Watchtower
Control and Resistance


3.5
great

Review

by marbledking USER (17 Reviews)
March 13th, 2014 | 11 replies


Release Date: 1989 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Controlled by confusion, confused by control

In order to better understand "C&R", we should start with a small introduction concerning the "environment" of its release. This came out in 1989, when prog metal and technical thrash had already made their first entrance. And what of an entrance that was! "Operation mindcrime", "No exit" from one side, "Rust in peace", "Punishment for decadence" on the other side, those years were trully exceptional. High pitched vocals were really popular among metal bands and a tenor who could work on high octaves was a must-have asset for any serious band.

Amidst all this, the second album by Watchtower was released. The album is progressive in the true sense of the term. The tempos change in the blink of an eye from fast to slow and mid tempo, delivered by an excellent rhythm section. Guitar work is exceptional, showing both skill and inspiration. We don't get simple major scales, minors are used very often in a perplexed perpetuity. The vocals ofc are high pitched and this, throughout the whole release, making the sound more edgy and agressive.

The songs intermix many progressive ideas, sudden blast beats, welcoming bass intermissions, crazy riffing/prototype soloing and great technical ability. The lyrics are far from being generic and they add on a very complete package. Also, the imposing atmosphere that it creates, contributes to its uniqueness.

So after all these arguments, where is the catch" Why isn't this a classic"

This happens for various reasons that are easily noticeable. First of all, the vocals tire the listener after a while. Its the same feeling that someone gets, when listening to Jon Arch for more than 5 minutes. He gets bored and a bit uneasy. Watchtower wanted to prove that they can play everything in the extreme, as far as high technic was concerned. And that was their downfall. That is also the reason why Alan Tecchio stated back then that he doesn't want to sing that way anymore.

Then, another issue is the "dry" production. All instruments involved are clearly listenable, but nothing other than that. No power, no real dynamic, a simple production which reveals a "that will do" attitude.

As a result of these parameters, in the end, the album lacks seriously in replay value. Most of the listeners will listen to this once and then they would file it back to the closet. And the only valid reason that this appears in many 80's collections is more the uniqueness of its style and not the musical pleasure that it brings forth.

Still it's a solid effort and it has its own merit in the best decade for the heavy metal music. Only recommendable to prog/thrash metal enthusiasts and metal collectors.



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user ratings (258)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
Willie STAFF (4)
Musically accomplished... vocally challenging....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 13th 2014


8370 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Why isn't this a classic?



Although I agree with several arguments of yours, this album is a classic, simply because many fans mention it, while they are waiting for Mathematics.



pos, btw.

Digging: Norman Shores - De L'Ombre Surgit La Lumière

MO
March 13th 2014


22621 Comments


rules, dec review

KILL
March 13th 2014


81232 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

rules

Necrotica
March 13th 2014


10594 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album is fantastic. Nice review as well

HenchmanOfSanta
March 13th 2014


1994 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I agree about the production but the music is good enough to make this an important part of the thrash metal canon regardless. The drum tone is weird.



Good review.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
March 13th 2014


11735 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great album. You make a few valid points.

Digging: Leonard Cohen - Live In Dublin

Itishappeningagain
March 13th 2014


324 Comments


WAAAAAH! Muh production aint as good as Metallica's S/T and the vocalist has an annoying voice (not that Metallica does or anything) Plz, go listen to some power metal and leave the true metuhlz to us

bloc
March 13th 2014


56352 Comments


I remember trying this out a long time ago and not liking it. Gotta try again.

Digging: UNKLE - Psyence Fiction

ksoflas
March 14th 2014


1275 Comments


Well said.
Vocals are annoying but the musicianship is phenomenal.
Pos'd.

HenchmanOfSanta
March 14th 2014


1994 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

WAAAAAH! Muh production aint as good as Metallica's S/T and the vocalist has an annoying voice (not that Metallica does or anything) Plz, go listen to some power metal and leave the true metuhlz to us




You're a dick.



StrikeOfTheBeast
January 11th 2019


7931 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Fuckin' A



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