Friday, April 09, 2010

Watchtower Keeps With the Times

Watchtower released their first original recording in more than 20 years: a track called "The Size of Matter", that will be a part of the long-planned Mathematics album. The band's lineup is the same as that on Control & Resistance, but what's surprising to me is how little the band on this new track sounds like the band playing on that last release.

Maybe it's not so surprising: the Watchtower of the late 80's might be one of the godfathers of tech-death, but those albums sound quite dated out of context. For Watchtower, recording a new album seems to mean more than just profiting from 21st century recording technology: the main riff is much thrashier than anything in the back catalog; the bass has a much more subdued role under the new multiple guitar tracks; and while Alan Tecchio's voice may still have a touch of the soar, he sounds a lot more like John Bush than Joey Belladonna. In other words, this one track has much more in common with albums released in the last decade than with either of Watchtower's first two albums. There's enough character to the song to make it feel like a Watchtower recording and after a few listens I generally like what I hear, but after hearing "The Size of Matter," I have to wonder if the band made too many concessions to current idioms, rendering Mathematics a listenable but unremarkable 2010 release instead of a tour de force that we'd expect from Watchtower's recorded return.

Via Blabbermouth

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