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Argos - Cruel Symmetry CD (album) cover




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4 stars "Cruel Symmetry" is the third album by the german band ARGOS. They are german, but their sound is very british. Not only the words (Robert Gozon is an english teacher), the whole direction of the music, the themes and concept is pure british-progressive-rock. On "Argos", the 2009 debut, they made their statement to their influences: Genesis and Gentle Giant, the Canterbury-scene and the adult Beatles. The second album "Circles" (2010) was again a successful mixture of seventies spirit and temporary sound. The mellotron and analog synths meets "Cubase" and "Logic". And now in 2012 "Cruel Symmetry" is out. The cover (as always by Thomas Klarmann) is once more a perfect mirror to the spirit, themes, lyrics and music of the album. It starts with the title track, a 13 part- suite over more than 20 minutes (they never reached the 10-minute border before). This centerpiece has all the necessary ingredients: strong melodies, floating intrumental parts, combining themes, a textual concept and a hymnic conclusion. All the trademarks of the band were shown. The composition is sophisticated, arrangements are elaborated, the sound floats between a magic flute, prominent keyboards and guitars, opulent bass and drums and at least very individual vocols. The other six songs are on the same high level. The lyrics are well-thought-out and humorous ("flying Robert"; "his hat goes North"). The songwriting is elaborate and consequent, the music is thrilling and exciting all the time. A delicate album, tender in mood with a little heavy edge in "Caught within the light".
Report this review (#881719)
Posted Tuesday, December 25, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
3 stars Here we go ... German foursome ARGOS have presented the next surprise bag named 'Cruel Symmetry' at the end of the year 2012. Talented musicians they are without a doubt - simpatico and competent - still down-to-earth and always on the run while searching for new horizons. I'm following their paths with curiosity since the beginning in 2009, and never ever regretted having done this. Thomas Klarmann and Co. have recorded seven new songs where the epic title track is something extraordinary, you should know.

Made of many twists and turns this is THE wondrous cornucopia of impressions per se - folk, canterbury, jazz, symphonic, pop - all styles brewed to a compelling prog masterpiece which also comes damn grooving in between. Of course you won't miss the beloved mellotron and Robert Gozon's Hammill alike vocals are striking again. Then Paper Ship Dreams is presented with special ease - a charming Canterbury tune juggling with strong Caravan leanings. Featuring riffing guitars, powerful drums, the last two songs Caught Within The Light and Open Book show them back on a heavier edge then, leaning into the curve again so to say.

ARGOS celebrate and refine their own significant style with 'Cruel Symmetry' once again. Concerning the instrumental skills their best album probably, the song Possessions however might work better as a non vocal take in my humble opinion. This time the album's character mirrors more leanings to pop (Beatles) and folk than ever, I'm inclined to say. That means - if you are in agreement with some parts which are a bit light in weight, then nothing should withhold you. I recommend to concentrate on the compositional impact in general - and the multiple details so much the more - it's worth it. And this applies to every album they've produced so far - 3.5 stars.

Report this review (#913095)
Posted Tuesday, February 12, 2013 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The German band ARGOS started out as a two person venture back in 2005. Since then they finalized their line-up as a trio first and a quartet later, and released two full length albums through Musea Records, the most recent of these in 2010. Come 2012 and this foursome have now been added to the roster at the German label Progressive Promotion Records, which released their third album "Cruel Symmetry" towards the end of the year.

If you have an affection for British progressive rock of the 70's in general or find bands with a distinct sound and atmosphere inspired from artists of the symphonic and Canterbury tradition from that time and place to be of general interest, Argos is a band that merits inspection. Especially if you enjoy a band that sticks to a light toned and fairly whimsical overall sound and expression.

Report this review (#941270)
Posted Monday, April 8, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars 3.5 stars

Argos lates album from 2012 named Cruel symmetry is another worthy release from their catalogue. They continue to explore the eclectic/canterbury zone as on previous albums and the result is most of the time more then ok. Very polished album with lot to offers, very diverse in manner of composing. Nice instrumental arrangements with eclectic sound, electronic keyboards and awesome voice very much towards Peter Hammill fame. Intresting orchestrations, complicated yet melodic guitar lines, some excellent keyboards and crystal clear sound overall. Definetly the cherry on the cake is the opening title track clocking around 21 min with nice moods and warm vocals. Another highlight is for sure The Story Of Flying Robert. Caravan or National Health comes in mind as influences with some Floydian atmophere here and there. I really like the combination Argus offer here of aformentioned bands, it has a very good atmosphere and is quite intresting most of the time. 3.5 stars. Argos is definetly one of the best kept secrets Germany has today in prog rock scene. With 3 album released so far they definetly are among the most intresting bands around.

Report this review (#1040629)
Posted Saturday, September 21, 2013 | Review Permalink

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