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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


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

3.58 | 41 ratings
Argos
2009
3.72 | 74 ratings
Circles
2010
3.63 | 38 ratings
Cruel Symmetry
2012

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ARGOS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Cruel Symmetry by ARGOS album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.63 | 38 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
3.72 | 74 ratings

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Circles
Argos Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

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
3.58 | 41 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
3.63 | 38 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
3.63 | 38 ratings

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Cruel Symmetry
Argos Neo-Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Psych/Space 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
3.63 | 38 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
3.72 | 74 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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 Circles by ARGOS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.72 | 74 ratings

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Circles
Argos Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Whereas most retro-prog bands tend to focus on one or two bands or a particular subgenre of the 1970s to emulate, Argos try to emulate everyone at once - and, surprisingly, turn out to be really quite good at it. Listening to Circles, you'll stumble across a bit of acoustic strumming (a la some of Pink Floyd's Animal-eras stuff) at one point, then a symphonic section, then something reminiscent of Lizard-era King Crimson, then a pastoral passage, then a Hatfield and the North-esque jam, all jammed together cheek-by-jowl in an attempt to blend more or less every major subgenre of prog into one big melange. They don't manage to get everything in (I don't remember hearing any zeuhl) but they give it a good go, and their efforts to do so sound great.

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 Circles by ARGOS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.72 | 74 ratings

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Circles
Argos Neo-Prog

Review by lazland
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Listening to this album from German neo band Argos, I am struck by one glaring omission from reviews undertaken thus far by esteemed colleagues, and that is just where this band take their primary influences from.

For when you listen to tracks such as Custody Of The Knave, and, indeed, much of this album, the one primary influence that screams out is Hamill and Van Der Graaf Generator. Indeed, the similarity is so obvious in the vocals, I have to ask myself whether vocalist Robert Gozon, especially, is a twin of Hamill and somehow lost his way to Germany.

Elsewhere, the instrumentation also harks back strongly in terms of flute and mellotron, especially, to Trespass era Genesis, with a massive dollop of Canterbury Scene thrown in as well, something which is especially evident on the very solid short track, Willow Wind.

The band do, by the way, put paid to that terrible old joke/theory about Germans not having a sense of humour by putting out the rather quirky, and brilliantly named, Total Mess Retail. Very jazzy, it bears absolutely no semblance to Close To The Edge whatsoever. It is, in fact, a very eclectic track, and rather experimental, and could have done with rather more than the 3:47 on offer here.

The longest track. Lost On The Playground, is very reminiscent of Ye Olde England Kentish prog, but is a very pleasant listen, and features some good work from Rico Florcak on guitar especially.

There is not a bad track on this album. All is very solidly performed and produced, and is designed particularly to appeal to those fans of retro prog. What the band have done well, in my opinion, is to avoid the very nasty, and ultimately self defeating, trap of seeking to emulate only one band or style as their baseline. Instead, what we have here is a very pleasant smorgasbord of differing 1970's style prog, which is a good listen, but not in any way groundbreaking.

Three stars for this, an album which seems strangely out of time in 2010. Of course, this review should alert true fans of retro prog, because there is much in here that will appeal to you.

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 Circles by ARGOS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.72 | 74 ratings

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Circles
Argos Neo-Prog

Review by Andy Webb
Forum & Site Admin Group Admin / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars Closed circle: this album is great

Argos is a young German neo-prog band, on the heavier side of the genre. The band has a great eclectic and dissonant style, with a heavy use of bass and spacey electric piano. Circles, the band's sophomore album, fleshes out this unique style, showing the young band's promise and unique light in the genre. Each song has a great feel to them, with an eclectic sense of jazz, neo fusion, and some nice great symphonic elements as well. Of course, neo-progressive rock is one of those 'circular' genres that no one really knows what it truly is, and we can just assume that Argos can be described by such a genre. The whole album is full of catchy melodies and great harmonies that keep the compositions spicy and full of great proggy vigor. The songs are upbeat, jovial, and have a really nice atmosphere about them. Reminiscent of the Flower Kings fused with Marillion, the band has a creative style, with more nostalgic themes to keep you seated without too much 'worry' about outlandish attempts at experimentation.

The band is able to keep quite a steady feel to the album, with some funky bass lines, retro synth, mellotron, and Hammond lines, and some upbeat jazzy rhythms. The melodies are engaging and nicely harmonized with the music. The music is catchy, fused with pop elements, but still able to keep a level-headed prog spectrum in mind when playing. Songs like A Thousand Years, Total Mess Recall, Lost on the Playground, and Progology have a really awesome upbeat feel to them, keeping you tuned into the music and attentive to the great compositions (Total Mess Recall is a personal favorite of mine). Then, songs like Closed Circle, Lines on the Horizon, and The Gatekeeper have a more intensive, sometimes melancholy, sometimes intense musical feel to them, which edges them closer to the 'metal' section of the neo-prog genre. Overall, nearly the entire album is genius tracks, combining funk, jazz, prog, symphonic rock, and a host of other elements to fuse into a fantastic album.

Overall, the album is great. Full of countless memorable moments and some really fantastic instrumental sections, the album is certainly a memorable moment in recent neo- prog history. It may not be a masterpiece, but this album is certainly a great collection of tracks. With many dynamics, little moments that contribute to the whole atmosphere of the music, and many other little tidbits, the album is great. I highly recommend this album to any fan of neo-prog, symphonic rock, or even jazz fusion, because of all the great jazzy elements in the music. In the end, Circles is one of the more memorable albums of the past year (2010). 4 stars.

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