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THE WATCH

Neo-Prog • Italy


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The Watch picture
The Watch biography
Formed in Milan, Italy in 1997 as "THE NIGHT WATCH' - Since 2000 adopted the shortened name 'THE WATCH'

Simone ROSSETTI, the charismatic front man of THE NIGHT WATCH, continues his impressive work in the new band The WATCH, but he's the only connection between the two bands. The NIGHT WATCH also was featured with one song on "The Reading Room" (2000) album and than they quit. Simone is an great vocalist/flautist and his voice is very similar to Peter GABRIEL and so the sound on the new album is again like early GENESIS. There are some reminiscences to MARILLION, SPOCK'S BEARD and ─NGLAGARD too.

The WATCH's debut album "Ghost" sounds so much like GENESIS. The music is very similar to Peter GABRIEL-era GENESIS with lots of magnificient bombastic Mellotron. Folks, this is a total job that sounds like outtakes between "Nursery Crime" and "Selling England By The Pound". This is "the best album GENESIS never made"! Now we can add another classic to the list. A band to Watch out for!

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THE WATCH discography


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THE WATCH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.55 | 145 ratings
Ghost
2001
3.95 | 222 ratings
Vacuum
2004
3.49 | 136 ratings
Primitive
2007
3.73 | 181 ratings
Planet Earth?
2010
3.61 | 169 ratings
Timeless
2011
3.74 | 122 ratings
Tracks From The Alps
2014
3.62 | 72 ratings
Seven
2017
3.49 | 35 ratings
The Art of Bleeding
2021

THE WATCH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.38 | 24 ratings
Live
2008
5.00 | 3 ratings
Green Show 2011 - Official Live Bootleg
2012

THE WATCH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

THE WATCH Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

THE WATCH Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 6 ratings
Live Bootleg
2006
4.33 | 3 ratings
Howl the Stars Down
2021

THE WATCH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Seven by WATCH, THE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.62 | 72 ratings

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Seven
The Watch Neo-Prog

Review by ElChanclas

4 stars The Watch is the first Italian band that I have the opportunity to review, and I've chosen their seventh studio album Seven (my point of entry to their catalog) to do so. It is hard to deny the similarities both of Rosetti's voice and the band's sound in general to the Peter Gabriel-era of Genesis, however there's a malice and darkness to their overall proposal that reminds me a lot of early Marillion (Fish- era) too but just a little heavier and obscure. Seven is a single album, clocking below the 50mins mark and somehow easy listening. It opens with a very powerful and catchy Blackest Deeds and immediately the listener is submerged in a well produced 70's symphonic prog-inspired Neo Prog soundscape (if such a combination is even possible) with flawless guitar work, precise rhythmic section and beautifully crafted atmospheric keys. It is a different type of Neo prog, is heavier, more symphonic and slightly more complex, very haunting indeed. Disappearing Act is one of my favorites tracks from the album, the melodies, the lyrics, the initial mellowness that diverts the listener momentarily from the true colors of the experience, magnificent. Masks brings a different tone to the album, with faster tempo and less complex arrangements, more like the poppier side of the band but nevertheless enjoyable and somehow even memorable, I guess the guitar work kind of elevates a really good track. Copycat sits at the center of the musical journey, with a bright and elegant Marillion-like sound and teasing more with the mid 80's scene than the previous three tracks. Ups and downs, sometimes simple and sometimes not so, another highlight for me, one of those tracks that grows on the listener with every play. It's Only a Dream is a beautiful song, with that acoustic guitar leading the way to smartly created vocal melodies, more British sounding than Italian (my guess) so the love for something 'known' is basically immediate, a song that invites the listener to further listens. Tightrope is easily the best track of the album, at least to my ears. It has all the elements presented by the band in the previous tracks but unified in over 7mins of music. The melodies, the bouncing tempo, the adequate arrangements, the instrumentation delivered, all makes sense and gravitates around that unique sounding voice. Everything to love'. Least but not last, the closer' After the Blast, a song that if heard by itself without knowing who si singing/playing could be easily confused with any Peter Gabriel-era Genesis track' and that feeling stays, supported on the backing flute playing, until around the 2 and half minute mark when The Watch comes back in full force to fill the soundscape with their unique musical format and playing. A very neat way to put an end to the journey. I'm still digesting other gems from their catalog, in the meantime Seven is highly recommended! THE END
 The Art of Bleeding by WATCH, THE album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.49 | 35 ratings

