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ARGOS

Neo-Prog • Germany


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Argos picture
Argos biography
Formed in 2005 in Mainz, Germany

German act ARGOS initially started out as a solo project by multi-instrumentalist and composer Thomas Klarmann, an experienced musician who started out in prog and fusion bands in the 70's. He abandoned the progressive part of the music scene more and more as time went by though, concentrating on jazz, but when he discovered the new progressive movement in the mid 90's spearheaded by acts like Flower Kings and Spock's Beard, the passion for making and performing progressive music returned as well.

A chance meeting with Robert Gozon eventually lead to the formation of Superdrama, a four man strong band still active.

Klarmann wished to explore a broader style of music than what he could do in this band though, and started composing songs for a solo project in 2005. Gozon soon got involved though, and they set up a MySpace page where those interested in the project could listen to the material they produced.

One day Ulf Jacobs, a passionate lover of progressive music as well as a skilled drummer and composer, came across the page. he found the music highly compelling and contacted the band, offering his services.

The solo project, now expanded to a trio, started recording songs soon after, and were signed to French label Musea Records in 2008. Their self-titled debut album was issued in January 2009

In April 2010 Musea released the new ARGOS album called 'Circles'. They developed to a four piece crew with Rico Florczak added on guitar. The band is also part of a Flower Kings Tribute published by Musea in cooperation with the Colossus magazine


WHY IS THIS BAND LISTED AT PROGARCHIVES:
German act Argos explores a musical landscape heavily influenced by vintage symphonic progressive rock; with leanings towards folk, jazz and pop - with contemporary musical details as the last but vital ingredient. The band was suggested to and approved for inclusion by the Neo-Progressive team.

ARGOS Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy ARGOS Music


Unidentified Dying ObjectsUnidentified Dying Objects
Bad Elephant 2018
$13.21
$16.47 (used)
Cruel SymmetryCruel Symmetry
CD Baby 2016
$9.99
$16.99 (used)
Seasonal AffairSeasonal Affair
CD Baby 2015
$16.93
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ARGOS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ARGOS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.54 | 61 ratings
Argos
2009
3.75 | 97 ratings
Circles
2010
3.70 | 69 ratings
Cruel Symmetry
2012
3.62 | 79 ratings
A Seasonal Affair
2015
3.86 | 95 ratings
Unidentified Dying Objects
2018

ARGOS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ARGOS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ARGOS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ARGOS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

ARGOS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Unidentified Dying Objects by ARGOS album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.86 | 95 ratings

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Unidentified Dying Objects
Argos Neo-Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars It wouldn't be enough for German band Argos, formed by multi-instrumentalist Thomas Klarmann almost fifteen years ago, to merely ape the classic Seventies Genesis formula that so many symphonic and Neo Prog acts do. Argos go those extra steps further by properly embracing the storytelling flair and rich characters present in the words of that legendary group, and they're also not afraid to get a little loopy! A truly schizophrenic approach is laced to so much of their fifth album, 2018's `Unidentified Dying Objects', and the group take a retro symphonic sound and firmly root it in a modern setting (with a large dose of Canterbury jazz and inspiration from Van der Graaf Generator), with a wide range of rich vocal-driven passages in perfect unison with colourful instrumental journeys.

Opener `The Hunters Last Stand' unveils plenty of drama and urgency throughout its evocative storytelling lyrics, delivered with charismatic effect by way of Robert Gozon's commanding Peter Hammill/Peter Gabriel-esque croon. The band apply no shortage of reprising Hammond organ purrs and crisp electric guitar themes throughout, and The Tangent's keyboard player extraordinaire Andy Tillison plys slathers on all sorts of synth colour in some extended up-tempo instrumental sprints in the latter half. The infectious `Parade of Unpainted Dreams' has a sprightly Caravan-like spring in its playful step, a cheerful Canterbury-esque breeziness to its sparkling electric piano and lightly chugging guitars, and `Beneath The Valley Of Sleep' adds darker jazz textures and uneasy slinking grooves to its dream-like words.

There's a gently unnerving kookiness to `The Days Of Perky Pat' that lyrically captures the same comical imagery with darker edges as something like Genesis' `Return of the Giant Hogweed', and `Shockheaded Peter' has a similarly clipping spring in its step to the title track of their `A Trick of the Tail' LP from '76 without being simple imitation `Still Fighting Gravity' is predominantly an instrumental (save for a brief surreal vocal passage in the final moments) of creaky Mellotron, tastily gnarling guitars and fancy flute, and some electric piano tinkling, lively sax and fuzzy organs call to mind the Soft Machine. `Elsewhere' is then an elegant yet insistent ballad that will greatly appeal to fans of crossover-symph band Big Big Train.

