Prog legends John Arch and Jim Matheos have been around the metal scene for more than thirty years. Both are co-founders of Fates Warning, but Arch left only a few years after its conception, whereas Matheos remains to this day as the band’s only remaining original member.
Along with other Fates Warning members, the duo joined forces in 2010 to form Arch / Matheos and released their debut record Sympathetic Resonance a year after. Now, they’re back with a new single (below) as well as the announcement of a new record, Winter Ethereal, which is set to be released on 10 May via Metal Blade Records.
Winter Ethereal is to be more varied and more immersive than their former work. Matheos comments, “This stems from both of us trying to step out of our comfort zones a bit, sometimes voluntarily, sometimes being pushed. 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 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.”
The writing for the new record was finished in 2017 and was written specifically for Arch / Matheos, rather than being leftovers from a Fates Warning album. Arch and Matheos also emphasize that the album wasn’t rushed but rather came naturally over time and without any deadline, to ensure the record’s sincerity. “The way we work together is no pressure, no deadline, at least until we get close to recording,” says Matheos. “We allow ourselves a lot of time and flexibility to see if we even have anything to say. That’s first and foremost. We start by writing, and if things start shaping up and we’re excited and inspired, we keep going until we’re confident that we’ll be able to do a whole record.”
To add to the uniqueness of the new album, the duo has enlisted numerous guest musicians rather than only their former rhythm section. The lineup of Winter Ethereal includes Joey Vera, Bobby Jarzombek, Joe Dibiase, and Mark Zonder (all current or former bassists and drummers for Fates Warning) as well as other esteemed musicians like Steve Di Giorgio (Death, Testament, Charred Walls Of The Damned), Sean Malone (Cynic), and legendary drummer Thomas Lang.
Having an eight year gap in between and a slow creation process, the band ensures that their new album will be more sincere, fluid, and emotionally driven than Sympathetic Resonance.
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