TOWER “Shock to the System”

By Dr. Abner Mality

For those looking for metal with deep roots in the 70’s and early 80’s, TOWER is a new name to reckon with. Hailing from New York City, this bunch is smart enough not to go overboard with emulating an earlier time like many bands do...”Shock to the System” is heavier and louder than any 70’s band while still retaining traces of classic rock. TOWER also boasts a female vocalist with some Amazonian pipes.

“Blood Moon” announces that they aren’t playing patty cake. The guitar sound is full, heavy and robust, with a strong metallic gallop. Sarabeth Linden belts out the tunes with an almost operatic tone. It gets a bit “quavery” in spots, but she’s got more grit than the divas who sing with “evening gown metal” bands like WITHIN TEMPTATION and DELAIN. I adapted to her style pretty easily. Also take note of wailing classic guitar solos coming at you from every angle. Many of the tunes here are high energy crackers with a snappy pace...see “Running Out of Time” and “Black Rose” for examples.

The second half of the album begins to mix things up a bit. “Hired Gun” definitely has more of a 70’s classic rock feel while still keeping the iron hot. “On The Line” reminds me of HIGH SPIRITS with its melodic gallop, while “In Dreams” is the longest song on the album, a moody epic that still cranks in its back half and gives Sarabeth something a little different to do.

I was well pleased with TOWER’s work here. There are a LOT of retro late 70’s/early 80’s bands treading the boards today, but this is one to watch.