEREAL

(2019)
LABEL:

METAL BLADE RECORDS

GENRE:

PROGRESSIVE METAL

TAGS:
Epic, High-pitched vocals, Technical
"Eight years after the first progressive metal reference disc John Arch and Jim Matheos returns to excellence."
NUNO777 (17.05.2019)  
4/5
(0) opinions from our readers (3) comment(s)

"Sympathetic Resonance" had excited us so much that we were hoping for a follow-up to this excellent debut album by John Arch and Jim Matheos without being sure that it would not just be a one-shot. It took eight years to answer this question with the satisfaction of hearing the continuation of their collective adventure. Arch and Matheos, as true goldsmiths of progressive metal, refine each piece of their compositions for a result that deserves a long wait. In the midst of their busy agendas of recent years (OSI, Fates Warning, solo album "Halo Effect") the two accomplices have completed two years of work to produce the awaited "Winter Ethereal".

The great fidelity that characterizes the two friends explains the presence of two rhythmic sections of Fates Warning, the current and the previous one with Zonder as the drummer (which is not to displease us) and Joe DiBiase on bass. To this impressive group are added prestigious guests such as Sean Malone on bass or Thomas Lang on drums. At least one five-star formation was needed to give substance to a demanding, high-quality music composed by Arch and Matheos. In this respect, "Winter Ethereal" is the perfect continuation of "Sympathetic Resonance" and the listener who joined the first album will find all the elements that justified his consent. Arch and Matheos have patented their progressive metal based on the constructive association in which each brings its full artistic personality to a global result that goes beyond the mere addition of specificity. The success of this collaboration lies in the fact that John Arch counterbalances the virtuosity of his vocals with a real harmonic research and that Matheos does not overload his motifs with excessive technicality and that he reduces the incandescence of his adamantine riffs with more calm passages ('Kindred Spirit', 'Vermilion Moons', 'Solitary Man').

The construction of the disc reflects this need for balance between extensive and progressive pieces, denser and more direct formats and an acoustic lull in mid with the dark and crystal ballad "Tethered". The first half hour reveals the hardest side of the combo with a 'Vermilion Moons' with a crescendo dramaturgy, the direct and very melodic 'Solitary Man' and a heavy 'Wanderlust' with memories of Fates Warning. The first highlight of the album is the epic 'Wrath Of The Universe' which starts with a very creative riff-theme combination and unleashes a power that takes hold of it and never lets go. Once the groovy and immediate 'Straight And Narrow' swallowed, we tackle a second part of the album evocative of nuances and atmospheres. This is the second highlight of the album 'Pitch Black Prism', poignant like the Chernobyl tragedy on which it is based, which opens the sequel to 'Winter Ethereal' followed by a homeric and queensrychian 'Never In Your Hands' at the guitar duel in its heart. The long final 'Kindred Spirit' is the culmination of the emotional turn of the disc in the form of a breathtaking progressive epic.

As for his elder brother "Winter Ethereal" asks for many listenings to savour all the delights. The degree of finish given to the whole album provides a growing comfort of listening, the fluidity of the parts gradually reveals itself and the apprehension in front of this intimidating work gives way to an irresistible addiction. The amateur of the genre who has his ear more and more accustomed to the inflation of creativity emanating from a plethoric offer in progressive metal will be able to point out the classic character of this record. But from the capital contribution of the various musicians, notably the demonstrations on drums, the crystal clear production, the high quality of the compositions and the vocal acrobatics, it is difficult to find the slightest defect in "Winter Ethereal".


More informations on http://www.archmatheos.com/



SIMILAR BANDS:
JOHN ARCH, FATES WARNING


TRACK LISTING:
01. Vermilion Moons
02. Wanderlust
03. Solitary Man
04. Wrath of the Universe
05. Tethered
06. Straight and Narrow
07. Pitch Black Prism
08. Never in Your Hands
09. Kindred Spirits

LINEUP:
Bobby Jarzombek: Batterie
Frank Aresti: Guitares
Jim Matheos: Guitares
Joey Vera: Basse
John Arch: Chant
Matt Lynch: Batterie
Sean Malone: Basse
Thomas Lang : Batterie
   
(0) OPINION(S) FROM OUR READERS    
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(3) COMMENT(S)    
 
 
PROGRACER
20/05/2019
  0
Même problème avec le chant tellement englué à la fin des 80's qu'il peut devenir difficile d'atteindre la fin de l'album d'une traite. Rédhibitoire pour ma part. Et c'est bien dommage car le talent de Matheos est immense.
TORPEDO
19/05/2019
  0
Malheureusement, le chant m'a insupporté au bout de 10 minutes... :(
OCERIAN
17/05/2019
  0
Superbe album et très belle chronique. Une belle langue riche et soignée au service d'une album complexe et magnifique. Bravo
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