Most prog albums should have a lengthy epic, and the near-nineteen minute, eight-part `When The Tide Comes In' not only doesn't disappoint. It's a broad mix of doomed gothic sophistication, reflective piano breaks, wild guitar aggression of heavier churning bursts and tranquil jazz interludes, and a science-fiction-themed deadly serious narration throughout is hilariously comedic! But it's the equally whimsical and dirty sax soloing, and Robert's embracing of his Hammill-esque demented superior snarl that will greatly appeal to Van der Graaf Generator fans - and miraculously the piece holds together with a cohesion and consistent flow.

It's perhaps not as instantly accessible as a great many parts of their superb previous disc `A Seasonal Affair', but that more obvious and immediately melodic approach has been replaced by a hugely satisfying depth, a complexity to little details and a daring unpredictability, making the album truly a case of musical split-personality! Add in alluring vocals, diverse instrumentation from some supremely skilled musicians and ambitious arrangements, and everything together contributes to `Unidentified Dying Objects' being Argos' defining musical masterwork to date.

Four stars - and bonus points for Bernd Webler's stunning artwork.

 Unidentified Dying Objects by ARGOS album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.86 | 95 ratings

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Unidentified Dying Objects
Argos Neo-Prog

Review by javajeff

4 stars This is a fantastic release that stands the test of time. The more I listen to it, the better it gets. Any fan of Van Der Graaf Generator should pick this up immediately as it is loaded with Hammillisms (not a real word), and very familiar vocals and phrasing. There are lighter moments that feel Canterbury at times like on Parade of Unpainted Dreams, but most of the albums feels eclectic or symphonic on the prog side of things. Unidentified Dying Objects has many layers to unravel, and there are several amazing moments. This is the most complete Argos release to date, and a worthy addition to any progressive rock collection.
 Unidentified Dying Objects by ARGOS album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.86 | 95 ratings

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Unidentified Dying Objects
Argos Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars When I first typed in the album title I wrote 'Unidentified Frying Objects' by accident, but thought it didn't really look right which is a shame, as that additional element of humour would have fitted in really well with an album that in many ways is quintessentially English. The band was originally conceived as a solo project by Thomas Klarmann, whose passion for progressive music was reignited on discovering the new progressive movement in the 1990s spearheaded by acts such Spock's Beard and The Flower Kings. In partnership with vocalist and keyboards player Robert Gozon, Superdrama was formed, with drummer Ulf Jacobs offering his services after hearing the duo's work on Myspace. The new trio, now called Argos, signed to Musea in 2008, releasing their eponymous debut album the following years

Their second album 'Circles' (2010) added guitarist and producer Rico Florczak to expand their sound, followed by 'Cruel Symmetry' in 2012, and the highly-acclaimed 'A Seasonal Affair' (2015) featuring guest talents Andy Tillison and Marek Arnold. The band also began performing live, including making a much-lauded appearance at the Summer's End festival in 2014. Both Andy and Marek are back on this album as guests, along with Linus K'se (alto saxophone) and Johannes Steinbronn (trumpet). The guests bring in additional textures and styles into an album which in many ways is a quite unique blend of Canterbury scene influences and contemporary progressive rock. In some ways it is as of classic Caravan is mixing it up with 'Trespass'- era Genesis, but then bringing in Spock's Beard and IQ. Although I felt that their last album was somewhat disjointed and forced, this has a far easier flow to it, almost as if with their fifth studio album they have decided to relax into what they are doing, and the album is all the better for it. Modern, with a very retro twist indeed, this album is mixing together elements and styles from the prog scene decades apart, and shows just what can be achieved when it is done with care.

 Unidentified Dying Objects by ARGOS album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.86 | 95 ratings

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Unidentified Dying Objects
Argos Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The last Argos album I experienced was Circles, a solid listen on which the band demonstrated a mastery of a diverse range of progressive sounds. On Unidentified Dying Objects, however, they have completed an evolution in a particular direction. On the one hand, it's a highly Genesis-imitating direction which we've heard before - but on the plus side they're really, really good at it, showing a knack for the particular theatrical style of Genesis which few imitators have been able to muster. Drawing on a wide range of subject matter, the band take us on a journey which finds Thomas Klarmann's contributions on vocals and flute and his synth playing (along with fellow keyboardist Thilo Brauss) to be especially important.
 Unidentified Dying Objects by ARGOS album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.86 | 95 ratings

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Unidentified Dying Objects
Argos Neo-Prog

Review by Squire Jaco

4 stars For a prog band from Germany, ARGOS sounds awfully British. Or wonderfully British...

