Thursday, July 25, 2024
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North Sea Echoes, the new band featuring Fates Warning members Ray Alder and Jim Matheos, released their debut full-length, “Really Good Terrible Things”, on February 23rd, on Metal Blade. To commemorate the occasion, the duo has unveiled a music video for their new single, “Empty”, which can be seen below. When asked what fans can expect from the new track, Alder keeps it short and not-so-sweet, “I think this one is pretty dark.”

Ray Alder and Jim Matheos’ musical legacy is vast and lauded, both as collaborators and individuals. Alder has been the vocalist and main co-writer for prog metal heroes Fates Warning for the past 35 years. With them, he has recorded 10 albums between 1988 (No Exit) and 2020 (Long Day Good Night). Further rounding out his discography are seven albums with Redemption, two solo albums, and the band A-Z with Mark Zonder, which debuted in 2022.

Prolific and pioneering guitarist/producer Matheos is a co-founder of Fates Warning, the lineup debuting with 1984’s Night on Bröcken on Metal Blade. In addition to 13 albums with Fates, Matheos’ myriad other work includes several solo albums, four albums alongside former Dream Theater keyboardist Kevin Moore, under the name OSI, and new band, Kings of Mercia, a lineup that’s been termed “a hybrid; it’s heavy, but not metal.”

“Throughout Really Good Terrible Things, Matheos and Alder serve up the kind of seductive melancholy Fates Warning fans will recognize,” says Jeff Wagner, author of the Fates Warning book Destination Onward. “Yet there’s a thoroughly different approach here: vocals are delivered with a sort of nostalgic sadness, and the guitar work is layered in such a way as to feel dreamlike. These are rich sonic landscapes, visiting places haunting, beautiful, spectral and secret. The Matheos/Alder partnership is taken to some new and wonderful places here,” Wagner concludes.

Really Good Terrible Things shows the breadth and versatility of the acclaimed pair, along with a freshness that belies their long musical partnership. “We both still love making music and we really enjoy working together. There’s a good amount of chemistry there, I think,” Matheos shares. “We both know what to expect from each other.”

1. Open Book
2. Flowers in Decay
3. Unmoved
4. Throwing Stones
5. Empty
6. The Mission
7. Where I’m From
8. We Move Around the Sun
9. Touch the Sky
10. No Maps

North Sea Echoes – lineup
Jim Matheos – guitar
Ray Alder – vocals

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