“Concepts of Math: Book One”
By Theron Moore
A new Watchtower record? Well, please, don’t mind if I do! “Concepts of Math: Book One” combines Watchtower’s recent digital only release with a brand-new song -- "Mathematica Calculis.”
There’s so much hard rock / metallic precision with songs on “Concepts…” it’s almost like watching surgery from an observational booth, or, watching engineers and architects create schematics. This is the record Dream Theater wishes it could make because it rides that jammin’ line of just enough rock to satisfy the metal heads and just enough noodly, technicality to satiate the prog heads waiting to hear Watchtower nail geometric rock N roll with a calculus bullseye, right on target. And by god they do. Every time.
My complaint: The record is only five songs. Yeah, I know this is a combo release but Watchtower needs a new full length, a proper full length. The first song, “M Theory Overture,” is an instrumental, and although I generally don’t connect with instrumentals, this one’s laser perfect. The second song “Arguments Against Design” bring vocals into the mix and this is where it gets interesting. Will the vocals take away from the mechanized (in a good way) machinations of how on point the band Is musically? Answer: No.
The vocals complement the music and give it that well-deserved metal bite it screams out for. Again, this is where Dream Theater fails and Watchtower succeeds. Watchtower isn’t afraid to bring the rock and find a way to properly inject just enough metal to not throw off the delicate balance of each song. And balance is crucial with prog.
Go to much one direction, or the other, and you risk either losing the audience or ruining the song. Doesn’t happen here. Watchtower gets it. They understand the art as well as the science required to achieve this. The guitars crunch, the vocals bite, and the band chemistry shines through on each song, almost as if they know what each other’s gonna do before they do it. A near perfect record, which for Watchtower, is pretty much par for the course. You need to check this out…
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