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Ascension Of The Watchers Biography - Ascension Of The Watchers Discography - All Heavy Metal Bands


Making his 31st recording, Craveman finds young Ted particularly amped and gloriously pissed off in a way that will remind fans of his earlier pivitol recordings. The album is rife with manifestos of fierce independence, sex and living out loud with titles like ’Crave’, ’Rawdogs & Warhogs’ and ’Pussywhipped.’ Spitfire. 2002.Craveman proves the Nuge proves can still churn out likeable, loutish lyrics with unwavering energy and conviction. ”Rawdogs & Warhogs” is ”Dog Eat Dog” for the new millennium, while ”Klstrphnky,” though offensive lyrically (”Look at all the dirty nookie / It’s all infected HIV!”), explores the nu metal vein with surprising musicality. While songs and solos sometimes sound recycled, Craveman is one of Nugent’s stronger recent efforts, thanks to well-crafted songs that are by turns patriotic, boastful, and silly. Ultimately, they’re as earthy, powerful, and primal as the macho man who’s created them. –Katherine Turman

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  • The Good
    The dark and haunting opening instrumental track “Ascendant” acts as a preview for the twisted tale that awaits you. “Evading” exploits acoustic guitars and experimental tones to their darkest potential. Vocalist Burton C. Bell is a hell of a lot more melodic than his Fear Factory days. He still has that ominous tone to his delivery. Remember the sound a record made when no music played? That was always creepy. “Canon for My Beloved” uses that sound to sandwich it’s powerful insides. “Moonshine” breaks out of the sadness and sorrow with more of an upbeat acoustic tone. “On the River” feels like the alien attack is soon upon us. The trippy groove reminds me of some of the avant-garde rock pieces from the 60s and 70s. Simon and Garfunkel’s”Sounds of Silence” never sounded so eerie or so good for that matter.

    The Bad
    I wish I could understand what Bell is saying in the songs. They are just so faded and soft. I mean, it fits the music perfectly, but it’s a little frustrating.

    The Verdict
    Don’t expect Fear Factory. Bell channels his inner Porcupine Tree with his Ascension of the Watchers project. The tale is haunting and dark and most likely about alien invasions of some type. At times you don’t know where the story is going to take you, but overall it’s an adventure trying to put the pieces together. You have to hand it to Bell for having the balls to try something completely different than what he is used to. His Ascension of the Watchers sound seems to suit him well and he manages to create a homage to the twisted and trippy deep albums of the 60s and 70s.

    Posted on November 17, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Burton from Fear Factory’s side ‘project’ is finally here. With mixed results. Overall i get the EXACT same vibe as i did when i bought Chino Moreno’s(Deftones) side project ‘Team Sleep’. Not so much that it sounds like that disc (though at times it does), its just the drastic change in music styles for an outside project. The frontman distancing himself to be ‘creative’. It sounds like he was hinting at this style by the track ‘Echo of my Scream’ off the last FF disc ( The worst FF track ever). This takes it further. Seems like Burton is trying hard to have 2 working entities with this band and FF. So i judge this strictly on its musical content, not on who BB is and the fact i have been a FF fan for many years..

    There are some diverse instruments, a very down vibe and haunting melodies. Somber. The keyboards (effects) are interesting and are the focus of most tracks. Not really ‘Heavy’, so if you only like FF and Heavier, than dont bother. The songs are decent, but the intros to some of them are very long and account for a lot of the time to the songs. I am sure they did it to create an ambiance, but it takes a while for some of the tracks to get going. Fact of the matter is, the songs just dont GO anywhere. You keep waiting for something and they fall flat. I kept waiting for ‘Evading’ to rev up, but it ends up forgettable. Burtons voice is flat at times as well, especially on ‘Violet Morning’. Just bad.

