Watchtower are fabulous! They combine skillful and technical songwriting and musicianship with the right amount of hook to create one of the best progressive metal discs to grace my CD player. The band even crosses the line into thrash metal from time to time. The production is a bit rough, but it's not terrible either. As a matter of fact, the raw edge adds to the appeal of this disc and gives it a heavier sound. Sometimes overproducing, especially progressive metal, tends to ruin the music. This album features Dangerous Toys vocalist Jason McMaster, who sounds simply fantastic.
Watchtower - Control And Resistance (Noise Records) 1989
1. "Instruments Of
Random Murder" (4:06)
This disc just runs the gamut from the most technical of progressive metal to speed metal to thrash. The riff onslaught is simply amazing. If this one doesn't rip your face off, then you are probably not a metalhead, or at least not a fan of insane, progressive metal. The guitar solos alone will leave many people with jaws to the floor. Check out the solo in "The Edritch" and see if it doesn't cut through your brain like a buzzsaw. Add to this the vocals of Hades' screamer Alan Tecchio and you have yourself one fine metal platter. Unfortunately the mastering on this disc is a bit low, so this one is screaming for a remastered, reissue.
WatchTower - Demonstrations in Chaos (Monster Records) 2002
"Demonstrations in Chaos " is a compilation of rare, early 1980s demos from Texas progressive metal pioneers Watchtower. This collection of songs, which includes unreleased songs "Cathode Ray Window" and "Ballad Assassin", as well as demo recordings from both WatchTower albums. However, all the material here features original vocalist Jason McMaster's helium-ingested vocals. (Geddy Lee would be so proud!) The production of this collections changes from song to song, since these demos were recorded at various locations and times. Tracks 1-7 are "The Boss Tapes" recorded in the summer of 1983, proving that Watchtower were doing thrash before few others. Tracks 8-11 are "The Control demos" recorded in '87" "Control and Resistance" and "Cathode Ray Window" were recorded on a boombox during a band practice. Not surprisingly, the recording quality really sinks here, but these two tracks are outstanding musically and certainly worthy of inclusion on this CD. It is interesting hearing the vast difference in vocal melodies on "Control and Resistance" compared to the final version that made it on the album. "Ballad Assassin" is a raw, live, insane recording from '85. It's a shame this assault to the ears was never properly recorded. The last track is "the original first recording of this song taken from Cottage Cheese from the Lips of Death: A Texas Hardcore Compilation" and was recorded in 983. On top of a nice collection of rarities, this CD also features a nice booklet containing lyrics, liner notes, tons of vintange photos of the band and old concert flyers and some notes from Jason McMaster.