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The Watchers - Black Abyss

The Watchers
Black Abyss
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 18 May 2018, 6:50 AM

Gathering together an impressive cast of seasoned players, THE WATCHERS is an out-and-out supergroup of musicians’ musicians, and a fitting addition to Ripple Music’s ever growing roster. They have been called “a bridge between nostalgic metal, the underground scene, and rock radio,” and “the 70’s meet the 21st century.” “Black Abyss” contains eight tracks.

The title track leads off the album, with a downtrodden, depressing dirge of impossibly low guitar chords. Fuzzy wah-wah leads off the riff as the mammoth skull crushing sound hits the pavement. They remind me somewhat of the Los Angeles based act “FIREBALL MINISTRY,” but with a bit more grit and grunge fusion. In “Alien Lust,” they dial up the energy a bit more with a faster moving song. The harmonies in the vocals really remind me of a revived Grunge sound, but it is heavier than most of its predecessors. “Oklahoma Black Magic” has that mid-western flavor, but is back in the deep woods making moonshine. The instrumental section shakes in unison while Narducci’s vocals are emotive and expressive.

“Buzzard” opens with a dose of Cornbread’s bass whacks, and leads to a faster moving riff and some upper range vocals. Epp lays out a kicking old school guitar solo that fares well with the melody line. “Starfire” is the shortest on the album, at three minutes in length. It’s a riff driven song with a bit more doom and gloom, and some varied vocal offerings. “People of the Gun” has a trippy sound, driven by some background effects and vocals that are all over the spectrum. “Suffer Fool” is the first song to feature acoustical guitar. Dare we call it a ballad of sorts? Maybe. It’s really however more of a straight up Rock and Roll song, with some pensive thoughts and where the aggressiveness of earlier tracks is dialed back. When you talk about the earlier quote involving “rock radio,” I think you have a good match here.

“Seven Tenants” closes the album. This slow, lumbering mammoth depicts a barren waste land where souls go to die. Epp’s thoughtful guitar solo is well-crafted and memorable. Overall, it’s a good album with a lot of weight, itching a revival of nostalgia that harkens back to the 1970’s but with at times an amalgam of 90’s grunge. It’s honest music. Although it isn’t anything you haven’t heard before, it is fused with the band’s energy and personality, along with some really strong vocals.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Black Abyss
2. Alien Lust
3. Oklahoma Black Magic
4. Buzzard
5. Starfire
6. People of the Gun
7. Suffer Fool
8. Seven Tenants
Lineup:
Tim Narducci – Vocals
Jeremy Epp – Guitars
Cornbread – Bass
Carter Kennedy – Drums
Record Label: Ripple Music
     


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