Those of you who are firmly ensconced in the Fates Warning camp will doubtless have heard of these fellows by now. Winter Ethereal is the more-than-worthy follow-up to Sympathetic Resonance. This slab is brought to us by the folks at Metal Blade, and normally I wouldn’t have served up a verdict so late in the day for these fellows, but I couldn’t STOP listening to it. In fact, I am listening to it as we speak! Even on a smart phone, or a stupid little PC with stupid little speakers, these guys really come through sounding incredibly powerful. Arch/Matheos are on a mission – they mean business, and are not mucking about. Listening to Winter Ethereal will melt your face off!
If you are not a fan of Fates Warning, then I suggest you get on board. Of course, the argument in most metal head camps when it comes to Fates is who is the best singer – Jon Arch or Ray Alder. In my opinion, they have been blessed with two beautifully capable vocalists. Nuff said. As I was saying, if you are not a Fates fan, then Queensryche, perhaps, or Savatage? Dream Theater also comes to mind – the focus, of course, is usually on the singer, who is normally somewhere up in the heavens. These prog metal stalwarts also employ plenty of heavy musicianship, including lots of solos and some incredibly powerful beats and rhythms. Check your heartbeat – if you’re not pumping a little extra, then maybe get up and bang your head or tap your toes a bit! You must get into this stuff, particularly if you are a prog metal head. Even if you are just a regular metal head!
As with all or most of these progressive metal outfits, there are shorter numbers and longer numbers. The shorter ones, believe it or not, are sometimes designed to fetch radio airplay. Of course, with many of your prog metallers, that simply does not work out. Ask Dream Theater or Iron Maiden sometime how much FM airplay they get. Of course, in your larger markets, you will most likely hear either of those bands on a regular basis. Not so with Arch/Matheos, or Fates Warning, for that matter. How ever, do not let that discourage you, dear reader! Dive right in, and enjoy the latest from what is clearly a band to be reckoned with!
1. Vermillion Moons
3. Solitary Man
4. Wrath of the Universe
6. Straight and Narrow
7. Pitch Black Prism
8. Never In Your Hands
9. Kindred Spirits
Playing Time: 64 minutes and 15 seconds
John Arch – vocals (former Fates Warning)
Jim Matheos – guitars (Fates Warning, OSI)
Joey Vera – bass (Armored Saint, Anthrax, Fates Warning, Seven Witches)
Bobby Jarzombek – drums (Halford, Fates Warning, Sebastian Bach, Riot)
Frank Aresti - additional lead guitar (Fates Warning)