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Wishbone Ash - Argus CD (album) cover

ARGUS

Wishbone Ash

 

Prog Related

4.24 | 711 ratings

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octopus-4
Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
5 stars I don't care if this album sounds like Southern Rock or classic rock. Wishbone Ash are "Prog Related" so it doesn't need to be fully prog to be considered a masterpiece as I think it is. First of all it's a concept album and the average track length is over 5 minutes. There are a lot of instrumental parts and quite frequent changes in theme and signature...classic rock? maybe.

"Time Was" starts with one of the classic WA choirs on an acoustic guitar harping. The second guitar acts as a keyboard and when the guitars fade out there come the drums to start a light rock piece based on major chords. I have read somebody saying that there's a bit of Pink Floyd in this album. Well, slowing down the rhythm of this song could make it fit into Obscured By Clouds. In any case the guitars are more similar to Van Zandt than to Gilmour but let me underline that Ted Turner doesn't need to be compared to anybody else as he's probably one of the best rock guitarists ever.

"Sometimes World" is absolutely my favorite Wishbone Ash's song. The melodic first part of the song has a sound that will later become another band's trademark, specially in an album like Front Page News. After the first refrain "Sometimes World Pass me by Again, carrying you carrying me away...." there's a return to the jazzy choir of the kind present on the first two albums. I think that the bass line is fantastic. Well, it's the first thing that I've tried to play when I bought my first bass. You can imagine how much I love this track. The only negative thing is the fade out that I think shouldn't be used in a concept album.

The guitar intro on "Blowin' Free" is another thing that takes time to leave one's mind. The song is just good rock, but let's underline the word "good". There's again the classic WA choir and the twin guitars. The song is probably of less interest for proggers apart for the slow interlude.

Side B opens quite proggy, instead. "The King Will Come" starts with a crescendo on a minor chord with the drums playing a sort of march. Then the song which comes is another WA classic. I can't describe it. there are all the elements for which I consider WA a great band.

"Leaf And Stream" is based on a finger picking guitar that gives it a country-rock flavor, but the melody is quite distant from that genre. The second guitar is almost Floydian. In terms of guitar sound it can be compared to the B side of Meddle. Of course it's a totally different thing. A 4 minutes song, the shorter of the album, but a great song. Again, why don't add 10 seconds more to avoid fading out?

"Warrior" is the album's anthem. If we think to this concept album as to a soundtrack, this is the final and "Throw Down The Sword" the end titles. A song like "Warrior" can justify the presence of this band on PA. Not very original in terms of chords, it's logically split in two different parts, the first more dreamy and intense, the second a little heavier with a fantastic choir.

Finally "Throw Down The Sword" which starts in crescendo from where the previous track ends. The intro takes two minutes. The song is intense. It's the final act of a concept about soldiers and wars, it has to be dramatic. The guitar riff is excellent, if not technically, for the feelings that it gives. Listen to it and tell me if it doesn't give the same sensations of the best Latimer's solos? It's a pity that it ends in that sudden way. At least it's not a fade out.

This is a transition album, different from the first two and from what will follow, with elements which belong to the "before" and others belonging to the "after". This may be the reason why it's so good. The best of the band, in terms of composition and arrangements, concentrated in one album, absolutely their best, unrepeatable, album

octopus-4 | 5/5 |

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