This is one of my favorite bands of the modern prog era, consistently producing high-quality progressive albums full of emotion, great storytelling, a high level of musicianship all around, and inventive melodies. The CD package for "Unidentified Dying Objects" also contains great artwork, which is another consistent trait of their albums.

I think I still rate their previous album "A Seasonal Affair" just slightly better than this one. But if you can imagine VDGG playing songs with similitudes to Genesis, Gentle Giant and later-period Beatles(!) in an occasionally Canterbury-ish way, you'll get a bit of an idea of how this album sounds overall. The lead singer has a voice very similar to Peter Hammill, but avoids the strained vocals that Hammill occasionally visits. The drums are active and interesting without being overpowering; the keyboards are great, and the frequent use of organ lends itself to the VDGG comparisons again; you get plenty of meaty bass playing in the style that Chris Squire pioneered; some nice tastes of flute, sax and trumpet sprinkled in; but you can't (or I can't) have a truly great prog album without really fine guitar playing, and it is absolutely outstanding on this album.

This band does not have a bad album in their catalog. I daresay they've never recorded any bad songs. "Unidentified Dying Objects" is one more great addition to their oeuvre.

I'm going 4.5 stars on this one.

 A Seasonal Affair by ARGOS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.62 | 79 ratings

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A Seasonal Affair
Argos Neo-Prog

Review by maryes

4 stars In my opinion the fourth album from ARGOS "A Seasonal Affair" is their best work. In fact none of their previous albums "had fallen" my taste (my maximum quotation would have been 3 stars ) , I know this is a controversy, once that all of them are musically very seemed. Maybe is due which in this one the "construction" of all tracks sounds more pleasant to me . In the previous albums - in spite the same influences GENESIS , GENTLE GIANT a bit of VDGG - the audition make me little bored. The album have some very good moments as for instance track 2 "Divergence" with a "meeting" of GG with hard rock beat. Track 5 "Lifeboats" and his "bucolic" opening theme and some GENESIS "pinch" (mainly in vocals). Track 4 "Siler and Gold" another GG strongly influence and some FRIPP's guitar style ( one of these starting 0:30 sec and again at 1 min 56 sec ) . The best track in my opinion is track 6 "Not in Ths Picture" with a graceful introduction with acoustic guitar and banjo ( or something like that) some mellotron moments a bluegrass theme and great arrangements for all instruments, in sume a perfect track !!! My rate is 4 stars !!!
 A Seasonal Affair by ARGOS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.62 | 79 ratings

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A Seasonal Affair
Argos Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars Argos are a German quartet, who released their debut back in 2009 and this is the fourth. They have also brought in a few guest musicians, including Andy Tillison (PO90, The Tangent and others), so that they have three different keyboard players involved, but strangely this isn't an overtly keyboard based album. What this is, is something that is looking back into the Canterbury scene, but with an Eighties twist to it, as opposed to going back into Seventies or Sixties, which can create some almost jarring counterpoints at times. 'Divergence' reminds me of Thomas Dolby every time I play it, and I'm sure that's not the intention, as the latter part of the song is nothing like the former and when Thomas Klarmann repeatedly sings line 'How did it come to this?' I found myself agreeing with him and asking myself the same question.

This isn't a bad album though, far from it, but I did find it somewhat disjointed, and it is when they let the music naturally flow in more relaxed manner that they come into their own. It is almost as if they were trying too hard, and the result is something that is forced and therefore not as easy and interesting to listen to as it could be. The use of saxophone is inspired (care of guest Marek Arnold (Toxic Smile, United Progressive Fraternity)), as the flute from Thomas, yet while there are some wonderful moments on here, there isn't enough for me to keep revisiting it.

 A Seasonal Affair by ARGOS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.62 | 79 ratings

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A Seasonal Affair
Argos Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars German band ARGOS can trace its history back to 2005, initially a two-man project that has grown into a trio and then a full quartet over the years that have passed since then, releasing a new album every other year or so ever since they released their self-titled debut album back in 2009. "A Seasonal Affair" is their fourth studio production, and was released through the German label Progressive Promotion Records in 2015.

