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Watchtower - Concepts of Math: Book One CD (album) cover

CONCEPTS OF MATH: BOOK ONE

Watchtower

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.06 | 12 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Concepts of Math: Book One" is an EP release by US, Texas based technical/progressive metal act Watchtower. The EP was released through Prosthetic Records in October 2016. Watchtower was formed in 1982 and released the two groundbreaking albums "Energetic Disassembly (1985)" and "Control and Resistance (1989)" before disbanding in 1990. They reunited in 1999 (first with original vocalist Jason McMaster and from 2009 onwards with "Control and Resistance (1989)" vocalist Alan Tecchio) and there have been rumors of them working on new material ever since. In 2010 they released the one track single "The Size of Matter" and in 2015 the three one track singles "Arguments Against Design", "M-Theory Overture", and "Technology Inaction" followed. "Concepts of Math: Book One" features all four single tracks plus the track "Mathematica Calculis", which is exclusive to this EP release.

Stylistically Watchtower more or less continue where they left off in the late 80s/early 90s. The music is fusion influenced technical/progressive metal in the more raw and occasionally thrashy end of the scale. Lead vocalist Alan Tecchio is still a force to be reckoned with. Although he doesn´t sing as many extremely high pitched notes as he did on "Control and Resistance (1989)", he is still an incredibly powerful singer, with a distinct sounding voice, and he can still hit the high notes when that is called for. The musicianship is generally out of this world and there are several jaw-dropping moments on the EP. Intricate technical drumming and bass playing, and Ron Jarzombek´s almost avant garde guitar playing will keep you on your toes throughout the playing time of the EP.

It´s no surprise this is music which requires a few spins to sink in. The song structures are complex, and it takes a while before hooks begin to appear, but if you´re familiar with the band´s back catalogue you wouldn´t expect it any other way. Despite the 5 tracks on the 28:55 minutes long EP being recorded at different recording sessions, there is a great overall flow on the release and the sound production is similar on all tracks too, which results in a nicely consistent listening experience. Regarding the sound production it´s powerful, clear, and detailed, which suits the material perfectly.

So upon conclusion "Concepts of Math: Book One" may not be the full-length fans of the band have been waiting for in years, but it´s pretty close and with a playing time nearly 30 minutes long, you do get quite a bit of quantity for the money. Add great quality to that equation and we have a strong comeback release on our hands. Watchtower was once one of the most adventurous acts on the metal scene, and while most listeners today probably aren´t as surprised by their incredible playing skills and intricate compositions, as audiences were in the 80s (a lot of development in the technical/progressive part of the genre has happened since those days), they still deliver very intriguing and powerful technical/progressive metal and they are still among the kings of the genre. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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