ARCH / MATHEOS - Winter Ethereal (180gr / Black, Gatefold) 2LP
180gr double black vinyl in a gatefold sleeve.
In progressive metal circles, the names of guitarist Jim Matheos and vocalist John Arch are spoken with due reverence. With the former having been a driving force in Fates Warning for thirty-five years, and the latter the original front-man of that band, they also have a single seminal work under the Arch / Matheos banner, 2011's 'Sympathetic Resonance'.
In 2019, they have reunited to follow that record up with 'Winter Ethereal', a more stylistically varied and perhaps deeper collection that explores a lot of sonic territory over the course of nine immersive tracks.
"This stems from both of us trying to step out of our comfort zones a bit, sometimes voluntarily, sometimes being pushed," states Matheos.
"Having worked together so many times, it would be easy to fall into the same way of doing things, and I think we were both interested in exploring some new areas."
Arch concurs and adds: "Each song is notably different from the next, and nothing sounds repetitive.
It is not a concept album, but somehow after a full listen from start to finish, there does seem to be continuity between the songs that I can't describe.
At over an hour long, I think the fans will agree that it is a full listening experience."
A1 Vermilion Moons 9:06
A2 Wanderlust 5:59
A3 Solitary Man 5:41
B1 Wrath Of The Universe 8:23
B2 Tethered 6:11
C1 Straight And Narrow 4:20
C2 Pitch Black Prism 7:06
C3 Never In Your Hands 8:13
D1 Kindred Spirits 13:00