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THE NIGHT WATCH

Neo-Prog • Italy


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This new Italian band has obviously listened to its share of early MARILLION, and emulates their neo-prog take on the old GENESIS sound exceptionally well. This group takes its inspiration in the inheritance and in the spirit of the great GENESIS and uses a delicate and airy guitar in the style of Steve HACKETT, Mellotron layers, a flowing flute and a complex writing. "Twilight's" album is a romantic, symphonic progressive rock, recalling early GENESIS, MARILLION and KING CRIMSON. Those who liked AUFKLARUNG should not miss this release. A solid debut from a very promising group!

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3.54 | 43 ratings
Twilight
1997

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THE NIGHT WATCH Reviews


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 Twilight by NIGHT WATCH, THE album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.54 | 43 ratings

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Twilight
The Night Watch Neo-Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

3 stars `Twilight' by the Night Watch was a purely accidental discovery I made one day on Youtube. Instantly impressed with this nice Italian Neo Prog band, the band released one single album back in 1997, heavily influenced by the sounds of classic 70's Genesis, 80's Marillion and even a slight touch of Peter Hammill/Van der Graaf Generator. It's a pleasing mix of sedate acoustic passages, clean electric runs, some occasional grunts of heaviness, low-key synths and gentle washes of regal Mellotron (though not as much as you'd expect from this sort of album), with some intriguingly cryptic and surreal lyrics, all topped off a with pleasing crisp production.

Of course, being a Neo release, it should come as no surprise to find that vocalist Simone Rossetti peppers his delivery with all sorts of Phil Collins/Peter Gabriel mannerisms, as well as the occasional Fish and Peter Hammill moments for good measure too. It's no shock that he sings in English for this release either, as many of the Italian Neo bands do, but he must especially be commended for his superb pronunciation, always clear and very easy to understand! He's really quite charismatic and appealing.

There are plenty of lovely moments throughout the disc, a highlight especially being Giovanni Alessi's delicate piano and placid synths, even though the keyboards are mixed a little low. It's not that the guitars or other instruments overpower them, more that the band are perfectly restrained and dignified, never resorting to technical overkill or musically showing off to compete with each- other. There's charming and gentle acoustic pieces such as `The Theme', soothing and dreamy passages on `My Ivory Soul' , and the end of `A Game of Shifting Mirrors' delivers a grand extended instrumental climax. The powerful slow-builder `The Fisherman' alternates between reflective and passionate emotions, and especially listen out for the spikey and wildly unhinged harder brooding finale of `The Black Cage' (nice murmuring bass throughout too) that expertly channels both Fish-era Marillion and Van der Graaf Generator very successfully.

The demise of the band after this one album was not a total loss, as guitarist Francesco Zago ended up in eclectic bands such Not A Good Sign, as well as Yugen with drummer Diego Donadio, and of course Simone Rossetti now fronts The Watch, one of the finest Italian Neo bands still to this day.

What holds the album back slightly is that, although every track is nicely composed and sumptuously performed, there's never a truly classic amazing moment. But, housed in a meek and simple cardboard sleeve with striking cover artwork (as I often say, it would look amazing on vinyl), `Twlight' by the Night Watch will appeal to fans who already enjoy the usual Neo Prog sound, lovers of Genesis from 1970-1977, and possibly Italian band P.F.M from their more Genesis influenced `Chocolate Kings' period that utilized Acqua Fragile singer Bernado Lanzetti. There's safe and comforting 70's styled progressive rock to be found here that's not much different to what the originators offered, but the sophistication and taste on display makes it no less worthy of your attention and time.

Three and a half stars.

(Special thanks to Archives member TheH for helping me track down a copy, and to ZNR Records for supplying said copy!)

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 Twilight by NIGHT WATCH, THE album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.54 | 43 ratings

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Twilight
The Night Watch Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The Night Watch were a talented Italian band which are mainly known for drawing on Genesis - a lot of their compositions draw heavily from classic-period Genesis from their pastoral period, Simone Rossetti sounds uncannily like Peter Gabriel on vocals (with the occasional Fish moment), and Francesco Zago plays uncannily like Steve Hackett at times.

