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Watchman - Cursed review




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6.2
Band: Watchman
Album: Cursed
Style: Doom metal, Stoner metal
Release date: March 2024


01. Too Late To Pray
02. No Peace
03. Left To Die
04. Cursed
05. He On High
06. Black Wings
07. You Will Not Be Saved

How does life continue after the end of all flesh? This is probably the question Roy Waterford, the mastermind behind one-man stoner band Watchman, asked himself after his sophomore release. The End Of All Flesh was my favorite stoner metal album of 2022, delivering mesmerizing and intimidating doom metal for the apocalypse. So, when the follow-up album Cursed dropped on Pi Day, I was both eager to delve into some more entrancing stoner vibes and slightly skeptical whether Watchman would manage to retain the quality of the previous effort.

Cursed starts off very promising with atmospheric sounds of rainfall, thunder, and a melancholic yet slightly unsettling guitar melody. Thunderous drum beats and rumbling guitar riffs lead the charge on a journey of utter doom. One of the highlights of the first song is a section in which an ominous voice reads a chilling passage from the Bible's Book of Revelations, Chapter 6 (King James Version), where three of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are introduced:
And power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.

And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.

And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.

A fitting excerpt, referencing both Watchman’s opening song from their debut album Doom Of Babylon and Cursed’s cover art, depicting, perhaps, Death riding upon his pale horse.

The album continues with other pleasant stoner doom tracks, but none really leave a lasting impression. Some songs like “Left To Die” have a nice repetitive groove, but there's no cool riff that really gets stuck in my head or interesting songwriting that makes me want to come back for more. The slowly meandering guitar melodies on calmer songs like “Black Wings” are nice, but feel rather aimless, and half of the time I'm not sure what feelings they want to convey. Serenity? Eeriness? It all sounds pretty much the same. The ghostly vocals are a quality element just as they were on previous albums, but, from the lyrics that I can pick out, they don't seem to tell anything all that profound.

Baffled by my lack of interest in the album, I go to listen to it all again. And again. Yet, my opinion doesn't change all that much. Most of Cursed sounds like a watered-down version of early Black Sabbath, and the last song even directly references them with the chorus “children of the grave, you will not be saved”. Sure, Watchman’s musicianship here is pleasant enough to listen to as background music, but it lacks that bite to make it truly engaging. It's mostly quite average stoner doom, with only the opening track “Too Late To Pray” as a true highlight for me.

After Doom Of Babylon and The End Of All Flesh, which offered excellently crafted songs of groovy riffs and unnerving ambience, Cursed feels pretty disappointing. There's simply a staggering quality difference between the tame tunes of Cursed and the evil, lumbering heaviness of Doom Of Babylon’s “Behold A Pale Horse” or The End Of All Flesh’s “Pour Out The Vials”. Now, if you're coming into Cursed without having heard Watchman’s previous work, I expect you'll find that the music here is capable and fairly enjoyable, yet I doubt you'll find anything that'll blow your mind. In the end, Cursed gets the job done but nothing more than that, providing standard stoner doom that sadly lacks memorability.






Written on 03.04.2024 by The sign of good music is the ability to both convey and trigger emotion.


Comments

Comments: 4   Visited by: 12 users
07.04.2024 - 21:17
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Nice work man, will check it out
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I stand whit Ukraine and Israel. They have right to defend own citizens.

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''
apos;'
[image]
I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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07.04.2024 - 21:19
Rating: 6
F3ynman2000
Nocturnal Bro
contributor
Written by Bad English on 07.04.2024 at 21:17

Nice work man, will check it out

I'll be happy if you find enjoyment in it, but I prefered their previous album. You should also definitely check out their previous album if you haven't already.
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14.04.2024 - 00:35
Rating: 5
Guib
Thrash Talker
I really couldn't get into this at all. I absolutely agree that this album feels aimless at times and nothing really catches my attention leaving this effort unengaging at best. It's not "bad" but it's mostly boring.

Though you say you enjoyed their first one? I might check it out but just because you said so, this one definitely doesn't make me want to dig further into the band truth be told.
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- Headbanging with mostly clogged arteries to that stuff -
Guib's List Of Essential Albums
- Also Thrash Paradise
Thrash Here
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14.04.2024 - 01:08
Rating: 6
F3ynman2000
Nocturnal Bro
contributor
Written by Guib on 14.04.2024 at 00:35

I really couldn't get into this at all. I absolutely agree that this album feels aimless at times and nothing really catches my attention leaving this effort unengaging at best. It's not "bad" but it's mostly boring.

Though you say you enjoyed their first one? I might check it out but just because you said so, this one definitely doesn't make me want to dig further into the band truth be told.

Yeah check out their first two. They're much better than this one for some reason
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