    A few songs Really drag unfortunately. Especially ‘Canon for my Beloved’. Just seems to never end. The guitars are subdued on tracks like ‘Violet Morning’ with its acoustic base. That track also features Burton Bell singing in a straight forward style that is, well, interesting. There is electric guitar on tracks like ‘Mars Becoming’, but nowhere near as sharp as the FF stuff. Just kind of there. It goes all the way to different orchestral string arrangements on ‘Moonshine’. I do like the funky vibe to ‘Like Falling Snow’. Its a cool track and i will say that this CD is not a total loss because of it. . But then we are subjected to a cover version of ‘Sounds of Silence’, which doesn’t do much. Nevermore’s remake of that track can never be beat though, it kicks you in the as*!. Not to mention the 16+ minute final track. Has haunting piano and effects that is nice(Reminds me of ‘Antimatter’), but doesn’t need to be nearly as long.. Song is 11 minutes then 6 minutes of a scratching noise (Like a record ending). just Aggravating and is a bummer to get through if using the ‘Random’ button..

    If nothing else i still have ‘Like Falling Snow’ which is a cool track, but not worth $15. They were onto something with the bass line and B Bells voice is unique on that track, just fits like a glove. But the other tracks will depend on your taste. I listened a few times, So its not a one listen review. I like a lot of progressive stuff as well, so i wanted to like this. My excitement about this disc was multiplied when i saw it was on Al Jorgensen’s (Ministry) 13th Planet Records! After all, he put out Prongs latest which totally kicks as*! But i am just not feeling this CD its just not doing it for me overall.

    Posted on November 17, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I’ve been waiting a long time for this one to drop; when it came in the mail shortly after the release date I didn’t know what to expect though. I figured that it would be o.k. at best. I was wrong–it’s very cool indeed! The songs all have distinct characteristics that keep them from melding into each other like many new age albums do, but they all have the same down-tempo backbone. I like that Burton had the guts to go into the places that HE wanted to go to on this album, because it seemed like with the last two Fear Factory albums that he wasn’t 100% into making heavy music after returning when Dino was given the boot. You can hear that his heart is MUCH more into these songs, even if his voice isn’t 100% on every tune (the guy’s been screaming for almost 20 years–his chords are bound to sound a bit outta tune from time-to-time). I was a bit put off by how his voice sounded on a few songs, but because you can hear that he’s fully into it that gives the songs a more truthful aesthetic I think, and makes them interesting–it’s cool to know that people are into the music that they make and aren’t just going through the motions.

    With that said, hardcore Fear Factory fans will probably: think it’s meh but say they like it because they’re on Burt’s nuts, see what Burt’s getting at with it and dig it, or reject it because they’re unfamiliar with this type of genre. If you want heavy licks they’re not here; if you want a darker, brooding version of a Peter Gabriel/Brian Eno-type of mellow indie-pop music with some dark ambient plateaus mixed in then this is for you. If that last description sounded pretty good to you then all you really have to worry about is the last track which is mostly a 16 minute-long lp scratch-loop; boring for some but an interesting aesthetic in my opinion. This is an album that would like to be sat down with and paid attention to; not thrown into the Xterra’s booming stereo so that one can headbang.

    Now…I think Burton should get in contact with a few folks for the sophomore album, mainly: Death Cube K (aka Buckethead), Lustmord, and John Neff (if he’s not helping out David Lynch on a new Bluebob album).

    Posted on November 17, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I get the impression that Burton has done alot of soul searching lately. this music comes across as almost an expression of an inner journey to understanding either himself, who he is, the world around him, etc. And is very soothing and happy. Not like pop music garbage happy but uplifting in a good way. Not exactly existential but something. While the last songs on demanufacture and obsolete were dark and sad this is similar, just light instead of dark. Give it an honest listen and you may like it. No screaming or aggression on this at all which may alienate him industrial/metal fans from Fear Factory. The guys in Ministry helped out a bit with Al adding some instruments (lap steel, mandolin, keys) and executive producing and paul raven doing some bass and beat work. I think this is a great piece of work that shows the multi-talents of Burton. Give it a listen with open mind and ears and see for yourself.

    Posted on November 17, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Finally..its here. Ive been waiting for this for soooo long. After the E.P. demo ‘Iconoclast’, i knew this would be special. All the tracks from said ep are again on here, just ‘updated’, or with more production, obviously that comes from a bigger budget. Dunno about it sounding much like Team Sleep(?), far more atmospheric..although i get why you might feel that..Anyway, fans of Burt must get this album..Great stuff.

    Posted on November 17, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now