by Michael Popke
Word is spreading that Jim Matheos, guitarist for the seminal progressive-metal band Fates Warning and a member of dark proggers OSI, has teamed up with original Fates Warning vocalist John Arch to record a new full-length album that will be released in late spring or early summer via Metal Blade Records. The band, dubbed ARCH/MATHEOS, began tracking drums on Jan. 12 and will continue to record through mid-February with both Arch and Matheos producing the album. The band’s lineup also includes Fates Warning alums Joey Vera (the bassist also has done time in Armored Saint, Anthrax and Seven Witches), Bobby Jarzombek (drummer for Halford, Sebastian Bach and Riot) and additional lead guitarist Frank Aresti.
Why am I excited about this? Because John Arch’s 2003 two-song, 28-minute EP, A Twist of Fate, was one of the most exciting things related to Fates Warning that I’d heard in a long time. Arch hadn’t been heard from for years, and all of a sudden, there he was — jamming with drummer Mike Portnoy, along with Matheos and Vera. "Relentless" (written in collaboration with Matheos) and "Cheyenne" each pulled elements from classic Fates Warning and Dream Theater without freely pilfering from either band or managing to sound retro.
If the forthcoming album from ARCH/MATHEOS sounds anything like A Twist of Fate, we’re all in for a treat. American progressive metal needs a project like this.
The vintage photo above includes Matheos (far left), Arch (middle) and Aresti (far right). Brings back memories, doesn't it?