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The Art of Bleeding
The Watch Neo-Prog

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The Watch from Italy is one of the more famous Genesis tribute bands. Besides touring with early material from that classic prog band the Watch also releases albums of original material in the Genesis style. 'The Art of Bleeding' is their first concept album, with a loose concept based on crimes of passion. The band mixes its influences (perhaps closest to 'The Lamb Dies Down' here) with a sound pallet of eighties wave synths. That works really well for me on especially the first two tracks of the album. Vocalist Simone Rossetti has that Peter Gabriel timbre, but besides that he is quite limited in putting the variety of emotions into the music. His heavy Italian accent doesn't help much either. The Watch also has the same muddled sound as the early albums of Genesis and I would have preferred a more 'open' production sound. The compositional style of the band is actually quite complex, with a lots of variations on all musical themes. It does require some extra listens to acquire to all the songs, almost none of the material is an instant 'hit' so to speak. The more concise song 'The Fishterman' being the only exception. The songs do eventually open up a bit and I like the often dark atmospheres. Still I can't help but feeling something is missing here, which I'm guessing has much to do with the mixing. This album still comes warmly recommended to fans of Genesis and IQ. It's also a step up from their previous record 'Seven'.
 The Art of Bleeding by WATCH, THE album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.49 | 35 ratings

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The Art of Bleeding
The Watch Neo-Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

3 stars Twenty years ago I received The Watch first album Ghost as a CD-R to review, this week I received The Watch latest effort The Art Of Bleeding as a WeTransfer to review, the only original member is Simone Rossetti, a lot changed within 20 years, but The Watch still make wonderful 70-77 Genesis inspired music.

About The Art Of Bleeding the band wrote: "After a huge and three years long composing process, for the first time The Watch has ventured into the world of the concept album with five stories that revolve around the idea of cathartic violence. A musical theme developed in various ways to create different atmospheres. A disc to immerse yourself in and let yourself go."

On this new album The Watch presents 8 melodic, harmonic and varied tracks, featuring a wonderful colouring with guitar and keyboards and, last but not least, Simone his passionate vocals with that distinctive Peter Gabriel timbre. The Watch succeeds to blend the unsurpassed 70-77 Genesis sound with some fine own musical ideas, and to keep my attention during the entire album.

Like in the captivating song Red: the freaky synthesizer sound, slightly distorted vocals, powerful Hammond runs and a scary scream halfway create an ominous climate, the final part contains bombastic keyboards and a dynamic rhythm-section. In the dark Hatred Of Wisdom the blend of a raw and propulsive guitar riff and soaring Mellotron violins delivers a compelling musical contrast. And the final track Red Is Deep starts mellow with dreamy keyboards and vocals, then a catchy beat with rock guitar (Peter Gabriel solo evokes), halfway a break with helicopter sound, followed by an eruption with a mid-tempo and pleasant vocals, gradually joined by bombastic keyboards.

More obvious 70-77 Genesis inspired compositions are the dynamic Abendlicht (lush keyboards and a fiery guitar solo), The Fisherman (12-string acoustic guitars and intense Hackett-like volume pedal guitar play), Howl The Stars Down (swelling Hammond sound, beautiful classical guitar, melancholical vocals, and in the end a churchy Hammond) and Black Is Deep (moving guitar work, majestic Mellotron violins, and the distinctive ARP Pro Solist synthesizer sound, this is by far the most Genesis sounding track).

My rating: 3,5 star.

P.s.: The 'Deluxe Edition' contains a Special Edition CD with 7 songs from the The Watch discography, in different versions, chosen by The Watch themselves (A.T.L.A.S, Goddes, Something Wrong, The Border, Sound Of Sirens / Another Life, Scene Of The Crime and Tourist Trap).

 Ghost by WATCH, THE album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.55 | 145 ratings

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Ghost
The Watch Neo-Prog

Review by Four Corners Guy

4 stars This is my first review of an album on Prog Archives. I've considered posting a review before for other albums, but wasn't quit motivated enough, until now. I've only recently heard Ghost and some of the other albums from The Watch for the first time, based primarily on the reviews and write-up for the group and the album that I read here on Prog Archives. And man, was I ever impressed.

