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Watchtower - Control and Resistance (Reissue)

Control and Resistance
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 09 August 2012, 4:54 PM

Taking Metal into the highest forms of progression and obscurity, the US Metal frenzy WATCHTOWER elevated Metal music into boundaries that were barely met at the time. It began in 1985 when the band released its debut album “Energetic Disassembly” that forged a new Metal front driven by the spirit of 70s RUSH and came forward prior to the emergence of other progressive bands such as DREAM THEATER, SADUS and ATHEIST. Five years later the band released another stage of development, along with a new high pitched vocalist, Alan Tecchio of the once slamming HADES, which also replaced Jason McMaster, and the highly technical Ron Jarzombek that made his debut with WATCHTOWER but later on played with Marty Friedman and SPASTIC INK, WATCHTOWER released their second and most influential album, “Control And Resistance”. Since this album marked a major step in Progressive / Technical Metal and also particularly in Thrash, Divebomb Records chose it to be reissued. I think it was a wise decision to be made as with all of the high methodological playing that has been going around in the modern scene, WATCHTOWER are still relevant.

The first thing that is easy to notice on this release is the “expect the unexpected” factor. It may sound musically odd, energetic, challenging and on various instances it was rather hard to digest the all around change of riffing, tempos, beats and vocal manners. On the other hand, it was hard to except the genuinely driven minds of the creators that produced amazing results. Moreover, the lyrics, which most concentrated on the structural form of the decaying society and events that made an impact back in the late 80s till 1990, and practically some of it is also still relevant to nowadays and the corruption continues, especially with the economic depression taking hold once again. “Control And Resistance”, the title and one of the best representations of this release, is both musically and lyrically displayed a different level of development. Some would see it as too extreme and not as appealing as the music is constantly shifting into new horizons but it in the end it would be undoubtedly viewed as an act of a complex philosophy. There is a certain flow on several of the songs like “The Eldritch”, “Dangerous Toy”, “Hidden Instincts” and “Life Cycles”, also two inspiring tracks with a sense of aggression and arrows of anger towards substandard institutions or people that should have done the contrary of what they could have done earlier on. Back then, and even before that with HADES I presume, Alan Tecchio showed that his one of the best high pitched crazed in the worlds of Speed / Thrash and Progressive Metal and it clearly shows on these five mentioned tracks.

Even though not being around as in the past, WATCHTOWER is still considered, at least by yours truly, as one of the greatest impacts in the world of Heavy Metal. These guys wanted to go far off the charts and they did it. Their music isn’t easy to digest, but their will, talent and creative minds paved the road to something bigger and practically amazing. This reissued released is highly recommendable for everyone who wishes to see the origins of what is being played today. 

4 Star Rating

1. Instruments Of Random Murder
2. The Eldritch
3. Mayday In Kiev
4. The Fall Of Reason
5. Control And Resistance
6. Hidden Instincts
7. Life Cycles
8. Dangerous Toy
Alan Tecchio– Vocals
Ron Jarzombek– Guitars
Doug Keyser– Bass
Rick Colaluca- Drums
Record Label: Divebomb Records


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Edited 19 September 2019

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