John Arch A Twist of Fate

One of the most anticipated comebacks in metal has to be the return of former Fates Warning vocalist John Arch. The last time Arch’s distinctive howls were heard was on FW’s classic 1986 album Awaken the Guardian, shortly before his dismissal, so when rumours started that he was recording a comeback with FW guitarist Jim Matheos, many old school fans were curious to hear what would transpire. While the end result is only a two-song, 30-minute EP, I’m glad to report it should leave any respectable prog metal fan satisfied. Opening track "Relentless” is the heavier of the duo. Led by Matheos’ heavy riffing (the band is rounded out by bassist Joey Vera and Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy — who actually doesn’t suck for a change), the song outshines anything on the last Fates Warning or Dream Theater CDs and simply is one of the best prog metal songs in years. The second track, the acoustic based "Cheyenne,” explores a more progressive rock direction, closer in style to mid-’90s era Marillion or later Yes. Not as strong as the first one, but still impressive. Showcasing what a great voice Arch possesses, this is a welcome return after more than 16 years away. (Metal Blade)