JOHN ARCH - A Twist Of Fate

John Arch - A Twist Of Fate

2 songs
28:00 minutes
***** *****
Metal Blade


John Arch stopped singing more or less when I started listening intently to heavy metal, and so I kept his memory with two of the best prog metal albums ever: The Spectre Within and Awaken The Guardian. I won't go as far as to bash Fates Warning during the Ray Alder era, as they also did some marvellous music, among other their last studio output Disconnected from 2000 which showed that prog metal can sound very modern as a matter of fact.

But holding a new John Arch EP in my hands makes me nearly forget Fates Warning from No Exit on. It's that blindness that comes sometimes from overwhelming nostalgia. Who would have believed that John Arch's voice still kept all that magic after nearly 20 years of not singing? It's not as if he has a technically very good voice, he never really had in my opinion, but what made him the best metal vocalist ever was that charisma he was conveying. When listening to John Arch, it's like following the words of a master storyteller.

As one man alone wouldn't make a great album yet, you will be even happier to hear that Fates Warning members Jim Matheos on guitar and Joey Vera on bass plus monster drummer Mike Portnoy from Dream Theater are laying down the densest music you could ever hope to hear. OK, this is just an EP, but both song come with running times over ten minutes. Relentless, more than 12 minutes long, is one smasher of an opener, whereas the closer Cheyenne, more than a quarter of an hour long, displays John Arch's more melodic side.

Many people still dream in an affectionate way of the early Fates Warning albums, and I would put A Twist Of Fate just behind Awaken The Guardian in terms of quality. It is a perfect EP, only 2 songs, but still nearly half an hour long. I hope that there will soon be a whole album full of majestic long songs, but until now, I haven't heard even rumours. Still this is a must buy for any self-respecting metal fan, and it's the first time in two months that I give a maximum rating. Anything less would be an insult to the genius of John Arch.

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