For me, Argos is a band I associate with the Canterbury Scene. They may not be a purebred Canterbury band in terms of all aspects of their material, at least not in the ears of those who subscribe to the notion that this scene lasted from 1970 until 1975, but if you tend to enjoy bands exploring material inspired by that movement, then Argos is a band that merits a check. For this latest album of theirs I'd suggest that it might be an advantage to have a soft spot for the likes of Peter Hammill and Van der Graaf Generator as well.

 A Seasonal Affair by ARGOS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.62 | 79 ratings

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A Seasonal Affair
Argos Neo-Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars German band Argos have delivered four albums since forming out of a solo project begun by multi- instrumentalist Thomas Klarmann in 2008, and their latest `A Seasonal Affair' is a standout release in 2015. They present a mix of symphonic prog, 80's Neo Prog, New Wave elements, folk, jazz and even dark theatrical drama. Despite the Neo Prog tag, this is hardly some slavish recreation of the likes of Marillion, Genesis, I.Q, with many contemporary and modern elements worked in, and a strong emphasis is placed on Robert Gozon's distinctive voice, which occasionally calls to mind not only Peter Hammill and Fish, but the second Arena vocalist Paul Wrightson who featured on their `Pride' and `The Visitor' in a few moments as well.

`Vanishing' makes for a mysterious opener, with Gozon's raspy croon, gothic piano trickles and a mix of twitchy programmed and Ulf jacob's skittering live drumming. A definite 80's poppier Neo Prog flavour permeates `Divergence' with its boisterous chorus chant that wouldn't have sounded out of place on those early Twelfth Night albums and no shortage of Moog soloing, and the `How did it come to this?' finale is lovely. `Silver and Gold' drifts into slinky grooving 80's New Wave pop with tasty scratchy Mellotron slices, the symphonic schizophrenia of `Lifeboats' channels both the vulnerability of Fish-era Marillion with an overwrought Hammill-esque wail, and the multi-part twelve minute suite `Not in This Picture' combines acoustic pastoral moods with Big Big Train-like soft harmonies and endless instrumental interplay.

The title track `A Seasonal Affair' marries sombre piano and flute with romantic Camel-like guitar/synth bursts, a gothic crooned vocal and a dreamy `A Trick of the Tail'-era Genesis outro. `Forbidden City' is a tasteful lightly jazzy instrumental, glistening with electric piano, quirky synth trills and fluid drumming with murmuring bass weaving in and out, and just a few hints of the Canterbury sound bands in Thomas Klarmann's flute. Melancholic closer `Stormland' closes the album in gloomy fashion with spectral organ drones and a grand guitar solo from Rico Florczak filled with power and genuine emotion.

But most special of all and deserving of mention all its own is the lovely ballad `Silent Corner'. A gorgeous mix of Thomas' drifting flute and restrained saxophone courtesy of United Progressive Fraternity musician Marek Arnold, delicate acoustic guitar and electric piano tiptoes, and the soothing chorus and harmonies throughout could have easily fit on Big Big Train's last few albums. It offers plenty of crossover appeal, and it easily one of the best melodic moments to appear on a prog album in 2015.

The Tangent's Andy Tillison (who actually contributes some keyboards on this disk) rates this album very highly, and it's not hard to see why it would appeal to him. Like with The Tangent, Argos places a distinctive vocalist with great character in his voice front and centre in the music, with strong melodies, a wondrous mix of keyboard variety and brief jazzy diversions all coming together. `A Seasonal Affair' is a very subtle grower, and modern Neo albums don't come much finer than this, nor offer as much variety with the style as Argos do here. It's an album that has kind of flown a little under the radar and is in need of some more praise and attention, by a highly skilled band deserving of more acknowledgement.

Four stars - If you're a Neo fan, this should be an essential purchase!

 A Seasonal Affair by ARGOS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.62 | 79 ratings

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A Seasonal Affair
Argos Neo-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars While I loved the eclectic retro prog-pop of Argos' 2010 album, Circles, with this release the band seems to have committed even more footing to the sounds and stylings of the 1980s. There are a lot of pleasant, pleasing sounds and melodies but very little edge or discord--that is, the music and lyrics are missing the kind of angst and tension that sucks one in until there is either resolution or reprieve. All attempts at 'abrasive' sound or tension seem to miss the mark. And the blatant imitation of PETER HAMMILL are off-the-mark as well: too clean, too polished, too contrived, too computerized. Too bad! Such talent! Such a voice! But alas! Thomas Kalrmann is no Peter Hammill.

3.5 stars rated down for disappoint and lack of engaging tunes.

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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