"Sympathetic Resonance"

By Colonel Angus

 If you are a Fates Warning fan, 2011 and 2012 will be great years for you.  Next year will mark the return of another Fates Warning record but this year sees the release of one of my top 5 albums.  "Sympathetic Resonance" is the pure prog metal bliss.  As the name suggests, John Arch has teamed up with his old friend Jim Matheos to release an album that will talked about in prog circles for years to come.  I’m going to go bold here and say that this is 2011’s "mages And Words"  (Dream Theater).  Joining these two prog masters is Joey Vera (Armored Saint, FatesWarning), Frank Aresti (Fates Warning), and Bobby Jarzombek (Halford and so many others).  What you are really getting is an early Fates Warning CD.  If you loved "Awaken The Guardian", then purchasing "Sympathetic Resonance" is a no-brainer.  In fact, you have 3/5 of the band that created "Awaken The Guardian" here on this disk.

These past few years have been really kind to progressive music as a genre.  So much so that Classic Rock magazine has dedicated a new publication called Classic Rock Presents Prog.  I don’t know if that has prompted John Arch to come back to the music biz (hopefully not just for this one project) but whatever the reason, the world of music has benefited from this new collaboration.  All you need to do is just listen to the opening track “Neurotically Wired”.  It’s a lengthy piece that has a number of twists and turns but still manages to stay moody, melodic, and most of all, interesting.  Other tracks like “Stained Glass Sky” and “Any Given Day (Strangers Like Me)” follow in the same style.  All 3 are long tracks with the shortest still clocking in at over 10 minutes but all of them have so much going on that the time flies by quickly (not that you want it to).  Bobby Jarzombek really shines on these tunes.  I have always thought he was a great drummer but he puts in quite a spectacular performance on this disk. "Sympathetic Resonance" follows a bit of a pattern in that the long tracks are followed by shorter songs.  Both “Midnight Serenade” and “On the Fence” fit stylistically with the longer songs but album closer “Incense And Myrrh” starts off differently with a mellow, acoustic beginning that builds into a heavier tune.  Jim Matheos puts in a great solo on this song but quite honestly, he is superb throughout.

 Metal Blade Records have released all of the Fates Warning disks and I think it was only right that they release "Sympathetic Resonance".  It is the natural progression from "Awaken The Guardian" and although it is not under the Fates Warning banner, it should be.  2012 will see the release of a Ray Alder fronted Fates Warning disk but I’m sure it will be a different beast.  I’m not complaining, I have purchased every record and enjoyed them all.  In fact, in a perfect world, Arch/Matheos will continue to create more music along with Fates Warning giving the fans two versions of the same band.  If for some sad reason "Sympathetic Resonance" is the only release from this union, then it is a phenomenal record to leave as your legacy.