Elotheos - Watchmen Don't Sleep, So Why Should We?
Record Label: Blue Duck Records
Release Date: October 14, 2008
Watchmen Don't Sleep, So Why Should We is Elotheos' debut album. For those that have never heard of them, Elotheos is a progressive rock band that encompasses a slight bit of post-hardcore styling. It seems like their overall approach should work well. They've got everything that they need, including ambitious guitar work and high, but good, clean vocals. However, there's just something about Watchmen Don't Sleep, So Why Should We? that never really takes off.
"Quicksand" is Elotheos displaying their more than suitable guitarists. They throw out both great riffs and some quick technical work in this two-and-a-half-minute introduction. The next track jumps into what the rest of Watchmen sounds like. It's dominated by clean vocals, but also contains plenty of screaming. The guitarists are what really hold this track together, and they're what keep it driving and from lapsing into a flat track. I think one of the biggest nails holding the record down are the tracks that drag on. There isn't a track under three-and-a-half minutes, and most of them hold on until four, five, or even six minutes have passed. Each of the songs held my attention for a little while, but after a while, it all just kind of blends together.
One of the things that doesn't really help this is the almost predictable, and seemingly necessary, breakdown in each track. Most of the tracks really don't need them, and it would be best if they'd just stuck with the progressive sound that works for them. The most notable example of this is the in the track "Watchmen," where it seems like they throw in a superfluous breakdown just to keep attention when the vocalists delivery was doing that just fine. The scattered screaming actually adds to the tracks, it's just the breakdowns that seem kind of forced and detract from the songs' flow. They've struck a great balance between aggression and melody, and it works well for them. However, as I said before, with the fairly straightforward structuring and styling, the tracks tend to blend together and become a little bland.
While Elotheos has nailed quite a few things on their debut album, they've been unable to convince me that there's really a place for them among the numbers of progressive rock bands we have doing the same thing. Their guitar work and vocals are both great, but as far as structuring, styling, and originality go, they've failed managed to make too large of an impression on me. Watchmen Don't Sleep, So Why Should We? is, for the most part, a solid release; however, it's not one that's going to be sticking with me for any length of time.