Exposé Online banner

Jim Matheos — Away with Words
(Metal Blade 3984-14275-2, 1999, CD)

by Sean McFee, Published 2000-10-01

Away with Words Cover art

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.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 20, 1999 releases

Related artist(s): Michael Manring, Jim Matheos

Latest news

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Gogglesphere & Lafcadio - Babies in Hell & Sham Duvet – One might ask why these two discs are being addressed in the same review; it’s because both Gogglesphere and Lafcadio are essentially the same band – or that is to say they have the same...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues