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Wishbone Ash - Argus CD (album) cover

ARGUS

Wishbone Ash

 

Prog Related

4.22 | 663 ratings

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GruvanDahlman
4 stars Wishbone Ash is one of those groups that I've revisited regularly over the years, having discovered them in my formative years as a prog and hard rock lover. They always seemed to pop up when reading about classic hard rock or even prog. "Argus" was probably the first album I got myself acquainted with and from there I just ventured further. The thing about Wishbone Ash is that they occupy a space of their own in which they are sort of unrivalled. Many of the elements that make up there music is not unique to them, one by one, but together it's quite a mixture and a signature of Ash.

When I came across them they were labeled "hard rock" and while that is true, they do have a potent and vivid streak of hardrock in their music, they go beyond that genre. You do find intense electric guitar work from two guitarists and at times the volume is quite loud but you never hear harsh or hoarse vocals screamin their lungs out. Instead you get a very folky approach to singing. It's all very gentle and harmonious. The combination is rather unusual. On top of that you find progressive leanings. All this makes for a exquisite brew that balances between something like the folkrock of Fairport Convention and hardrock of Thin Lizzy with an added splash of FM rock, albeit with a really specific sound that is truly the soul of Wishbone Ash around the first half of the 70's. It's a great mixture that really makes them (sort of) one of a kind.

"Argus" is a real treat to listen to if you like both folk and hardrock, like me. The opening three are great songs with "Time was" being a somewhat ethereal experience. The real gems, though, are the last four songs. Beginning with "The king will come" and ending with "Throw down the sword" it is a journey. First of all I like the titles of the song, which are very folk-prog in my opinion. Songs about the olden days and so on. "The king will come" has this amazing riff inside it that hangs in the air. Beautiful. "Warrior" once again sports a great riff and powerful playing that precedes the folky and gorgeous "Throw down the sword". This track also adds organ to the whole thing.

If I was to recommend an album by Wishbone Ash to someone new to them I'd say it must be "Argus". It's a wonderful album by a somewhat wonderful band. It's an album for contemplation, for driving, for walking in the woods and for rejoicing in the fact that you're alive and there's a genre like progressive rock.

GruvanDahlman | 4/5 |

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