Goodness me, is that a new Watchtower album I see? I remember first listening to the legendary wizards of metal back in college in the late 80s and thinking "this is what it sounds like when insects debate" or some shit like that; the technical prowess was undeniable, but it was more dissonant than I wanted to hear. Which is a common problem I have with technical metal, but I really wanted Watchtower to be the band that would break the mould - if only because they were a local Texas band and I got my Texas pride to keep.
Some 27 years after their last studio album (Control & Resistance, 1989), a new EP has emerged. The 5 song compilation includes previously released digital singles that have been around since 2010 along with one new 10 minute track, Mathematica Calculis. There is a great amount of growth and songwriting maturity on display here, finally catching up to their formidible skills and I couldn't be happier. Bringing back Alan Tecchio after having replaced original frontman Jason MacMaster (Dangerous Toys) was an excellent choice as his voice pairs nicely with the well-orchestrated chaos this album brings.
What I like is that over the years you can see that their tendency to crank the technical aspect to 11 has mellowed, and along with that the music has become more listenable while stille being insanely aspirational to us instrument playing fans.
The Bottom Line: While the majority of this album has been available in some form before, the new closer makes it worth it as a nice capper to this taste of things to come. We hope.
- Genghis will NEVER play this well *sigh*...