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Argus - Argus Award winner

by Yiannis Doukas at 14 April 2010, 10:04 PM

This album fell like an anvil to my head. It is so heavy, has such a power that every time it paid a visit to my stereo there were earthquake waves across my room. Well, ARGUS is a five piece of metalheads from Franklin city of the Pennsylvania state and here is their first album that was unleashed during summer 2009. Maybe it’s a little bit late for a presentation but I found it just a few weeks ago in a local store and I thought it deserved a review here in Metal Temple since such albums are not so common today.

Their story started four or five years ago and in spring of 2007 they recorded a demo featuring five songs. All of these tracks can be found here except one, “Sleeping Dogs”, that is supposed to be released as a forthcoming 10” single in the near future. Now about the album: the driving force behind - I would say - is some ultra heavy riffs that have a lot to do with Doom Metal. If you need some names I can say BLACK SABBATH of course plus CANDLEMASS, a lot of TROUBLE and a lot of SOLITUDE AETURNUS. If all this mammoth riffing can be combined with a very good rhythm section a la “Piece Of Mind” or “Powerslave” and add a double axe attack not only MAIDEN-based but also from the fathers THIN LIZZY you can have a very nice idea of what we have here. Last, in some parts some weird tempos and breaks may remind you bands like THE LORD WEIRD SLOUGH FLEG, giving more personality to this entire recipe.

In all eight songs the Americans are showing mind blowing abilities not only concerning how they play their instruments but also (and more important) the compositions and their songs structures. Some refrains are well written, for example “Devils, Devils” or “From Darkness Light”. Here the major element is Brian “Butch” Balich’s voice. Probably some of you will remember him since he was PENANCE’s vocalist; what we have here is a clean and thunderous voice with a very good timbre offering some I could say dramatic performance that makes me wanna hear these songs again and again. Simply put, the guy is superb. If you hear him in songs like “The Damnation Of John Faustus” that has a great intro and in general reminds a lot of SOLITUDE AETURNUS, you will have Metal shock. A masterpiece! Ah, the solos (not only the guitars, but also a bass one) are like a bulldozer, destroying everything. Same things I can write about the last cut, “The Outsider”, which is a really skullcrushing monument. Starting in Doom colors, it will end into an IRON MAIDEN-ish Metal orgasm. Besides that its theme deals with one of my favorite Lovecraft stories with the same title.

Since I started talking about lyrics I have to mention that all of them (“The Effigy Is Real” is instrumental) are well written. “Bending Time” deals with the non reversible rule that life follows when it comes to our actions and their consequences and my favorite “From Darkness Light” in which we have a reflection of what an ancient adage says “there is nothing bad in which you cannot find something good”. These are some of what the listener will find and as I mentioned before the lines are written in a very good way.

So, do you want some good Heavy Metal that starts from the roots of this music but doesn’t copy anything neither is pretentious retro but is looking forward? If yes welcome aboard. Here music speaks for itself. Solos that overwhelm the mind, a band like granite and an artwork simply paranoid; Metal with the most abyssal colors. The whole CD is so damn fine in each detail but it also sounds so impulsive. A great METAL album indeed. With the whole rating stringency finished…

4 Star Rating

  1. Devils, Devils
  2. Bending Time
  3. From Darkness Light
  4. Eternity (Beyond, Part I)
  5. None Shall Know The Hour
  6. The Damnation Of John Faustus
  7. The Effigy Is Real
  8. The Outsider
Brian “Butch” Balich - Vocals
Erik Johnson - Guitars
Kevin Latchaw - Drums
Jason Mucio - Guitars
Andy Ramage - Bass
Record Label: Shadow Kingdom Records


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Edited 06 December 2022

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