Band: The Watchers
Title: Black Abyss
Label: Ripple Music
Release Date: 9 March 2018
Format reviewed: Vinyl
Following the praised 2016 debut EP, aptly titled “Sabbath Highway”, the San Francisco eclectic stoners The Watchers, formed of seasoned Bay Area underground scene veterans, bring us their full-length, dynamic debut album: “Black Abyss”. Properly released on 9 March 2018, by Ripple Music – the album offers an amalgam of psych tainted doom, with an unmistakable stoner edge, displaying an impressive collection of heavy riffs, soaring vocals and a spirited rhythm section. The band, essentially a super group, features: Tim Narducci on vocals (SpiralArms, WhiteWitch Canyon), bassist Cornbread (Vicious Rumors), Carter Kennedy on drums (Orchid) and guitarist Jeremy Von Epp (The Venting Machine, BlackGates) – the team’s vast musical experience clearly revealing it’s strengths. Starting with the prolific song-writing style of Narducci/Epp, the lyrically diverse and musically relevant set of songs on this release, is easily capturing the listener and driving new expectation to emerge from one track to the next!
From the heavy doom leaden title track (Black Abyss), to the fluid psych and witty lyrics of “Alien Lust”, to the liberal use of guitar effects on “Oklahoma Black Magic”, the guitar occupying a good portion of the audio spectrum and the vivid rhythm section of the radio-ready “Buzzard”, to the hard-rock of “Starfire”, transitioning into the elevated tempo of “People Of The Gun”, followed by the beautifully accented intro into “Suffer Fool” with it’s bluesy hooks and solos, softly bridged by the acoustic outro into the abrasiveness of “Seven Tenets” and it’s epic guitar solo – the album‘s closer. This is a serious release that easily grabs listener’s attention along for the journey. From a technical point: the quality of the material is matched perfectly by the flawless production provided by the knobs wizard, Max Norman, responsible for producing an acclaimed array of heavy metal albums for Ozzy, Megadeth, Savatage, Lynch Mob, among many, many others. Highly recommended for all music fans. 8.5 /10 UHF
Used by permission. © 2018 by Emil Chiru / UHF