Jim Matheos

First Impressions

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None of Fates Warning's previous output gave any indication that Jim Matheos could play like this. Even after Fates Warning moved from heavy metal to more progressive music, the guitar sound remained metallic. While Matheos is no Michael Hedges (an obvious influence here), he does establish himself as a fine acoustic guitarist in the same tradition of William Ackerman and other Windham Hill artists. This is not so much an impressive guitar recording as it is a pretty one. His sound, compositions, and arrangements are stunning and full of emotion. The one song that stands out here is "Pause for Paws." It is without question Matheos' most impressive guitar moment captured on disc. When the time comes for him to hang up his electric guitar with Fates Warning, it is hoped that he returns to this style. This is a very reflective listen and a major stamp of credibility for a musician who has remained committed and focused on his musical goals.

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