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Argent - Ring Of Hands CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.31 | 77 ratings

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Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Argent were a terrific prog-rock ensemble created by his namesake Rod Argent, following the disbanding of his former group 'The Zombies' (responsible for the psych classic 'Odessey and Oracle'). It was Rod's wish to create music that was both musically challenging and accessible, combining strong, focused song-writing with a flair of talented playing and keyboard wizardry. 'Ring of Hands' delivers on this promise, wasting no time with the catchy rock-song 'Celebration', with it's Emerson-like Hammond flourishes and straight-to-the-point structure. 'Sweet Mary' on the other hand, is a standard blues tune that hundreds of bands were churning out at the time and offers nothing exciting - quite the low point of the album. 'Cast Your Spell Uranus' is picking up the quality again, with it's spacey intro and outro of electric-piano and reverbed guitar effects and features great organ playing. 'Lothlorien' is an incredible composition, and top choice for the representative MP3 for 'Argent', supplied here, featuring excellent riffing, great vocals throughout, and is something of a show-case for Rod's amazing, vibrant Hammond workouts. A strong classical feel is present during the first half's instrumental passage, shifting into more jazz territory for the latter half's passage. One of the best tracks ever written by Argent IMO and a solid taste of the more ambitious compositions that were to come on subsequent albums. One could always tell when listening to 'The Zombies' that the keyboard player was extremely talented.

Side 2 of the LP kicks in with a slight hard-rocking song, 'Chained', one of Russ Ballard's compositions, veering towards a simpler style and offering little in the way of prog, but is a concisely written track and enjoyable either way. 'Rejoice' is a pleasant song, book-ended with almost hymn-like organ passages and, stylistically, is similar to the song-writing when Rod was in The Zombies. 'Pleasure' contains another brilliant instrumental section with Rod 'pulling out all the stops' on the Hammond once again, and is a pleasure to listen to !! 'Sleep Won't Help Me' has a mysterious mood with some great drumming and well constructed bass-lines. A well-played electric-piano solo recalls Manzarek's work with The Doors, and is really great to hear. Lastly, 'Where are we Going Wrong' returns to a more standard formula, but has some good parts to it, especially the piano solo, but the vocal harmonies sound a little overdone and kind of let the song down. I really like the acoustic piano solo in this song though. Worthy of your investigation - 4 stars.

Tom Ozric | 4/5 |


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