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The Watch - Vacuum CD (album) cover

VACUUM

The Watch

 

Neo-Prog

3.95 | 205 ratings

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Gatot
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars During the years when I enjoyed Genesis in the seventies I got no problem when Peter Gabriel left the band (don't get me wrong, I love Gabriel's theatrical singing style and voice quality) and Genesis continued with excellent follow-up "A Trick of The Tail" with Phil Collins as front man. I did get problem only when Hackett left the band after "Wind and Wuthering" because the music direction changed. So, basically I love Genesis because of the music especially those with Hackett as guitarist and contributing songwriter in the band. When I knew bands like Citizen Cain and The Night Watch in the nineties I was so happy that the early Genesis sounds were still alive in the nineties. Simone ROSSETTI, the front man and excellent flautist of The Night Watch, went on with his new band The WATCH. What's unique here that the vocal quality of Simone Rossetti is very similar to Peter Gabriel and is better than Cyrus of Citizen Cain.

This album gives me full satisfaction as I have been so longing for the music which is similar to early Genesis. In a nutshell, "Vacuum" is what the Genesis would sound like if Hackett did not quit and Gabriel rejoined the band. It's like the follow-up album of "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" released right after "Wind and Wuthering". What a great idea, isn't it?

Let's have a look the album in detail .

Hills (1:26) opens the album featuring accentuated vocal by Rossetti accompanied with electric piano work by Gabriele Manzini augmented with soft howling guitar by Ettore Salati in the vein of Hackett. Even though this short prolog track is performed without drum and bass but it's energetic in style and it sets the whole atmosphere of the album. Great opening. This track continues seamlessly to the next track.

Damage Mode (7:17) starts off with a full blast of the music with all players contribute with their own instruments. The opening part is really upbeat with riffs and dominated by powerful mellotron sounds. The music turns into slower beat with intersecting powerful vocal and combined again with the mellotron work. Keyboard then follows up with a background music to form a symphonic nuance. Rossetti performs his flute work on quiet passage with guitar fills reminiscent of early Genesis music. The ending part is really amazing: mellotron and electric guitar solo give a stunning sound. It's a wonderful and masterpiece composition.

Wonderland (7:05) begins with powerful Gabriel-like voice by Rossetti "Bright lights and street signs wonderland ." accompanied with soft keyboard sound in slow tempo. The music moves steadily into an uplifting mood and I especially like when Rossetti sings "Chain reaction on the razor's edge ..". The guitar work this time is played with different style when the vocalist sings but it returns back to typical Genesis guitar fills especially during quiet passages with vocal. Keyboard and mellotron give symphonic nuance.

Shining Bald Heads (5:55) brings the music in medium/fast tempo with dynamic singing style combined with rhythm section comprising keyboard and guitar. Some segments of keyboard section during singing verse sounds like "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" (the song, not the album). The band puts a variation especially during piano and vocal line that reminds me to Supertramp's style. The song is rich in style and composition.

Out Of The Land (6:05) starts with a wonderful combination of voice line and guitar fills augmented with a very soft mellotron sound, continued with keyboard work. Halfway through the band performs this track in mellow style and in the middle of the track the music moves in crescendo and brings the music into a faster upbeat tempo with soaring keyboard, drums and electric guitar solo.

Goddess (5:48) is an upbeat track with riffs and organ-drone work. The composition reminds me to the music style of Genesis "Nursery Cryme". It has inventive keyboard work combined with guitar and dynamic drumming. The ending part of this track sees beautiful arrangement integrating the key instruments: keyboards, guitar with vocal.

Deeper Still (3:24) is a mellow track where some voice lines are done with distant vocal style. Having enjoyed with some complex arrangements, it's good having this track featured at seventh track as it provides a musical break. Not only that providing musical break, this song is melodic and for my personal taste it's much better than having "More Fool Me" in Genesis' "Selling England By The Pound" album.

The Vacuum (10:59) concludes the album with multi-mood song combining mellow style at the opening accompanied with guitar fills and segments with upbeat / high register notes. The music immediately moves into higher register notes through the voice of Rossetti. This last song contains excellent composition which integrates soaring organ sounds, dynamic drum and powerful vocal. The music turns into fast tempo with long sustain keyboard followed with wonderful guitar work and dazzling drum by Roberto Leoni. Vocal singing style seems like a theatrical acts with excellent punctuation strengthen with inventive organ / keyboard work.

Conclusion

What can I say about this album? Wonderful. Definitely, the band is heavily influenced by early Genesis - plus a bit influence from King Crimson - music with lead singer voice quality and power that are identical with Peter Gabriel. But The Watch music is not something called as derivative as their compositions are mostly different and not ripping off from the older band; especially when I look the album track by track and segment by segment. Some compositions may have similar structures but the overall composition is different. For me personally, I'm glad that now I have at least three bands which still carry the torch of early Genesis sound: Citizen Cain especially through "Somewhere But Yesterday" album, Hamadryad especially the new album "Safe in Conformity". How can I recommend you, my dear readers of this site? It depends. If you are early Genesis music lovers and you don't mind other band carries the torch of early Genesis music style then this album is really for you. Otherwise, you might say that this is a rip off. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |

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