Jim Matheos — Away with Words
(Metal Blade 3984-14275-2, 1999, CD)
by Sean McFee, Published 2000-10-01
This is, to the best of my knowledge, the first solo outing for Matheos, who is the guitarist and chief songwriter for progressive metal act Fates Warning. The style of that band is completely eschewed here in favor of a more contemplative, reflective work. Matheos sticks mainly to acoustic guitar, with much of the flavor coming from the violin work of Charlie Bisharat. Also helping out are Matheos' band-mate Mark Zonder on drums, as well as Michael Manring on bass. The music is completely instrumental, rarely aggressive, and sometimes beautiful. The back of the album recommends filing under "New Age/Jazz," which strikes me as a wholly inappropriate classification. I've heard little New Age with the intricate but subtle 6+4 pattern of "Mumbo Jumbo," for example. "Tongue Tied," on the other hand, sounds like good ol' hoe-down music, and one must fight the urge to punctuate the breaks with a hearty "Yee-ha!" Those who are attracted to quality instrumental work but who dislike the metal style would do well to check this out. It's definitely something best appreciated with repeated listening (in fact, on first listen I was relatively unmoved), as the hidden gems become more apparent. Jim Matheos deserves more respect in the progressive rock world, and this album might help get him some.
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more