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Robert Lunte
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Ok... is it only me... or is John Arch one of the coolest, most original sounding rock singers ever?!  I love the way this guy sings. Yes, I know it is a bit "quacky", but he has taken that sound color and made it his signature. He also has these fantastic little vocal riffs... check out the signature John Arch riff at 3:46 - 3:48.. and 3:56... that is "so John Arch". 

 

Anyways... anyone have any thoughts about this cat? Can anyone analyze the intervals of the riff at 3:46 and determine what scale/mode that is coming from because he uses this a lot. It sounds very modal, or middle Eastern sounding.

 

On "Relentless" below, check out the riff from :51 to :58... so cool!  :blink: this is a "signature" sound that John Arch does a lot. Very unique.

 

 

Here is a tune with his "Arch/Matheos" project: "Midnight Serenade"

 

 

This is also really good: "Relentless"

 

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He's a truly unique singer. My brother introduced me to Fates Warning and by extension John Arch in my teens. I was talking to my brother about how distinct his timbre was and dissecting him a bit as a singer recently. Really heady sounding placement with that reedy but clear presence. I have nothing but praise for his distinct artistic identity. I love how he doesn't try to fit into any categeory and just sings his thing. That's one of my favorite qualities in a singer. He's cool.  

 

I never got to see him, but I did see Ray Alder era Fates Warning. I hung out a bit after the show and Ray walked out sneakily past our small crowd mischieviously. Apparently only I was aware he was the lead singer casually walking past us, and I was grinning at him like a madman. He returned and talked to us a bit. Seemed like a cool guy too.

 

Both are great singers, but I do think John has Ray beat in pure distinctiveness. Ray has a bit more of a shouty quality. It sounds good and he's  distinct enough I can pick him out, but he sounds maybe a bit more of a 'bottom up' approach. Arch sings almost like he learned to sing on an island where common ideas of what singing should sound like were just kind of thrown out and the rules were just rewritten. t's really eccentric.

 

I've always been partial to the 'weird but good ones.' Sometimes people get there with inefficient technique and a whole lot of character. Arch sounds highly competent and he got into that 'weird but good' category anyway. It's good inspiration and thanks for giving him a nod. I wasn't out of diapers when he left the band and he's been pretty low key career so it's great to give him visibility.

 

 

Edit:

 

Quick glance, the scale sounds harmonic minor, or one its variations. It's basically a minor scale with a major 7th interval. (subtonic is one semi tone down, everything else remains identical to the natural minor scale)

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minor_scale#Harmonic_minor_scale

 

It does typically sound somewhat exotic or middle eastern to western ears. It is common in some middle eastern cultures, but is also used culturally when we paint the 'desert' kind of thematic into music, kind of like how the pentatonic major is used for 'the asian riff.'

 

There are various versions of the harmonic scales, so some of the instrumentation could be using some more complex voicings. If you're interested in this sound, you should practice this scale and try to learn to sing it potentially solfege it with your voice. It is a great sounding interval, but basically if you move the sub tonic one semi tone up, it will place you at this scale.

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Cool.

@killer

John Arch is totally under rated and deserves more consideration for sure. I agree on all points. No doubt, I see a "Ray Alder" discussion happening in our future...

@Dan

I met Frank on the phone a few years ago. He was working for a distributor of Hercules mic stands... Kick ass mic stands. He sent me four of them for free. The mic stands in my videos were given to me by Frank. Small world...

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