There’s something about this band, The Night Watch, that that screams uniqueness. The first thing that attracted me to this band was the band’s moniker, referring to the classic King Crimson song “The Night Watch” but it was the stellar songwriting and instrumentation that kept me interested.
The Night Watch infuse heavy, raw guitars by Nathanael Larochette, with melodic violin, perfectly performed by Evan Runge and gentle acoustic guitar interludes for a wonderful sound. Add to that the beautifully flowing and technically proficient bass lines of Matthew Cowan and the booming drums of Daniel Mollema and you have a seriously well developed progressive rock band. The band will tell you that they are a progressive metal band but the feeling of the music reminds me more of classic prog with a heavy post metal sound.
The album starts off with an 11 minute journey of a song using all of their signature traits. The bass lines in the acoustic sections of the opener “Land Ho!” are mesmerizing. “Mendoza”, song two, adds some speed to the mix. Following “Medoza” is “The Summit (Part I)” which alternates between gentle passages and some very technical heavy guitar and odd time signatures from drummer Daniel Mollema.
“Dance of the Mountain People” has some fantastic percussions that accompany a ‘jazz-meets-Spanish classical music’ type song that conjures up 15th century Spanish folk music. For a moment there I thought I was on a hill near a castle. The song includes an a cappella vocal section that pops up out of nowhere, but it works… somehow. The rest of the album continues in perfect fluidity and masterful perfection with the songs “Shamaniac”, “Telling Brow and Tongue Root”, “The Summit (Part II)” and the beautifully morose “Currents”, all demonstrating the bands abilities to write great folk prog songs while keeping their own style and never imitating anyone else.
It’s very difficult to describe this band so I suggest that you go to their Bandcamp page and listen for yourself. But don’t limit yourself to this fantastic new album, start at the beginning with their self-titled 2013 release and continue with 2016’s “Boundaries” and you will experience the wonderful progression of how they got to this place in time and how important bands like The Night Watch are to progressive music. In an umbrella genre like progressive rock, encompassing thousands of bands, it’s important to have those bands that stick out from the crowd and keep our music afloat. Do yourself a favor and check out one of the best modern prog bands out right now, The Night Watch.
1. Land Ho!
3. The Summit (Part I)
4. Dance of the Mountain People
6. Telling Brow and Tongue Root
7. The Summit (Part II)
Release Date: November 15, 2019
Label: Anamnesis Arts