Many of the reviewers here have compared The Watch to Genesis, and the comparisons are totally justified. But for me, The Watch is the band Genesis should have been. Don't get me wrong, I like Genesis (most of the time). On the other hand, with The Watch, I haven't heard anything from them so far that I didn't like to some extent. Another fine example of excellent prog music coming out of Italy.

 Ghost by WATCH, THE album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.55 | 145 ratings

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Ghost
The Watch Neo-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars More excellently composed, performed, and engineered GENESIS-imitative music from these very serious Italian artists.

1. "DNAlien" (8:36) an excellent attempt at a variation of Foxtrot-era "Watcher" Genesis. (17.5/20)

2. "The Ghost and the Teenager" (8:38) perfect duplication of Genesis. (18/20)

3. "Heroes" (9:27) would be an instant Genesis classic. Love the ANT PHILLIPS-like outro/interlude.(18.25/20)

4. "Moving Red" (6:34) opens with a burst like "Get 'em Out By Friday" or one of the segments of "Supper's Ready." Impressive! (9/10)

5. "Riding the Elephant" (3:38) some "new," non-Genesis sounds and stylings! An example of "What if Peter Gabriel had reunited with Tony, Mike, and Phil for some original material in the 1980s. Interesting. (9/10)

6. "...and the Winner is..." (10:11) more "new" sounds with modern recording techniques used for recording "plug in" acoustic guitars and 1990s computer synth sounds in a "Supper's Ready" opening section-like opening. IT turns out that this is a very closely imitative, mini- , slowed-down, and modernized version of "Supper's Ready." The only real disappointment on the album. (16.5/20)

Total Time: 47:04

High marks are earned by imitation of Gabriel-era Genesis rather than the Brit's later music. If ever you wanted to hear "new" Genesis music from the 1971-75 period, this is both the band and the album to seek out. GREAT recording/sound engineering of technically perfectionistic compositions and performances. Drummer Roberto Leoni's playing is so crisp and enjoyable. Vocalist Simone Rossetti's duplication of Peter Gabriel's diction, range, and style is sheer perfection--remarkable.

B+/4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of retro prog. This band deserves more credit for both the incredible detail to which their imitation goes as well as to the fact that their compositions are all totally original, not remakes.

 Vacuum by WATCH, THE album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.95 | 222 ratings

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Vacuum
The Watch Neo-Prog

Review by Squire Jaco

4 stars For those of us who had the unique privilege of hearing early Genesis back in the 70's over our favorite FM station or on our dad's first stereo system in the living room, I think we sometimes tend to take for granted just how talented, progressive and entertaining that band was. So then we turn our noses up when a band that is clearly derivative of Genesis shows up with a new cd in their classic style? I think that can be a mistake, especially with a band like The Watch that certainly has an updated (tho retro) early Genesis style, and composes some very unique melodies with storied lyrics. Sorry folks, but their 2004 release "Vacuum" is a guilty pleasure for me, with excellent vocals (very integral to this band's music) and melodic hooks, along with crystal clear production. Although the band is Italian, Simone Rossetti's Gabriel-esqe vocals are very British sounding. Special note: drummer Roberto Leoni is an exceptional talent. (Great cymbal work.) My only minor complaint is that there are only 48 minutes of music here. So here's what you do when you try a "clone" band like this: you kind of have to close your eyes and imagine yourself lying on your bunk with your Pioneer headphones on, and listening to the album that could have come out right after "The Lamb". Good shtuff. Treat yourself.
 Planet Earth? by WATCH, THE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.73 | 181 ratings

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Planet Earth?
The Watch Neo-Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

3 stars On this fourth The Watch studio-album entitled Planet Earth? we are treated on a sound that is obviously inspired by early Genesis, especially the 70-73 era, as The Watch did on previous albums. But this time it sounds like an ultimate tribute to that both legendary as unsurpassed early Genesis sound: Hammond and Mellotron waves in the vein of Tony Banks, very Gabrielesque vocals, the use of twanging acoustic guitars, the flute play and a very Hackett-like guitar sound. Even the way the songs are arranged comes mighty close to early Genesis. This results in wonderful symphonic rock, especially the moments in which Hammond and Mellotron are blended and moving electric guitar is supported by lush violin ? and choir-Mellotron. Like in the final parts of Something Wrong and The World Inside, goose bumps! The only track that slightly differs from the obvious early Genesis sound is the final composition Tourist Trap, here it's early IQ with a Mike Holmes guitar sound. The conclusion is great featuring majestic violin-Mellotron and a delicate synthesizer solo.

