Prologue EP

Written by: PP on 14/01/2010 17:17:50

Pisa, Italy-based Watzlawick are named after Paul Watzlawick, an Austrian-American psychologist and philosopher, an influential figure at the Palo Alto mental research institute in California. The story doesn't tell why, or what kind of influence Mr Watzlawick has had on the sound and lyrics of these guys, so lets just take it in as an interesting fact, although the spoken word sample at the beginning of "Embrace" does sound insane enough to fit with that theme. The four piece specializes in similar experimental progressive rock as Tool, except nowhere near as complex and challenging, perhaps also bringing in some Korea, Deftones, and even Amplifier influence as well.

"Prologue EP" certainly opens like a Tool record with vocalist Cantini sounding near-identical to James Maynard Keenan on "Egoism", but soon the music goes into heavy-mode with some crushing experimental guitars that would've felt somewhat out of place on a Tool record. The two strongest tracks on the record are "Embrace" and "Red Giant". The former one features lots of effects, even a short piano passage, and soaring vocal melodies that often transcend into full-blast screaming, which are supported by crashing guitars all-around. The latter offers a smoother and softer approach, bringing into mind a faster version of A Perfect Circle in places, but here too the guitars go into heavy groove-mode after a short while, and Cantini actually shifts into Matthew Bellamy-like high pitch squeals in a couple of passages.

Based on these two tracks alone, it'd be fair to say that Watzlawick have the right idea and are executing that idea with moderate success. The remainder of the tracks aren't bad either, so songwriting capability isn't Watzlawick's problem by any means. However, the production is horrible and annoying as hell, 'bubbly' in a strange way, because the volume especially on the vocals isn't fixed so it constantly fades in and out, causing a headache to any listener. At first I thought my copy of the CD was faulty, or that my rip-to-mp3 software had caused the error somehow, but then I noticed another review of the record which said exactly the same thing. Strangely enough, the effect isn't there on the Myspace songs (at least not so strongly), so maybe something has gone wrong in the mixing and mastering process. It's such a big shame, because it renders much of the CD unlistenable in my ears.


Download: Embrace, Red Giant
For the fans of: Tool, Amplifier, Deftones, Korea, A Perfect Circle, Boil
Listen: Myspace

Release date 01.01.2010

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