Here Be Giants
Metal is, by definition, a fractured genre at the best of times. If you were to place two metal heads in the same room, chances are they would soon argue over which genre is better, faster than it takes the British to talk about the weather. Occasionally, an impasse is reached when a band crosses the delicate boundaries between the sub-genres successfully, allowing the two metal heads to rock together for a short while, before returning to hurl insults and stale lager at each other.
Enter Argus, who try their best to fuse together the doom and heavy metal genres. It would appear to be a rather difficult situation, considering the freight train style of doom compared to flighty and delicate compositions of traditional heavy metal. But it is a job that Argus manage to pull off, bringing the two bickering cousins together for their family reunion. From the opening guitars, to the deep rumble of the bass guitar during the opening track ‘By Endurance We Conquer’, you get the idea that this is going to be an excellent listen.
How Argus create this, is by using a little bit of genius. Combining old school metal with more modern techniques, the band create an enjoyable listening experience. On the surface you can easily detect these heavy metal influences, twin guitars that work together perfectly, and a powerful vocalist who prefers to sing rather highly. But beneath these you can feel the powerful bass guitar that makes its presence known on every track. This works together very well and the album is aggressive from start to finish, which can only make things better.
The drive towards the end is the best part of the album. Argus are a train blaring through the countryside. The album contains no filler and every second is a second worth listening too. Argus keep the music too the point, with the guitars performing some of the best solo work in years. Songs like ‘Beyond the Martyrs’ thrive because of the power of the instruments used. This power is used responsibly, and at no point can you accuse the guitars of doing anything for no reason. The band have excellent song writing skills and not a moment of the 43 minute length is wasted.
If Beyond the Martyrs was released thirty years ago, it would have been declared the most ground breaking metal album in history. What we have instead is an album that seems to have a ‘classic’ feel to it without having the years to match. This pseudo-classic vibe is an excellent quality that keeps the album close to your heart from start to finish. The chugging bass line moulds together excellently with the drumming and the guitars and vocals do a brilliant job of bringing it all together.
In the end, the best advice that can be given about Argus is to listen to the album. It really is an interesting experience listening to such a classic metal album that appears to have been released in the wrong decade. Argus deserve your love and attention and pray that they release another album soon, because there is potential to be had here.
1. By Endurance We Conquer
2. No Peace Beyond the Line
3. The Hands of Time Are Bleeding
5. Four Candles Burning
6. The Coward’s Path
7. Cast Out All Raging Spirits
8. Beyond the Martyrs
Band’s webpage: http://www.facebook.com/argusmetal?fref=ts