To me this album sounds as their most convincing and mature effort. But I would like to hear the wonderful native language, rather than English vocals. I am sure this will give the music an extra dimension, a bit more emotional undertone. Just listen to other fine early Genesis inspired fellow Italian band Sensitiva Immagine with their beautiful album E Tutto Comincio Cosi (a kind of 'Selling England By The Pound, side 3', with all respect).

My rating: 3,5 star.

 Live by WATCH, THE album cover Live, 2008
3.38 | 24 ratings

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Live
The Watch Neo-Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

3 stars Italian The Watch have a special position in The Netherlands: they have performed there many times as a Genesis cover band, now The Watch are highly acclaimed for this, more than composers of good own material. I have seen The Watch several times since their early years and was also in the crowd during their acclaimed performance on Symforce II, part of the 2008 tour that is featured on this live CD.

Their pleasant and melodic sound alternates between 1970-1973 Genesis-era: from mellow with acoustic guitars and flute to bombastic with bass pedals, Hackett-inspired guitarwork, organ and Mellotron. But also early IQ: compelling with powerful interplay between moving guitar and sumptuous Mellotrons layers. The emphasis in the tasteful 7 compositions is on creating compelling, often Mellotron drenched atmospheres rather than complexity and inventive arrangements. The enthousiastic and sympathic singer Simone Rossetti has the same melancholical undertone as Peter Gabriel, at some moments only his accent reveals he's not the one! An original song is the dreamy Riding The Elephant because of its electronic-oriented climate with howling guitar and majestic violin-Mellotron. Halfway the medley Twilight Alehouse/Another Life we can enjoy a bombastic 24-carat symphonic rock sound: with lush Mellotron, a deep bass pedal sound and a sensitive guitar solo, goose bumps.

But my absolute highlight on this live album is the final track Berlin 1936: first dreamy vocals, then a mid-tempo with bombastic interplay between organ and guitar, wonderful Mellotron drops and finally the ultimate symphonic rock sound featuring moving guitarwork with volume pedal, bass pedals, choir-Mellotron and Hammond organ, you can't beg for more!

Although I am not really a The Watch fan, I am very pleased with The Watch Live. Because in my opinion their sound on stage is more powerful and captivating than on the studio-albums. And for sure many early Genesis and IQ fans wil be delighted about this live album.

My rating: 3,5 star.

 Seven by WATCH, THE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.62 | 72 ratings

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Seven
The Watch Neo-Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Heavy / RPI / Symphonic Prog Team

2 stars It's not because you have a singer that has a voice similar to Peter Gabriel and a music similar to Genesis and IQ that you can deliver music of the same caliber. It's been a while that I have been impressed by one of their albums and this new album is not an exception. The second track "Disappearing Act" show a different sound more in the Depeche Mode electro atmosphere, it's not a bad song. The rest of the album is the typical The Watch, and with a band that is struggling to reach the greatness of the best Neo-Prog bands, IQ in particular, the composition level is not very high. You won't find any epic song where you can feel the progression of the melody through some tempo and mood changes, only the last track "After the Blast" give me some pleasure with some interesting instrumental passages. Not recommended, only to die-hard fans.
 Vacuum by WATCH, THE album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.95 | 222 ratings

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Vacuum
The Watch Neo-Prog

Review by WatcherOfThePortal

4 stars The watch is an amazing band. On Vacuum they did an amazing job of not duplicating Genesis but going Beyond where Genesis left off. The overall feeling with this album is that your hearing Genesis and what they would have liked to do if Gabriel stayed on and Steve Hackett also stayed on. I for one cannot get enough of this kind of music it seems like everybody gave up but the watch has kept up. I love the mellotron and all the Anthony Phillips guitar parts and Steve Hackett guitar parts and Gabriel singing. Simon Rossetti is very very good at singing and at lyrical ideas. Do yourself a favor if you haven't got this album go out and get it and sit through a couple of listings and you will agree the watch is really doing some amazing Music These Days.
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