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ARGOS

Neo-Prog • Germany


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Argos biography
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.

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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 | 46 ratings
Argos
2009
3.74 | 79 ratings
Circles
2010
3.69 | 53 ratings
Cruel Symmetry
2012
3.70 | 53 ratings
A Seasonal Affair
2015

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ARGOS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 A Seasonal Affair by ARGOS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.70 | 53 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.

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 A Seasonal Affair by ARGOS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.70 | 53 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!

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 A Seasonal Affair by ARGOS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.70 | 53 ratings

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A Seasonal Affair
Argos Neo-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock/Fusion/Canterbury Team

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.

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 Cruel Symmetry by ARGOS album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.69 | 53 ratings

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Cruel Symmetry
Argos Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Circles by ARGOS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.74 | 79 ratings

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Circles
Argos Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars By the time of their debut Argos had already entered the studio to prepare their second album.Some of the heavy guitar lift has been taken off the shoulders of Thomas Klarmann and Robert Gozon, as Rico Florczak, who started as a session musician helping the group, had now become a permanent member of Argos.The new album was entitled ''Circles'' and it was eventually released in 2010, again on Musea Records.

''Circles'' shows a turn towards the more classic Neo/Symphonic Prog fields compared to the ambitious but quite uneven debut of Argos and finally the band starts making some noise.There are still some evident influences by the music of PETER HAMMILL and VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR in couple of lyrical and jazzier tracks, like the nice ''Closed Circle'' with the beautiful sax work of Klarmann or the poetic and very atmospheric ''Custody of the Knave''.However the majority of the new effort is more in a Symphonic Rock vein ala YES, early KING CRIMSON and GENESIS with the band producing some quite great and clever orchestrations, based on tons of shifting moods and changing tempos.The heavy use of Mellotrons next to the multi-layered synth moves recall the best moments of THE TANGENT, THIEVE'S KITCHEN or SPOCK'S BEARD, while there are a fair dose of good flute work around these lines.The Canterbury edge of the debut is almost completely gone, giving its place to smooth, lush arrangements with impressive guitar melodies, dark organ runs and angular synthesizers, although the overall style remains deeply grounded in 70's British Prog.The tracks are not long, but there are so much going on in most of them that sound like complete epics.Dual and triple keyboard textures, dynamic guitar work and a solid rhythm section offer a rich and highly symphonic mood, that is only lowered by the rather mediocre vocals of the Argos' crew.

''Argos'' showed the potential, ''Circles'' makes this suspicion true.Dense Retro Prog with some great interplays and melodies, far from original or groundbreaking, but definitely rewarding.Recommended.

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 Argos by ARGOS album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.54 | 46 ratings

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Argos
Argos Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars for sure

One of the most pleasent discoveries I've made in last years in music is for sure german band Argos. Formed around 2005 as a trio and evolved on their second album from 2010 as quartet, Argos mange to capture my intrest big time. The selftitled album saw the light in 2009 released by Musea records. Argos is divided in 3 parts with each part having small pieces but some how conected between them as a real story. Each parts as the title of the part implies have different musical influences, first one is something between Genesis Gentle Giant and VDGG, the second part is a tribute to the canterbury sound not far from Hatfield and the North or Caravan and the third remind me of maybe The Beatles but more complicated for sure. 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. A pretty good debute, 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.

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 Cruel Symmetry by ARGOS album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.69 | 53 ratings

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Cruel Symmetry
Argos Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator 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.

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 Cruel Symmetry by ARGOS album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.69 | 53 ratings

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Cruel Symmetry
Argos Neo-Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & 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.

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 Cruel Symmetry by ARGOS album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.69 | 53 ratings

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Cruel Symmetry
Argos Neo-Prog

Review by progflame

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".

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 Circles by ARGOS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.74 | 79 ratings

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Circles
Argos Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars One of the most pleasent discoveries I've made in last years in music is for sure german band Argos. Formed around 2005 as a trio and evolved on their second album from 2010 as quartet, Argos mange to capture my intrest big time. Circles issued by Musea as I said in 2010 is a winner album from all sides. Very polished and diverse prog with various influences like from Hatfield and the North canterbury aproach with elements from Van Der Graaf Generator specialy on vocal department and here and there maybe in some parts King Crimson atmosphere - Circles definetly is a very strong album in today prog. Quite lenghty al;bum with some long tunes but aswell some shorter ones, but on each piece the musicians really shine. I like alot the voice of Robert Gozon, he fits here perfectly, very much similar in tone with Hammill, the voice is deep with plenty of jaw dropping moments, powerfull and catchy. The instrumental parts are aswell top notch, very eclectic in aproach with nice guitar and keyboards. The album has a very '70 atmosphere overall, but this is not a problem Argos manage to create something truly great and with inventive and quite original passages. From opening track Sammel Surium , the album sts the mood for all pieces to come, and I mean greatness and excellent arrangements. Two instrumental pieces are present , very good and well developed. All in all a very strong album, fans of the band mentioned above can check this band because worth it. They prepare for a new album to be released somewhere around august 2012, can't wait. So, 4 stars easy, very enjoyble from start to finish + very good cover art and all the art work presented, Very nice.

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

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