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Wishbone Ash - Argus CD (album) cover

ARGUS

Wishbone Ash

 

Prog Related

4.23 | 647 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

baz91
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Before diving into describing this album, let me tell how I came across this opus. Last year I attended the High Voltage festival in London, to see acts like ELP and Transatlantic. Also on the bill were Martin Turner's Wishbone Ash (a variant of the original group) and the poster revealed that they would be playing Argus in its entirity. Seeing as I only needed to purchase one album to be able to enjoy this band live, I bought the special edition of Argus a few months before going to the festival.

I'd also seen that it had very positive reviews from this website, so I was rather surprised when I found very little that could be described as progressive within this album. The first song, Time Was is just short of 10 minutes in length, and is a tour de force of guitars, but the endless guitar solos don't spell progressive for me. This just seems like a very arty form of classic rock. Sometimes the music is fantastic, my favourite track being Sometime World. After 3 minutes the song erupts into very fast paced guitars, and whilst being quite repetitive, it definitely holds up by sounding fantastic.

Blowin' Free just annoys me. This band is not American, and should not have pretended to be. The King Will Come has a great main riff that is very easy to get into. A lot of people may say Leaf and Stream is an extremely beautiful track, but it's just a bit dull really, and by this point in the album you're probably fed up of hearing guitars all the time.

Warrior is one to wake you up though. This one sounds the most progressive as the song evolves throughout it's 6 minute length, eventually reaching the chorus right at the end of the song. Throw Down The Sword is the final track, and is no more than a really good classic rock tune.

I do enjoy moments of this album, but calling this music progressive rock is not right. I do agree that progressive rock is a very broad genre, but people who like Yes and Genesis and King Crimson will surely agree that this music is too far removed from the natural sound of prog, ie has too much of a commercial sound. Although it's unfair to say this about a group who had TWO lead guitarists, the band really relies too heavily on guitar solos in their music. Though by themselves they sound fantastic, Wishbone Ash truly prove that you can have too much of a good thing, as there is another guitar solo every 60 seconds. Compare this example to the guitar solo on Genesis' 'The Knife'. This classic solo is the only one in the song (if not the only one in Trespass itself) and has a more structured feel. As a result it stands out far more, and is a real 'air guitar' moment for fans of Genesis.

I give this album 3 stars out of 5 because I have enjoyed the songs, but there is nothing special about them. As this is Wishbone Ash's most praised album, I don't think I'll be listening to any more from them.

baz91 | 3/5 |

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