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Argos - Circles CD (album) cover

CIRCLES

Argos

 

Neo-Prog

3.74 | 98 ratings

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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.

apps79 | 3/5 |

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