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John Arch - A Twist Of Fate (EP) CD (album) cover


John Arch


Progressive Metal

4.31 | 71 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars A relentless twist on Fates Warning

Oh what a pleasant surprise this one is! John Arch was the original vocalist for the classic Prog Metal band Fates Warning. He provided the lead vocals on that band's first three albums (1984's Night On Bröcken, 1985's The Spectre Within and 1986's Awaken The Guardian) before leaving the position to Ray Alder. To be honest I am not a fan of these early Fates Warning albums and in my opinion they did not take things anywhere beyond what Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden had already done. I greatly prefer the Alder-era of Fates Warning (with such strong albums as Perfect Symmetry, Parallels and A Pleasant Shade Of Gray). The present John Arch solo EP is an entirely different beast though.

As far as I understand, after leaving Fates Warning in the 80's, John Arch retired from the music business altogether only to return with the present EP in 2003 - that's a twist of fate for you right there! For this recording he enlisted fellow Fates Warning alumni Jim Matheos on guitars and Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater on drums and thus created a little Prog Metal super-group.

The EP consists of only two long tracks, but they are both excellent. There still is that Judas Priest/Iron Maiden influence that dominated early Fates Warning, but I also hear some Alder-era Fates Warning and (Images And Words-era) Dream Theater as well as traces of American Symphonic Prog like Neal Morse and Kansas. The latter is especially apparent in the symphonic, 15 minute plus Cheyenne that also features some violin and cello to great effect. There is overall a strong acoustic presence here with acoustic guitars and grand piano. I am also reminded of Ozzy Osbourne a few times (who made some really excellent music in the 80's).

I don't normally give EP's one of the higher ratings, but this one of definitely worth it! Highly recommended!

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |


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