A Twist of Fate (Metal Blade)
by Martin Popoff
Frustratingly between an EP and an album, A Twist of Fate clocks in at two tracks (!) and 28 minutes. The piece marks a rousing out of retirement for fabled Fates Warning vocalist John Arch, who is in amazing form, even if his mature voice has taken on an interesting, almost affected twang. Arch doesn’t disappoint, given his key talent: The crafting of almost scat-like vocal melodies, Arch reaching into rarified air over songs that court, shamelessly, traditional, very bombastic prog metal. And yes, finding logic – or personality – in all this takes some work, no surprise, given that the band is comprised of Jim Matheos, Joey Vera, and Mike Portnoy, representing a mix of philosophies that isn’t much of a mix at all. Still, with Arch’s voice and his choices, and with the high quality of the many mellow bits, you come out the other end wishing more music could’ve been written.
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