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Watchtower - Control and Resistance CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.13 | 142 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Marc Baum
Prog Reviewer
4 stars So, what is this? After the great, almost ''revolutionary'' breakthrough with Energetic Disassembly released in 1985, WatchTower a little, big band hailing from Austin, Texas, striked once again with a 40 min long album called Control & Resistance, which made even a step further in the world of Progressive music. Billy White that wrote most of the music on ES, decided to leave and so he left the band with a very demanding task to find a new ''brain'' that would lead the band on it's way. If they wanted a leader or not, the certainly got one. Ron Jarzombek, at the time shreding in a more or less unknown S.A. Slayer was a friend of Billy, and the actual plan was that Ron would just fit in for a few concerts until the band wouldn't find a proper guitar player. But things followed and Ron and the band got together so well that Ron finally decided to join the band for good, ready to share his genuine mind. With Ron in the band, WatchTower got even more progressively orientated and his significant seal soon unavoidably changed WatchTower's sound.

The album kicks off with ''Instruments Of Random Murder'', a thrashy, in the beginning but later on a great progressive piece that immediately sets the mood for the rest of the album, in fact, if you like this song, i'm pretty shure you'll LOVE the other ones. Next on ''The Eldritch''. Probably one of the best songs on the album, also very catchy and it features a great drumming performance and a great solo somewhere at 1:56. Somehow this songs just gets straight to the point. A video was also made for this song, and it's probably one of the best that I've seen in metal music (and I collect metal videos), so I very much recommend it to anyone. ''Mayday In Kiev'' talks about the nuclear disaster in chernobyl and is even catchier then ''The Eldritch''. It seems to me that the album is just progressing from song to song, and ''Mayday In Kiev'' has more of that technical/progressive ''atmosphere'' than the previous two songs but is still not exactly the true ''point'' of the album. Well ''The Fall Of Reason'' could just be it. The song starts with a nice riff that lasts for about 10 seconds and than progresses into the ''playing'' of the band. But I don't mean playing like playing the guitar, but playing, toying with the riffs, with the rhytm, and that's just a pleasure to listen to. An 8 minute masterpiece, an obligatory for any technical musician. And when it kinda reaches the highlight WatchTower strike with the title song ''Control & Resistance''. What brilliant riffs man!!! This is the highlight of the album for me, ''The Fall Of Reason'' gets pretty close but the catchy riffs and the whole structure of this 7 minute long monster just eats every other song here if you ask me. After the so-called ''highlight'' we don't get no rest. ''Hidden Instincts'' the worst (but still not even close to bad) on the album, has kinda strange, annoying vocal lines and it seems like the song is filled up with fast riffs and vocals, and even that's not bad but...I don't know, it just doesn't suit me right. ''Life Cycles'' is a nice long progressive ballad, slow and with a sad mood. Then the last one ''Dangerous Toys'' fits nicely in the end, has some annoying vocal lines some times and features some great bass work. It goes into the same bin as ''Hidden Instincts'', has some really great moments but it just isn't it.

Line-up has changed a lot (actually they've just lost and gained a new guiat player, but still, the changes are pretty big):

Rick Colacula - Drums: A great performance of tehnique, the drums are in some parts actually catchy and very memorable, I don't believe that Rick plays any simple beats for more than 10 seconds.

Doug Keyser - Bass: Bass is due to the production very audible and it shure has reason to be so, Doug variates and simply makes bass really ''look'' good, it's a pleasure to listen good bass players, and he is definitely one of the best.

Alan Tecchio - Vocals: Alan's high, shrieky vocals fit very, very nicely to this music, It's a hard work to replace a giant like Jason McMaster, who sang in the first album, but I personally prefer Tecchio over McMaster. The vocal lines are sometimes a bit annoying, especially at the high parts but that can be easily forgotten when you listen to songs like ''The Eldritch'', ''Control & Resistance'',...A great job!

Ron Jarzombek - This is the guy that wrote most of the album, and replaced the almost legendary Billy White, but compared to Ron Jarzombek, Billy White sound like George Michael to Freddy Mercury. Ron was a great guitarist back in S.A. Slayer but here, he has just overdone himself. His unique tehnique slowly led him to the very top where he is still today. He later on formed Spastic Ink where he broke the boundaries of progressive metal, and so if you'll like guitars here, this is the next stop. Without exaggeration, Ron Jarzombek is one of the best, if not the best out there, and he shows us a pretty nice performance here.

Overall, "Control & Resistance" is an album, that I can highly recommend to any fan of Technical Thrash and Progressive Metal. The "normal prog-fan" will probably have a problem with it, because of it's heaviness and high metal-approach but does this mean that it isn't an excellent addition to any prog (metal) collection? I think not.

Album rating: 8.5/10 = 87% on MPV scale = 4/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

Marc Baum | 4/5 |


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