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The Watch - Primitive  CD (album) cover

PRIMITIVE

The Watch

 

Neo-Prog

3.44 | 98 ratings

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Andrea Cortese
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Three years have passed since the release of their "Vacuum" album but this time it's like returning back to origins, somehow. Another well crafted record by this well-known contemporary italian band and its "gabrielesque" singer Simone Rossetti, but now they reveal clearly the choice to move some steps forward (backward, to be honest) to the sound of the seventies. THE WATCH's musical patterns aren't changed but this time you will not find the typical "aggressiveness" of their previous work, the general mood of the album being builded up on a more introvert, mellow, dramatic and darker key (and even poetic).

And there lies the main difference between "Primitive" and "Vacuum". In few words, this album is structured around the more atmospheric sound of the mighty MELLOTRON for the joy and happyness of many symphomaniacs. In fact I've never listened to such a powerful mellotron drenched album from the recent years...this is really a winning choice I think, because in some parts GENESIS don't seem to be their unique reference. In particular, some of those inspired mellotron's excursions reminds me of the memorable KING CRIMSON's track "The Devil's Triangle".

That said, pick up and add some interesting (but not loud as it could/should be) moog and synth solos along with gentle touches of delicate flute and sparse acoustic guitars and here you have "Primitive", not an easy one to get into at the first listen, just needing more spins manly due to what I could call an apparent "lack of variety" in the tracks' selection. But this is a common peculiarity in their cathalogue and is only the result of the first impression.

Special mention goes to "Berlin 1936" (8,51 mns) which is about the story of the olympics games in Germany just before the second world war and, in particular has been dedicated to a "certain" US' athlete Jesse Owens. He was triumphant in the 100- meter dash, the 200-meter dash and the broad jump. He was also a key member of the 400-meter relay team that won the Gold Medal. He is one the best remembered olympic star of all times because he deliberately refused to shake the hand of Hitler when he went to greet the medalists.

Anotehr highlight is "Two Paces to the Rear" (9,10 mns) with its pleasing interplay between organ, mellotron and synth solo. Excellent! Also "Anotehr Life" (6,19 mns) brings deep emotions, at the risk of provocking true goose-bumps moments due to the powerful mellotron waves.

Probably I prefer this album than the previous one, but only more attentive listenings can tell the truth. Meantime, I think this album will be joyfully welcomed by the legions of symphonic prog fans in general and by the mellotron's aficionados in particular!

Drums are somehow subdued (don't know if it is intentional or not), so the rythmic part are not at the level of the previous work. That's why of the final rating.

Andrea Cortese | 3/5 |

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