Word from deepest darkest Fermanagh has been coming the way of BelfastMetalheadsReunited for some time of some fine acts emerging from that water-logged county. Thanks to Rokpix Colin Patterson and Ciara we were tipped off about The Watch. Colin managed to smuggle a copy of an early demo past customs at the Fermanagh/Tryone border...and it has been on the decks of doom for some time.
Put simply are a traditional classic rock act, with more than a (not unwelcome) whiff of New Wave of British Heavy Metal clinging around their riffs. Shades of Diamond Head, Witchfynde and, whisper it softly, Saxon cast welcome dark and shade about The Watch.
Riffs come from the school of Maiden and the afore-mentioned Diamond Head, and solos are paced well within structures that are exhilirating, but on a few occassions predictable.
Cloak and Dagger kicks off with energy and pace, before the Sweet Savage style riffing of Witch Among Us. But it is Dearg Doom's Celtic tinged riffing and the pace of Under a Howling Moon that stand out.
The one major gripe is lyrically. Somehow it rings a little forced. Dio, Dragonforce got away with it, Manowar did for a while, but it if The Watch want to stand up and be seen in a scene crowded with witches and warlocks, daggers and venom, spirits and battlecries, then more thought and better phrasing of lyrics will raise their game.
Overall, as mentioned this has been on regular rotation on the Decks of Doom - no better commendation needed. Hope the next demo shows steady improvement, then a surefire slot on Metal Hammer's Battle Metal CDs is guaranteed.