At the same time, their sound drifts just far away enough from classic Genesis to write them off as a mere clone; Giovanni Alessi's keyboard work is more reminiscent to my ears of Mark Kelly's in Marillion than Tony Banks' playing in Genesis, and occasionally the band as a whole breaks off into an intense instrumental section reminiscent of the darker moments of early King Crimson. Overall, in fact the album is somewhat darker and more hard rocking than anything produced by Genesis.

The Night Watch are mostly known these days for launching the prog career of Rossetti - with an entirely new line-up, he would go on to continue the band's legacy in The Watch. But at the same time, I think this lone album by the group makes its own special contribution to neo-prog and will go down well with symphonic fans eager to hear what happens when the massed rock armies of King Crimson go trampling through the pastoral landscapes of Genesis.

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 Twilight by NIGHT WATCH, THE album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.54 | 43 ratings

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Twilight
The Night Watch Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

4 stars 4.5 stars actually!

Nowadays known simply as THE WATCH,this incredible band was formed in 1993 in Milan under the influence of main man/singer/flutist Simone Rossetti.They had often problems regarding their line-up,but finally the band managed to release their first album ''Twilight'' in 1997,after which line-up and rehearsals problems continued,leading Rossetti to a total line-up lifting and to the renaming of THE NIGHT WATCH to the simpler THE WATCH.

Rossetti and his friends tried to catch the old'n'good GENESIS spirit of the Gabriel-era and transform it to the 90's without many changes...and they did it so well! Propably this band is as closest as it ever gets to 70's GENESIS,with Rossetti having a similar to PETER GABRIEL voice and the band performing this delicate Symphonic Rock of the 70's masters.What can anyone say about tracks like ''Ivory soul'',''The fisherman'' or the ''The Black cage''?...or you can pick any of the rest...you will be astonished!Top notch compoisitions with plenty of mellotron sounds, symphonic organs, crying guitars (just when MARILLION also come at mind) and a series of dramatic performances by Rossetti, making me think of PETER GABRIEL at his best.The stunning melodies are there, the lost-in-time GENESIS symphonic approach is there, the guitar/keyboard smooth interplays are also there, the soft mellotron sound just thrill me, one of the best singers/performers nowadays is present as well.As I'm in love with old GENESIS,I couldn't ask for more!The only negative point: total lack of originality of course... but I think those for whom old GENESIS are just a pleasant memory, won't have a problem with that

... and I bet Simone Rossetti was born to do this... recapturing the vintage spirit of PETER GABRIEL and his company.One of my top 10 releases of 1997!

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 Twilight by NIGHT WATCH, THE album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.54 | 43 ratings

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Twilight
The Night Watch Neo-Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

4 stars I really like this band. Both in this incarnation and as THE WATCH. I also like their GENESIS cover band concept. I was not aware of THE NIGHT WATCH at first. But I eventually sniffed out both this band and this album. I am glad I did go that extra mile for this album.

Let me first say that this could have been the lost GENESIS album. But THE NIGHT WATCH updates their sound in a major way. That's maybe why they are branded as neo-prog. In my view; this is a symphonic prog band. But that is solely my view and I am not pushing it. I guess THE NIGHT WATCH's similarities with MARILLION props up as why they are branded as neo-prog. In my view; the Fish era MARILLION copied GENESIS. THE NIGHT WATCH is copying GENESIS, but some of their songs, by default, therefore sounds like MARILLION. Is everything now clear as mud ? Good !

The album starts with My Ivory Soul and we are instantly in GENESIS land. A country this album never leaves. This song is very good. The vocals sounds like Peter Gabriel. Just a lot better and with a wider range. OK, the guitars sounds like MARILLION at places. The really outstanding track on this album, which is also included on the live album by THE WATCH, is The Fisherman. This is a song which would had enhanced The Lambs Lies Down On Broadway, although the lyrics is about something very different. Anyway; this song is excellent in it's pastorial settings. The rest of the songs are very good too.

