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Argos - Circles CD (album) cover





3.74 | 98 ratings

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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.

lazland | 3/5 |


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