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Argent - Ring Of Hands CD (album) cover

RING OF HANDS

Argent

 

Crossover Prog

3.22 | 37 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

bristolstc
5 stars Argent's self titled first album had been an exploration into a slightly different musical terrain than The Zombies, and that was both a plus and minus. While some songs had a bit of the Oddesey and Oracle magic others sounded commonplace. It was a good, but not great album with a few great moments. Ring Of Hands was the first album of Argent's to really find a comfortable place between the wondrous melodies and vocal work of The Zombies (my favourite band perhaps from that era) and a heavier harder rocking sound. The songs are great, with several extremely impressive solos from Rod Argent in the longer tracks and controlled interplay between the group in others. The Cream influences in the vocals that were there on the first album are still here, but they've matured into something more individualistic. I love Argent, and I would have to also say this is their best album. The reason why it is there best isn't easy to put into words, yet isn't pure nostalgia on my part either. Russ Ballard never was a great guitar player, but when it came to a great voice and great songs he delivered! He and Argent's collaborations with fellow Zombie Chris White side by side with each other are brilliant. There's Russ's harder edge and Rod's melodic, emotional, even spiritual approach. "Celebration" is a beautiful song with Russ sounding great with his lead vocal and really fine harmonies. Also, "Pleasure" "Rejoice" and "Lothlorien" are the best songs Argent ever came up with, full of great melodies, pounding swirling organ, and harmony vocals that are astonishingly professional, but that will come as no surprise to anyone who listened to The Zombies. Every track here tries something different and suceeds, without being too all over the map. Ring Of Hands was the first album to successfully create Argent's own unique sound, but it also was an album of uplifting melodies in a time when uplifting music needed to be made. Follow up albums veered from the brilliant (In Deep) to the hodgepodgy (All Together Now) to the fantastic fusion prog of Circus, but Ring Of Hands is the best Argent album. I like some of the bluesy songs on here like "Sweet Mary" and I feel that creatively speaking Argent and White were at their best around this period, also composing great songs for the silver voiced Colin Blunstone, whom in case you didn't know is the greatest singer in rock and had fronted The Zombies. Blunstone isn't here, but the vocals are good anyway and it's still a masterpiece, their best since Oddesey and Oracle.
| 5/5 |

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