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Argos - Argos CD (album) cover





3.54 | 68 ratings

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4 stars This album sounds rounded like they were playing together for a longer period. And it matches at least for two of them. Robert Gozon and Thomas Klarman are knowing each other for several years now starting with the symphonic styled band SUPERDRAMA. Chance brought it about that drummer Ulf Jacobs discovered the band's myspace site and made contact to the others. Soon they started to record this production which was released by French label Musea at the turn of the year 2008/2009.

This means - if you are searching for predecessor albums you will fail - it's ARGOS' debut in particular which shows them on a promising way. They have put together a melange of influences from different genres (not only prog). It's obvious: the members don't make a secret of their favourites - this is imagined as a homage I assume. The song title Young Persons Guide To Argos for example is to treat literally indeed - a funny piece where the lyrics are nearly only comprising a numeration of canterbury artists respectively bands.

The whole album is divided in three parts - to say epics would probably also be accurate. The songs are spiked with wonderful diverse keyboard elements provided by Thomas Klarmann and Robert Gozon. Both also alternate on guitar, bass and vocals. Drummer Ulf Jacobs plays sensitive, accentuated, fitting perfectly. 'Nursed by Giants' comes with five symphonic oriented songs full of vintage keyboards (mellotron, organ, piano) plus skillful arrangements and nice melodies. And it's nearly confusing - on A Name in the Sand Robert Gozon's voice appears almost equally matching to Richard Sinclair. Genesis references with mellotron contribution all over are unmistakeable on Killer (fine percussion adds) and the complex The King of Ghosts with polyphonic vocals.

Third song Black Cat is probably the most charming one played in a happy mood. Guitar, bass and even vocals are performed in parallel - very melodic - I really like the solo excursions of the electric guitar - definitely my highlight! The neo progressive tinged Core Images marks the transition to the second album partition with some Peter Hammill variances. 'Canterbury Souls' - that speaks for itself. Here they manage a stylistical blend adding jazz and fusion too with the next four songs. Softly floating with flute like on the mellow The Hat Goes North where the song title is a pun of course. Vocals are stepping back. Ten Fingers Overboard is grooving a lot - maybe describable as a mix of Crusaders and Caravan ingredients.

'From Liverpool To Outer Space' is expressing the next change to some Beatles oriented moments with piano. Meet the Humans comes very special because some nearly contradictory styles are mixed up. Starting with a classical spinet theme they are attaching the song with a drum&bass/breakbeat alike rhythm and some spheric keyboard/synth elements later. Can this work ever? I would say yes - although this is not my preferred track. This section marks a turning away from seventies retro to modern electronic sounds and loops. Somewhat experimental in any case - reworking german composer Richard Wagner to an electronical setting as another example.

A really interesting new discovery where the first section 'Nursed by Giants' is my personal favourite. In spite of many references to their paragons this album is not a simple rehash at all. If you like to listen to a well performed cross section of music styles you should climb aboard.

Rivertree | 4/5 |


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