Hey, I get it. 80s metal is a love or hate thing. Many IVM readers are fans primarily of pop-punk and related genres. The thought of dudes in make-up, hairspray and spandex just seems like a bad joke. But for those of us who were there, it comes with a heap of nostalgia, and occasionally some good tunes too!
It’s a shame, but Watchmen never quite got the level of attention that some of their peers received (Whitecross, Guardian, Holy Soldier), perhaps because of the brevity of their career. First introduced to fans with the track “Fear No Evil” from the Underground Metal compilation (which was itself taken from an independently-released demo cassette), the band went on to release only one full-length, Generation on Regency Records.
Whereas the demo material was classic heavy metal reminiscent of Ronnie James Dio’s material (think Holy Diver), their label release polished up the edges and featured a sound that rode the line between heavy metal and glam metal. It also features a setlist that was no less than one third ballads–a full 3 of the 9 tracks!
“Stand Strong” is a great example of what Watchmen were capable of–excellent riffing, a great vocal range, and biblically-solid lyrics. Fans of Bloodgood and Barren Cross should definitely take note.