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Rating explanation

5 tablatures for Watchtower

Watchtower - Control And Resistance (9/10) - USA - 1989

Genre: Progressive Metal
Label: Noise Records
Playing time: 43:14
Band homepage: Watchtower


  1. Instruments Of Random Murder
  2. The Eldritch
  3. Mayday In Kiev
  4. The Fall Of Reason
  5. Control And Resistance
  6. Hidden Instincts
  7. Life Cycles
  8. Dangerous Toy
Watchtower - Control And Resistance
What can one say about this 1989 album on the year 2002 that has not been said already? My guess is if you're reading this review, you've never heard of WATCHTOWER, or you're bored and feel like reading a review of rehashed praise toward this musical landmark. Well, if you're part of the former group, I suppose I could offer you something with this review, but those of you in-the-know about this band will glean little from this I'm guessing.

Hundreds of bands, MESHUGGAH, CYNIC, ATHEIST, DEATH, SPIRAL ARCHITECT, THEORY IN PRACTICE, NOCTURNUS, PESTILENCE, CRYPTOPSY, and so on, have been influenced by this band. And I hardly mentioned the more melodic bands that copy this band's over-the-top compositional styles, including a direct clone in SIEGES EVEN! This band has been ripped-off more than a few times. And if there is one guitar hero in this world whom has never gotten his fair due, it is Ron Jarzombek. Over the 43-minute span of this album, the man's use of the guitar as a walking, talking, eating, breathing, shitting BEING is literally frightening! This also goes without saying that the entire band is of startling 50 seconds into opener "Instruments Of Random Murder", tragedy strikes: the "vocals" of current HADES-vocalist Alan "Grabbin' my Balls" Tecchio. Lord have mercy, did they have to put brown gravy on the cake? It was going so well...ohhh so well...

But, as many eventually have learned, the only way to get into this album is through a bit of sadomasochism. Once the vocals are adequately blocked out of one's mind, the true majesty of WATCHTOWER shines through. Then, and only then, will songs like "Mayday In Kiev", "The Fall Of Reason", and the title track become the jewels that they truly are. If you like it danceable, sorry, vacate the premises. If you like it hummable, sorry. This is all about indulgence. Few albums have ever captured the beauty of musical ambition better than this, and few ever will. This shall remain at the top rung of the ladder for many more decades to come, it took over a decade for SPIRAL ARCHITECT to adequately capture such a feeling on their masterpiece "A Sceptic's Universe." Regardless, though, this remains the original, and it has never been equalled. Jarzombek's SPASTIC INK-project excelled where this didn't in the exclusion of vocals on their debut, but still, something resounds in the audial corridors of this album that, in my opinion, is pure magic. Something intangible that must be experienced through repeated listens...

Minus the vocals, a perfect album. With vocals, "one point sadomasochism deduction." Either way, I do feel quite inadequate RATING an album such as this, maybe you can guess why...

Gabriel Gose

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