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The Watch - Vacuum CD (album) cover

VACUUM

The Watch

 

Neo-Prog

3.95 | 155 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Clayreon
Prog Reviewer
4 stars It's probably never been researched, but it is likely that GENESIS is the most imitated band in the prog world. PLACKBAND, NEUSCHWANSTEIN, THE MUSICAL BOX and THE GENESIS PROJECT are just a few groups that name Peter Gabriel and company as their biggest role model. You have to be good to be original in that way. The early material from the band THE WATCH ('Ghost' from 2001 and 'Twilight' and 'Night Watch' from 1997) was not very convincing. The vocals, especially, didn't make a big impression on me. But with this latest CD, they solved this problem. The vocals of Rossetti are better than ever and can compete with Gabriel.

What is very noticeable on 'Vacuum' is the over abundance of keyboards: the mellotrons, Hammonds and other pianos create a whirlwind of sounds, unfortunately at the expense of the guitar. You can hear Ettore here and there and he can really play some fantastic Hackett solos, but there could've been more.

The somber piano playing on the laid back song, "Hills", gives you the feeling that you're listening to a youthful Peter Gabriel. The color of the voice even sounds like his did. The music goes full throttle in "Damage Mode". You feel like you're completely in the Lamb zone with the use of melodious prog interchanged with heavy parts. Even more, you're treated to Rossetti's flute playing. The mellotron sounds are assured to give goose bumps to every prog fan and there's a Hackett style intermezzo at the end as dessert.

What makes 'Vacuum' better than the first three CDs is that THE WATCH has now found a balance between the complexity of the music and the recognizeability of a song. The track "Wonderland" has an incredibly catchy chorus. But there are consequences for the length of some of the songs. There seems to be no place on this album for epics such as "Firth of Fifth". "Shining Bald Heads" is the outsider. Apart from the usual influences, other references come to mind, such as KAYAK, 10CC (even ACT. listen to the piano) and E,L & P. It's a very interesting song and proves that the band can branch out into other directions.

"Out of the Lands" starts off with very calm singing accompanied by an acoustic guitar and a synthesizer. Soon after that, the other instruments chime in and it then becomes the usual Watch type song. There's heavy drumming throughout the whole album. The sensitive play on the hi-hats and cymbals is fantastic.

"Goddess" is a relatively short song. It has lots of tempo changes, twists and turns, a memorable chorus and excellent keyboard playing (Wakeman, Emerson). This song is one of the high points on 'Vacuum'.

The melodramatic "Deeper Still" is followed by the title track. It's a perfect synthesis of all what has been mentioned above. THE WATCH still follows the source of their inspiration, but it's certainly not a copy of it. This album exhausts its strength through the use of keyboards and vocals. They definitely demanded their leading role on the CD. I bet that the other instruments will be spotlighted on the next album and that The Watch will gain its own reputation. This album is a pleasant surprise for me.

Review by Claude 'Clayreon' Bosschem

Clayreon | 4/5 |

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