Released: 2011, Cruz Del Sur
There seems to be a whole pile of these types of bands coming out these days. Atlantean Kodex, Briton Rites, Castle the list goes on, including Argus. It’s almost as if the kids these days are digging through Dads old Metal Blade and Mausoleum vinyl and digging out his old Manilla Road and Cirith Ungol records. I’m glad that there is a movement among young musicians to embrace this excellent Metal sound. It’s almost as of they are rejecting the modern, industrialized, processed, digitized, modern bands that masquerade as ‘Metal’ these days.
Argus, like many of these bands are finding their way onto great labels like Stormspell, Shadow Kingdom, Sentinel Steel and in the case of Argus, Cruz Del Sur. Right off the top Argus gets minus one-point for their name. There are (or were) at least 10 other bands called Argus. In the day and age of the inter-web there is no excuse. Maybe 20 years ago if there was a band with the same name in rural Brazil and you are a kid sitting in Iceland making a band…you pick the same name…OK…coincidence. But today? It’s hard enough to establish yourself as a young band let alone having to deal with identity trouble early in your career and legal trouble later in your career. One of these days we are going to see Argus A.D. or Argus B.C. or something when someone wins or loses a lawsuit.
Be that as it may, Argus is still a really cool name for a band! This young quartet has been around for several years and this is their sophomore effort. This band has got all the right moves. Great song titles and lyrics. An awesome ‘old school’ (hate the term) album cover art that looks like some kid did on his text book in math class. Big, boomy, analog style production. A Metal attitude for miles. Argus are a totally winning package.
BOLDLY STRIDE THE DOOMED is a well thought out blend of 80’s Metal and traditional Doom. The band rides the songs through a number of speeds and intensities. Vocalist, Butch Balich is a commanding presence at the microphone, bringing weight and authority to the songs. He has a very powerful voice and it’s mixed just right with some ambience especially on the standout track ‘The Ladder’.
The band add in s few little sonic flairs like a few effects, a bit of piano, some acoustic guitar and all these nuances make for a more enjoyable listening experience. The big, ballsy, riffs really drive the songs along. The drums keep pace well and most of the album at a really nice mid-pace churn and burn, heavy and not really fleet of foot. The compositions and arrangements are interesting and the band really drops gear and dooms out on the 11-minute epic ‘Pieces Of Your Smile’.
BOLDLY STRIDE THE DOOMED is getting quite a bit of hype and I for one and comfortable with adding to that hype. It’s a very entertaining and well executed Metal album. What more could anyone ask for?