Article By: Leanne Ridgeway
The Watchers have shared some updates to their ‘Sabbath Highway’ Tour coming this month. The tour is in support of their 2016 Sabbath Highway EP, which I did a review on back in December and updated now for RiffRelevant.com…
If you were already planning to hit one of their shows, have no fear, many dates are the same. This includes The Watchers‘ appearance at this year’s Maryland Doom Fest. You can find all the Sabbath Highway tour dates below the review – in case you’re unable to make it to see their MD Doom Fest 2017 appearance. (You really should go, though… just sayin’. Click here to grab a ticket.)
There’s been news over the last few months about some new recording and a full-length release coming in the near future.
The Watchers’ début EP release, ‘Sabbath Highway’ was released November 4th (2016) through Ripple Music. What a tease into the future of this group, my lord… Tim Narducci (vocals), Jeremy Epp (guitar), Chris ‘Cornbread’ Lombardo (bass), and Carter Kennedy (drums) have themselves an almost overwhelmingly good set of songs here.
The first song off the EP is the title track, and while a title like ‘Sabbath Highway’ may send your imagination off to reminisce on those masters of doom-laden, brilliantly simplistic songwriting, this here be The Watchers’ trickery.
‘Sabbath Highway’ pays homage in title and theme, but it peels out of the gate with the horsepower of a 454 big-block and keeps that gas pedal floored for just over three minutes of muscle car-heavy rock. It’s immediately fast and forceful, guitar ripping riffs for days, bass pounding in to rattle the walls, and the drums just crush your soul.
Then Mr. Narducci starts singing. The man howls superbly in clean tones, with a piercing range. His vocal style truly aligns with the music emanating from Jeremy, Cornbread, and Carter. The quartet complements each other magnificently.
‘Requiem’ is the second song, an instrumental. For the first minute, I was brought back remembering the opening keys of an Iron Butterfly tune, then it went deeper, faster, and darker. It’s about as soft as ‘Sabbath Highway’ gets.
All five songs on this EP will satiate the meat lovers who crave huge slabs of sound and salty themes peppered into darkness. With titles including ‘Sabbath Highway’, ‘Call The Priest’, and ‘Just A Needle’, this record is not for weak ears. These are not songs of frolicking in fields of wildflowers. Unless those fields are at the road’s end and you find yourself a biker rally. That is unquestionably where I want to be, and this is certainly a band that could enthrall that wild crowd.
The Watchers are a formidable four-man crew of talent. You may know their names from other projects and bands. An alliance of established artists hailing from the San Francisco Bay area, gathering their worldwide resume points from some significantly weighty bands. Tim and Cornbread both hail from Spiral Arms and White Witch Canyon; Jeremy is previously with Black Gates and Venting Machine, and Carter comes by way of Orchid.
While that may be impressive trivia for those requiring musicians with street cred, I’m not concerned with where they came from. The Watchers are brand new on the road trip to heavy and their ‘Sabbath Highway’ EP is pumped full of rocket fuel for only a maiden goddamned voyage.
Ripple Music’s signing of The Watchers and their releasing of the ‘Sabbath Highway’ EP as a mere introduction to the group is a brilliant move, in my opinion. It’s a tease, albeit a fantastic one and by all accounts is leaving every listener salivating for more. I didn’t want this record to end, it has been – and will be – spinning regularly on my turntable.
There are mentions of writing and studio time set for early in 2017. Until then, I advise you get this record now. I’ll continue twirling ‘Sabbath Highway’ and waiting eagerly for news of The Watchers’ full-length release.
Author’s Note – As the author, this updated review is now included here on my own site; the original first published in December 2016, on DoomedandStoned.
‘Sabbath Highway Tour’ Dates:
June 17 • Reno, NV • Jub Jubs
June 18 • Salt Lake City, UT • Club X
June 19 • Ft. Collins, CO • SurfSide 7
June 20 • Lawrence, KS • Replay Lounge
June 21 • Chicago, IL • Reggies
June 22 • South Bend, IN • Smiths Downtown
June 23 • Wapakoneta, OH • RTE 33 Rhythm/Brews
June 24 • Frederick, MD • Cafe 611 (Maryland Doom Fest)
June 26 • Tulsa, OK • Blackbird on Pearl
June 27 • San Antonio, TX • Limelight
June 28 • Austin, TX • The Lost Well
June 29 • Las Cruces, NM • EL Patio Bar