Is this album a GENESIS rip-off ? No. I think it stands firmly on it's own feet. Yes, the sound and music is firmly in the GENESIS land. But the songs also has their own identity. This is why I like this band. They can tour as a GENESIS cover band. But they also stand firmly on their own feet with their own material. This album is a great album in it's own right, but sadly under valued due to this copycat image. This is a very good album.

4 stars

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 Twilight by NIGHT WATCH, THE album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.54 | 43 ratings

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Twilight
The Night Watch Neo-Prog

Review by infandous

3 stars 3 stars So are they like Marillion or like Genesis? Well, I think since this music is far more complex than anything Marillion ever did with or without Fish, and since the vocals are much more in the Peter Gabriel vien, this is much more like a lost Genesis album then Marillion. When you also consider that this band began life as a PG Genesis cover band, I think it becomes obvious who they are trying to sound like. Still, I quite enjoy this album, as I have a soft spot for bands that attempt to mimic PG Genesis.............as long as they do it well. And for me, this album does it quite well. The first three tracks could have been on the album after The Lamb, had Gabriel not left the band. Excellent stuff. It should be said that singer Rossetti has a higher range than Gabriel and is probably a better technical singer overall, but does lack much of Gabriels genuine emotional style. Still very good though. Track 4 is a bit disjointed, but still in the Genesis vien, while 5 is another winner. Track 6 is instrumental and we are suddenly in 80's Crimson territory!! I kid you not. Certainly not as intricate as anything on Discipline, but certainly retaining a sound and feel of that era. A fairly different track that works very well. The album closes with a beautiful pastoral piece. Overall the album is quite a bit darker than PG Genesis, and this respect is probably the only real comparison to Fish Marillion. All in all, an enjoyable album if you like bands that wear their Genesis influence on their sleeve. I personally do. I'd give this 3 1/2 stars, but for the archives I'll round down to 3.

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 Twilight by NIGHT WATCH, THE album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.54 | 43 ratings

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Twilight
The Night Watch Neo-Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "The Night Watch" just play wonderful music fully reminiscent of the great Genesis era. Simone being of course a Gabriel emulator, which is fine with me. "The Night Watch" was his first project. He'll soon start an new one : "The Watch" which is pretty much a ... clone of "The Watch" (do you follow me ?).

I did see "The Watch" in Verviers last year and even if I loved their covers for "Can-Utility" and "Hogweed", the whole show was very good (even if the audience was scarce, unfortunately).

If ever one band matches the neo-prog description available on PA, "The Night Watch" (you can include "The Watch" as they are really one and single musical entity) is definitely amongst the medalists. Fully respectfull of their model, they deliver very pleasant music. Lyrics are frankly above average which is rather remarkable and deserves a mention.

If Genesis is one of the band you are praising (but is there any doubt that this luminous band is praised on PA ?) you should be charmed by the good work of "The Night Watch". Expressive vocals, great mellotron, complex rhythms...

Of course they are VERY similar to the ones you know but still, it is so nice to listen to these very nice songs of "The Night Watch". I can't think of a single weak number here. My faves being the opening song "My Ivory Soul" and "The Fisherman" but the best and most emotional one (just listen to the chorus) is "The Black Cage". Very, very good.

Four stars for this very good album. Of course you would need to be somewhat open-minded and accept some similarities with the ones we will always love. But this is my case. I just hope that there will be other prog freaks thinking as I do.

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 Twilight by NIGHT WATCH, THE album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.54 | 43 ratings

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Twilight
The Night Watch Neo-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars THE NIGHT WATCH wear their influences on their sleeves, as they sound like a combination of GENESIS and MARILLION.They only put out this one album before disbanding and their singer Simone Rossetti formed a new band called THE WATCH.There is quite a bit of sampled mellotron on this album, and the vocals are definitely a highlight.

