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Watchtower Concepts of Math: Book One album cover
4.08 | 24 ratings | 2 reviews | 38% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 2016

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. M-Theory Overture (3:38)
2. Arguments Against Design (4:12)
3. Technology Inaction (6:20)
4. The Size Of Matter (4:51)
5. Mathematica Calculis (9:54)

Total time 28:55

Line-up / Musicians

- Alan Tecchio / vocals
- Ron Jarzombek / guitars
- Doug Keyser / bass
- Rick Colaluca / drums

Releases information

Prosthetic Records (October 7th, 2016)
Formats: Digital, CD, LP

Thanks to Hazy7868 for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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WATCHTOWER Concepts of Math: Book One ratings distribution

(24 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(38%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

WATCHTOWER Concepts of Math: Book One reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Way back in 1989 I remember buying Watchtower's second album Control And Resistance. This was early days for prog metal, especially as technical as Watchtower were. There was already Fates Warning and Queensrhyche and these guys were no slouches, but nowhere near as technical as Watchtower. Even Dream Theater were just getting started. However, despite the undisputed virtuosity on display I was left somewhat cold finding it being a case of style over substance with little in the way of memorable songs.

Fast forward to 2016 and they're back with the same line-up as Control And Resistance. Concepts Of Math: Book One is their first substantial body of work since then. It's a five track E.P. clocking in at just under half an hour. Four of the five tracks were originally released as digital only singles, the first back in 2010. They recorded the final track Mathematica Calculis especially for inclusion here.

I'm pleased to say I like this a lot better than their earlier work. The reason being that whilst their incredible chops are still intact, in fact better, their song writing skills have also greatly improved. The music is still incredibly complicated with jazz colliding with metal but flows so much better to my ears with some jaw dropping musical interplay, compelling riffs and injected with a substantial dose of melody. Age has also tempered Alan Tecchio's histrionic vocals which are much improved these days and to my ears his singing flows much better over the complex song structures than before. Fortunately all five tracks are excellent and the short length definitely left me wanting more so hopefully a full length album will be in the offing soon.

These days there's there's no shortage of bands making music this complex in the metal world, but Watchtower played an important role in the development of technical prog metal and were very influential. Perhaps now they may be able to reap some of the rewards from their earlier groundwork and gain a wider following. On the strength of this excellent release that seems a strong possibility.

Review by 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 doesnīt 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 Jarzombekīs almost avant garde guitar playing will keep you on your toes throughout the playing time of the EP.

Itīs 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 youīre familiar with the bandīs back catalogue you wouldnīt 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 itīs 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 itīs 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 arenīt 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.

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