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Wishbone Ash - Argus CD (album) cover


Wishbone Ash


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4.24 | 711 ratings

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4 stars There's an overt progressiveness to ARGUS, but it's hard to tell exactly how so. If you just listen to the album, you might question where the prog is here; there are no keyboards, no unusual instruments or time signatures, and certainly it sounds more like a plain, ordinary hard rock band. So how is this even related to prog rock?

It's how the songs are crafted. Bands such as Uriah Heep have the Hammond organ and fantasy part of prog rock down, but Wishbone Ash has the compositional cleverness to them. Take the opener ''Time Was'' for example; it starts as a three minute acoustic ballad that evolves into a violent rocker with well-placed, meticulously crafted riffs and solos that take you on an adventure. I can't help but headbang or fist pump to this section even if they're not required.

Like I said before, Wishbone Ash seems to utilize the guitar riff properly, as sort of a means to propel a song. The prog aspect comes from essence, not necessarily what's physically there. In particular, ''The King Will Come'' and ''Leaf and Stream'' have such a prog feel to them that I honestly don't miss keyboards and technical complexity. They do have simpler stuff like the boogie in ''Blowin Free'' and the macho ''The Warrior'', but they pack enough energy to keep me interested.

Only ''Throw Down the Sword'' does little for me, even if there's an organ in there somewhere. Maybe all of the power from the first six songs wore me out by the time ''Throw Down the Sword'' comes along. But this is a hard rock album that teeters very close to prog rock even if it's not quite there. If you enjoy mid 70's proggy Black Sabbath, I feel this is in the same arena.

Sinusoid | 4/5 |


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