"My Ivory Soul" opens with barely audible acoustic guitar that gives way to a full blown symphonic assault. Some great guitar and vocals follow, as well as waves of mellotron."The Theme" is a short instrumental of acoustic guitar and mellotron."The Fisherman" is my favourite song on this album.You can hear the waves and seagulls in the intro that give way to piano and vocals. Nice.The song becomes quite passionate as we again hear the seagulls. I feel like I have been taken me to the sea. Awesome ! Heavy drums and guitar come in before we hear the cries of the whales and acoustic guitar. More heavy drums and mellotron takes us to the end of this emotional journey.

"Tomorrow Happened" is led by theatrical vocals and synths. Vocals and piano take over 5 minutes in. We then hear what sounds like an atom bomb exploding."The Black Cage" slowly evolves.There is a lot of space in this one. Some good guitar work 7 minutes in."A Game With Shifting Mirrors" is an instrumental. The heavy drums and piano sound great. It all changes after 4 minutes as all we can hear is mellotron before reverting back to original soundscape."Flowers Of Innocence" features the sound of children playing throughout.Tender vocals and acoustic guitar open.There are some tempo and mood shifts in this one. Included are some good guitar melodies.

This is easy to recommend to MARILLION and GENESIS fans. 3.5 stars.

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 Twilight by NIGHT WATCH, THE album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.54 | 43 ratings

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Twilight
The Night Watch Neo-Prog

Review by Turion

3 stars This cd is a bit hard to review, because of the voice that sounds a lot like Peter Gabriel, but at least he is better than him. The music is really great though, the choruses are great too;the first song sticks in your head for a while! The music is modern prog heavily inspired Genesis, but they have their own sound, sometimes sounding quite heavy too. There are no boring moments on the album, and it's not too long. Nothing really stands out though and it doesn't take a lot of listens to fully know the album. An OK album, nothing essential.

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 Twilight by NIGHT WATCH, THE album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.54 | 43 ratings

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Twilight
The Night Watch Neo-Prog

Review by huge

3 stars Genisis with Peter Gabriel reincarnation...

The similarities are rather too coincidental, despite appealing to me for this simple reason, TWILIGHT do actually manage to pull this off - forget that they're imititating Genesis and keep an open mind and the album does contain good material, though it is impossible to make the inevitable comparisons - plagurism is possibly being a conservative criticism.

However it does make an interesting listen - not essential by any stretch of the imagination, but to enjoy as an understudy to Geneisis certainly will generate some interest.

I wonder what Genesis make of them???

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 Twilight by NIGHT WATCH, THE album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.54 | 43 ratings

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Twilight
The Night Watch Neo-Prog

Review by infandous

3 stars So are they like Marillion or like Genesis? Well, I think since this music is far more complex than anything Marillion ever did with or without Fish, and since the vocals are much more in the Peter Gabriel vien, this is much more like a lost Genesis album then Marillion. When you also consider that this band began life as a PG Genesis cover band, I think it becomes obvious who they are trying to sound like. Still, I quite enjoy this album, as I have a soft spot for bands that attempt to mimic PG Genesis.............as long as they do it well. And for me, this album does it quite well. The first three tracks could have been on the album after The Lamb, had Gabriel not left the band. Excellent stuff. It should be said that singer Rossetti has a higher range than Gabriel and is probably a better technical singer overall, but does lack much of Gabriels genuine emotional style. Still very good though. Track 4 is a bit disjointed, but still in the Genesis vien, while 5 is another winner. Track 6 is instrumental and we are suddenly in 80's Crimson territory!! I kid you not. Certainly not as intricate as anything on Discipline, but certainly retaining a sound and feel of that era. A fairly different track that works very well. The album closes with a beautiful pastoral piece. Overall the album is quite a bit darker than PG Genesis, and this respect is probably the only real comparison to Fish Marillion. All in all, an enjoyable album if you like bands that wear their Genesis influence on their sleeve. I personally do. I'd give this 3 1/2 stars, but for the archives I'll round down to 3.

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