After a well received debut in 2009, this German outfit didn’t blink for a second and catch that wave while it was still pretty surfable, releasing a sophomore that gives sequence to the good indications left by its precedent.
Well, the band has strived to, somehow,
bring their music to a slightly more modern sound, while still (and completely)
mused by the great legends of vintage 70’s symphonic progressive rock. And then
they added even more cosmic psychedelic notions (slightly Krautrock oriented) and Canterbury influences, bringing the likes
of Caravan and Gong (and sometimes
Can) to their mix, which was majorly being populated by the
ghosts of Genesis, Camel, Van
Der Graaf Generator, Hatfield and the North and
Well, emulating the tendencies that were
presented 40 years ago by bands which became legendary may not be an easy task
at all. And doing it on a successful and enjoyable way with talent and focus may
be even harder to find, though many many bands have been trying that. But
Argos seems to have found a balance and a formula that,
while completely based on the aesthetics of the aforementioned bands, result on
a compelling and interesting musicality that, being purposely regressive, still
does not sound at all dated or surpassed. It is the art of bringing those
vintage leanings to modernity that makes Argos an appraisable
While the previous album was composed by well defined areas of approach, in each of them a close set of influences being addressed, with Circles Argos agglomerate everything and throw out a distinct cornucopia of sounds that, in each track, may take the listener to several bands and times. From a more compact collage, the band has evolved to a comprehensive puzzle sonic experience, defying the listener to recognize the reminiscences at each moment, and thus providing that same listener with a curious challenge. One that purist proggers and especially fans of the seventies prog rock will undoubtedly want to experiment.
This is a varied and compelling album, which has its faults and small sins, but that generally excels the vintage symphonic prog to a cult status and dresses it in contemporary clothing and, especially, contemporary production. An album that not only respects the heritage but embraces it, cherishes it and tributes it!
Do yourself a favour and listen to this album. Then draw your own conclusions!