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Argent - Nexus CD (album) cover

NEXUS

Argent

 

Crossover Prog

3.65 | 85 ratings

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apps79
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Named after keyboardist Rod Argent, this English Rock group from Saint Albans, Hertfordshire came to birth out of the death of the legendary The Zombies, where Argent played along with bassist Chris White, who followed him with songwriting-only credits in this new effort.The original line-up comprised also of Russ Ballard on vocals, guitar and piano, Jim Rodford on bass and vocals and Robert Henrit on drums, piano and vocals.Argent produced four albums for Epic Records between 1970-73 (''Argent'', ''Ring of hands'', ''All together now'' and ''In deep''), the most succesful period of the band with several hits on a pure Rock direction and slight progressive vibes.When Bullard left in order to become a solo artist, John Verity and John Grimaldi entered the picture on guitar and voices and the band shifted towards a more progressive sound, starting with ''Nexus'' in 1974, another release on Epic.

At this point Argent not only flirted with Progressive Rock, but they were definitely among the most versatile bands of the style, throwing Classical, Jazz and Heavy/Psych elements in the mix.I'd dare to say that they were one of the most American-sounding British bands, they sounded closer to STARCASTLE, ETHOS or KANSAS than, to say, Genesis or King Crimson, although they had some evident E.L.P. and YES influences.The 9-min. excellent three-part opener was representative of the direction they had taken, this was a maniftest of keyboard-based Prog Rock with strong symphonic orchestrations, highlighted by a talented Rob Argent and his alternating organ, piano, Mellotron and synth parts, switching tempos and climates and offering one of the best pieces ever written by the quintet.The rest of the album is a bit more diverse, featuring some rockin' themes, the rise of an obvious jazzy influence with lots of electric piano and, still, some dominant symphonic flavors.Plenty of bombastic and dramatic instrumental sections, a combination of Fusion stylings and Classical-drenched keyboard showering and some Hard Rock-in' tunes in the process are all welcome characteristics of Argent's new proposal.Vocals are mostly inspired by YES' pompous lines, but the music comes as a mixture of organ-smashing themes, dark Mellotron and quirky synthesizers for a very dense and convincing sound.

Absolutely satisfying work of Symphonic Rock/Fusion with Argent shining behind an emphatic keyboard palette.Somewhere between YES, KANSAS, PENTWATER and ETHOS.Highly recommended.

apps79 | 4/5 |

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