I love how I periodically stumble into an amazing and audacious progressive metal album. Such is the case with the latest offering from Watchtower, Concepts Of Math: Book One. This is the sort of all out concept album that showcases seemingly endless layers of musical prowess and hints at so much more to come form the band. It's a record that transcends many of the common limitations of the genre whilst remaining noodly and rife with all manner of weird and exciting progressive metal madness.
Progressive metal is by definition a dorky genre, so it's always a good thing when a band like Watchower go out and admit it. Rather than trying to make this whole thing seem 'cool' or worse 'trendy' Watchtower embrace their inner nerd. Songs like Technology Inaction showcase an incredibly talented band, from the vocals which are stunning and all over the place to the beautifully executed and perpetually exciting guitar and bass work, or even the drums which pull off things you rarely hear in metal these days. Concepts Of Math: Book One is a step above many of its peers simply because it embraces the sheer proginess of it all.
This record is a dense listen and one that you do need to be sort of primed for before letting go. It's the sort of record that forces you to sit back and reflect on the internal bitterness of the genre but also one that revels in the virtuosity of the band and all that they have come to represent. While I would love to hear some stronger overarching melodies and some broader strokes rather than the oftentimes hyper sectional sounds of Concepts Of Math: Book One this is still a fascinating listen that will keep you coming back.
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