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Demonstrations In Brilliance - 93%

Under_The_Oak, November 3rd, 2006

Watchtower is one of the earliest originators of the progressive metal genre, even cited by Dream Theater as an influence. Demonstrations In Chaos is a compilation of the band's demos and a few live tracks, but don't let that put you off if you haven't heard their full-length releases yet, because this is a great introduction to the band as well as a fitting summary of their music from the few years they were around for. Its difficult to describe what Watchtower sounds like, but imagine Rush on speed mixed with an 80s heavy metal style and you get a small glimpse of the idea.

Tracks 1-7 are old demos recorded at various times from '83-84 before the first album's release. 8-11 are demos '87, 12-14 are live from '85-86 and the final track is the first song the band ever released, which was on a compilation. When you're not headbanging to these tunes, you'll be loving their technical innovation of intricate song structures, sweet harmonies and insane riffs. They never wrote any lengthy epics, yet every track is packed with intelligence, precision, and originality.

For demo material, the production is not bad at all, and yet it still has a rough, aggressive edge to it that makes this all the more essential for metalheads. The two unreleased tunes, "Cathode Ray Window" and "Ballad Assassin", aren't quite decent quality, though that can be easily overlooked amidst the 13 other excellent tracks provided here. This is definitely one of the few compilation CDs I can safely recommend to every metal fan. Don't take my word for it though, check this out and hear why Watchtower deserves a place in the prog metal Hall of Fame.