|14 Dec 2012||Progressive Promotion Records||PPRCD010|
Release by Progressive Promotion Records (PPR CD 010) on 14 Dec 2012.
Pre-production by Thomas Klarmann and Robert Gozon
Final Mix by Rico Florczak and Thomas Klarmann
Mastering by Rico Florczak
Reading Nuno's review of Argos' previous CD Circles (2009), it is pretty much obvious to me that Cruel Symmetry does not represent a huge change in style for this German band, but more of an evolution in continuity.
As written by my colleague, Argos' sound is pretty much inspired by the great Prog era of the early seventies. Most of the tracks on Cruel Symmetry I would link to Canterbury giants Caravan. In fact one of their lead singers has a voice pretty close to Pye Hastings (and perhaps also Andy Tillison from The Tangent). Reference to other bands also pop up in the music (Gentle Giant, Genesis and Van Der Graaf Generator to name a few). One track, to my surprise, reminded me quite a lot of Anekdoten, be it their smoother songs of their more recent albums.
The music on Cruel Symmetry is very well played and always interesting. The band does not rock it much though. This is mostly melodic music with vintage sounding instruments. The singing is good but perhaps a bit of an acquired taste, but this is also the case with bands like Caravan, Anekdoten and Van Der Graaf Generator.
Cruel Symmetry is certainly an album I can recommend to lovers of the bands I have listed in this review. What it may somewhat lack in originality is more than overweighted by the quality of the music and the obvious pleasure the musicians have playing it.