Great instrumentation, particularly the drumming - Jarzombek is nothing short of a god. But the arrangements wander without much focus, and John Arch's sprawling vocal melodies fail to provide a connecting thread. The highlight here ends up being the second shortest and most conventionally-structured song, the addictive "Midnight Serenade". And while Arch is obviously a skilled vocalist, had I been born with his voice, I would've just accepted that the gods didn't mean for me to sing.
Jarzombek's drumming kicks the shit out of Mangini on the new Dream Theater album. The songs, except the fifth one which falls into some of the more unsavory cliches of the genre, are killer. Half-point off for solos that don't seem like they organically fit into the songs. A revelatory album. Fans of progressive metal absolutely need to hear this.
This was my most anticipated album of 2011, and it certainly lived up to (if not exceeded) my expectations. John Arch once again proves he is a vocal and lyrical genius, and Jim Matheos' excellent guitar work and songwriting provide six songs without any weaknesses whatsoever. A landmark release for Progressive Metal and music in general.
Two past collaborators have reunited 25 years after their last full-length recording to spin "progressive metal" on its head. Each musician involved gives standout performances while keeping grounded within the song and never straying into the virtuosic territory occupied by many peers. Brilliantly complex melodies weaved into Matheos' alternately crushing and beautiful guitar-driven music are the focus. Arch's imaginative yet introspective lyrics also paint a vivid reality that enhances the experience created by the sonic landscape. Sympathetic Resonance is a genre-defining album which will surely be pointed to as a landmark for years to come.