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Watchtower - Control And Resistance CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.11 | 167 ratings

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1 stars The second album of Watchtower was released four years after their debut. Alan Tecchio replaced Jason McMaster on vocals and Billy White (who contributed to the composition of half the album) was replaced by Ron Jarzombek (who co-wrote the other half with Doug Keyser, the band's main composer and leader). I think that these line-up changes were good for the band, especially the arrival of the (now legendary) Jarzombek, who is really amazing throughout the album. Such guitar playing was from outer space in 1989. The album was voted as one of 'The Top Ten Shred Albums of the 80's' in a retrospective feature in Guitar World magazine and I really can't agree more. Jarzombek's lead bursts are magnificent and innovative for the time.

OK, this is the 'but' section. Tecchio's voice is better than McMaster's, but the vocal lines (though a bit better) are still very poor. Sounding like jazzy Metallica, such high thrashy vocal notes (some of which are impossible to hit) were not necessary for Watchtower to impress their audience. The lyrics are also a bit better than in their debut, but they still are naive and sometimes lack a deeper meaning. Self-indulgence is evident in Watchtower's music (in all albums), and this wouldn't be a problem (though really not my taste in prog music) if the result was impressive. The main thing, as in "Energetic Disassembly" is the compositional level. Even though slightly better, the songs are not attractive at all, and besides the extremely high level of the band's technical skills, there is not much left. There is though a kind of different character in the songs that Jarzombek co-wrote with Keyser (one of the best metal bass players by the way). "Mayday in Kiev", "Hidden Instincts", "Life Cycles" and "Dangerous Toy" sound a bit fresher, but I think that generally Watchtower lacked in inspiration or a really good composer.

DeKay | 1/5 |


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