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Argus - Boldly Stride the Doomed

Argus
Boldly Stride the Doomed
by Mike Novak at 25 April 2011, 12:17 AM

Cruz Del Sur is quickly becoming one of my favorite record labels. The releases that they put out are almost always of high quality and the bands that they sign usually have something special about them. Some bands that are or were signed to them that you, the reader, should look into include WHILE HEAVEN WEPT, SLOUGH FEG and TWISTED TOWER DIRE. All three are very unique from each other yet have an undeniable and uncanny ability to write songs that are memorable and distinctive. Another band that can be added to the above list is Pennsylvania’s ARGUS.

ARGUS is a Doom Metal band that takes after the likes of the doomier NWOBHM bands like WITCHFINDER GENERAL as opposed to a band like CANDLEMASS. Their vocalist, Butch Balich, has a powerful mid-ranged voice. The riffs are still pretty heavy but the songs themselves sometimes straddle the line between Metal and being more rock-ish. This is in no way a bad thing; ARGUS knows how to utilize different song elements and sounds without sacrificing their integrity or vision.

Boldly Stride the Doomed” is remarkably consistent; ARGUS sticks true to its sound, there are no blatant attempts towards a single or a commercial breakthrough, but they mix things up enough to keep things interesting. If there is one track to judge this album for a new listener, I would recommend “A Curse on the World,” which is a wonderful display of heavy riffs as well as Balich’s vocal prowess. The two biggest highlights are “Durendal” and “42-7-29.” The former shows the band at its heaviest, while the latter is more on the epic side. Both have some fantastic guitar work that, while not being overly technical, goes with the song perfectly and really adds to the crescendos that both songs display. Balich really gets the chance to show off his vocal range as well.

If there’s anything I could point out as a detriment, I would say that it would be the fact that the album’s epic song (in terms of length) is merely good instead of remarkable. However, the talent is certainly there. ARGUS will, if they continue like this, become a household name amongst listeners who are willing to look a bit harder to find quality bands and albums. For fans of traditional metal, 70’s hard rock, NWOBHM and Doom Metal, ARGUS is a band that you must investigate immediately.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. Abandoning the Gates of Byzantium
  2. A Curse on the World
  3. Wolves of Dusk
  4. The Ladder
  5. Durendal
  6. 42-7-29
  7. Boldly Stride the Doomed
  8. Fading Silver Light
  9. Pieces of Your Smile
  10. The Ruins of Ouroboros
Lineup:
Andy Ramage - Bass
Kevin Latchaw - Drums
Erik Johnson - Guitars
Jason Mucio - Guitars
Butch Balich - Vocals
Record Label: Cruz Del Sur Records
     


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