reviews%20u-z012002.gif
reviews%20u-z011002.gif

Band: The Watch

CD Title: “Planet Earth?”

Band Website: www.thewatchmusic.net

Label: Independent

Label Website:

Release Date: 2010

 

In light of my June commentary where I take to task those who whine about certain symphonic prog bands sounding retro, I thought it only appropriate I select a band that has been labeled in such a fashion and provide my own take on the sound. The band is The Watch, fromItaly these guys came together and released their first album in 2001 and this recoding Planet Earth? is their fourth. The band consists of Simone Rossetti (vocals), Giorgio Gabriel (guitars), Guglielmo Mariotti (bass), Valerio De Vittorio (keyboards) and Marco Fabbri (drums). Now if you’re a fan of classic seventies styled symphonic prog with liberal doses of early Genesis than your going to love this.

 

Planet Earth? consists of 7 tracks most of which are six, seven or eight minutes. Stylistically the music hearkens back to the Trick of the Tail or Wind and Wuthering era and is lovingly crafted not in any kind of homage, but rather in a style that has become distinctly the music of The Watch. The symphonic tone is unmistakable and is evident in the opening dramatic chords of “Welcome to Your Life” [6:11]. After the opening chords the music drops significantly allowing only soft strumming with a faint keyboard line off in the distance and then Rossetti’s vocals come in, a dead ringer for early Gabriel. What really saves the music from being merely a tribute is the fact these songs are well structured in that classic prog fashion, full of dynamic transitions, changes in time, tempo and tone, not to mention the loads of Mellotron that shows up everywhere. The compositions drift from fast to slow with an ethereal moodiness, displaying a haunted quality. The musical performance is first rate. There are many moments where guitars and the rhythm section build to a false climax only to have the Mellotron come in and finish it off. The second track “Something Wrong” [7:41] starts off all sweet and mellow, with acoustic guitars ringing and soft keyboard lines lay a foundation until the one minute mark, when things become lush and full and swell into the song’s primary melody. You get the picture, right? To my ears its classic. It’s brilliant. Sure it sounds like early Genesis, but that Genesis is no more. They’re long gone. This is the music of The Watch and it’s a sound I just love.         

 

There will always be some who see a band like The Watch as mere copyists, but I totally disagree. After four albums of first rate material the fact the band still creates music like this is clearly because this is the musical path they’ve chosen that best expresses their musical vision. Now for those of us who love this sound and style, The Watch are a godsend. I can listen to their music tirelessly. Planet Earth? is a worthy addition to any symphonic prog fans library. I heartily recommend it.

reviews%20u-z012001.jpg