Posts Tagged ‘Argos’

THE BEST SO FAR OF 2015 (i.e. My “Faves”)

July 5, 2015

This is a post I’ve been meaning to write for several weeks now. I was jostled out of my vegetative state by a couple of recent posts on the premier web site for all things prog: PROGARCHY: Pointing toward Proghalla (the only site you REALLY need to be following! http://progarchy.com/ ) I am constructing this list without the benefit of reading PROGARCHY’s own “The Best So Far” list for 2015 (even though it’s a list for primarily prog metal).

By way of embarrassed admission I must plead lack of funds for not yet owning the new Neal Morse album, Grand Experiment, and the new Steven Wilson album, Hand. Cannot. Erase. Although I have heard most of Wilson’s magnum opus one time from YouTube and other on-line sources, out of fairness to these discs I’m not going to rate them yet…I need proper and extended time with music before making “best of” lists.

sparkAETHER

As it now stands the two runaway albums for me are THE TANGENT: A Spark In The Aether (the genius work of Andy Tillison), and LONELY ROBOT: Please Come Home (the genius work of John Mitchell).   These two albums are almost sure to be in a neck and neck horse race photo-finish as December 31st looms closer and closer. Look for these to be in the 1 and 2 top spots.

Lonely Robot 2

And now, in no particular order, and without any real reviewing comments, I would add the following:

BIG BIG TRAIN: Wassail (sure it’s an EP, but I don’t care…it’s just that darn spectacular and it IS BIG BIG TRAIN…nuff said)

GLASS HAMMER: The Breaking Of The World

THE GENTLE STORM: Diary (the stunning collaboration between Lucassen and van Giersbergen will be near the top 5 I’m betting)

ARGOS: A Seasonal Affair

BEARDFISH: +4636 Comfortzone

ARENA: The Unquiet Sky (great music but also a great weird story inspiration)

JOHN CARPENTER: Lost Themes (I’m a sucker for Carpenter’s stuff but this disc probably will fade out of the top ten and maybe even out of the top 15 or 20; and it’s not really prog is it?)

KARNATAKA: Secrets of Angels

SANGUINE HUM: Now We Have A Light (a sleeper; darkhorse)

MAGIC PIE: King For A Day

My Top-Ten list for 2015 will no doubt have some, or most, of these wonderful slabs of sonic bliss. I can’t wait for the next 6 months of new releases. I can’t wait for the money to actually buy them.

Mellotron set to 11

ARGOS: A Seasonal Affair (a brilliant album…but only if you like Genesis, Marillion, Camel, and Big Big Train)

March 30, 2015

Argos

ARGOS: A Seasonal Affair (2015: MUSEA, Progressive Promotions Records)

ARGOS is:

argosBAND

Thomas Klarmann/ Bass, Flute, Keyboards, Guitars, Lead Vocals

Robert Gozon/ Lead Vocals, Keyboards, Guitars

Ulf Jacobs/ Drums, Percussion, Vocals

Rico Florczak/ Electric Guitars

Guest Musicians:

Andy Tillison, Marek Arnold, Thila Brauss

 

This album (their fourth) is so good I guarantee it will be on many “best of” lists for 2015…or it would be if people knew of ARGOS and actually purchased/heard their new musical offering: A Seasonal Affair. Counting two bonus tracks it’s an 11 track disc that serves up a feast of not neo-prog, but classic goodness ala 1973/4.

Track 1, ‘Vanishing,’ starts with fantasy lyrics and real Porcupine Tree vibe but by the time that Hammond and synths arrive in Track 2 one is hearing echoes of Triumvirat. Track 3, ‘Silent Corner,’ though too starting with a Steven Wilson feel, morphs into a sound dialogue between trance-like meditation and jazzy instrumental fusion. This song is so perfectly constructed that it should be a Classic Prog standby tune!

Track 4, ‘Silver And Gold,’ keeps up the jazz/rock rhythms but adds some neat Gentle Giant like vocals. This complex syncopated style of choppy vocals makes another pleasant appearance on bonus track 11, ‘Black Cat.’ Track 5, ‘Lifeboats,’ may be my favorite song and all by itself it worth buying the album for. The song hearkens back to the great classics of Gabriel era Genesis or even Fish era Marillion. The squiggly Mellotron and synth keys put an actual smile on my face.

Thinking then that ARGOS had peaked; they delivered their magnum opus in the 12:32 multi-layered and multi-part epic ‘Not In This Picture.’ The interplay between synth strings, keys, and Hammond produce more Genesis brilliance with a touch of both Pink Floyd and, surprisingly, Big Big Train. There is a rural English countryside appeal to much of the vocal delivery. These Germans sound like a classic undiscovered Canterbury band.

This respectful nod to the Canterbury scene continues with Track 7, ‘A Seasonal Affair,’ as the beautiful melody and gorgeous piano hearkens back to Pete Bardens and Camel.

This is simply a groove laden album with handsome low-key vocals swathed in meditative and achingly beautiful washes of color and fragrance. It’s like Passport meets Yes with an extra dose of both Genesis and Steve Rothery guitar runs.

ARGOS, formed in 2005, and hailing from Mainz and Greifswold Germany needs to be put on a much larger stage as this album is Prog magic which should be part of every Prog aficionado’s collection.

A telling sign of how good it is (how good it MUST be) is that mega-genius and musical polymath Andy Tillison is one of the guest musicians (along with Marek Arnold on Soprano Sax and Thila Brauss on keyboards). This album truly bears that distinguished mark of excellence that is Tillison!

Progressive Promotions Records deserves to placed on the permanent radar of all Prog fans, and this album needs to sell. It is available for around $20.00 at Amazon.com, while ARGOS’ 2012 album, CRUEL SYMMETRY is available at CD Baby for a reasonable price.

ARGOS info at:

http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=4316

https://www.facebook.com/pages/ARGOS/7061742082

http://www.progressive-promotion.de/

 

Mellotron set to 11


The (n)EVERLAND of PROG

Searching For Lost Chords

Stormfields

Christian Humanism in a Post-Modern World

Progarchy

Pointing toward Proghalla