ARGOS – Cruel Symmetry (2012)
I like surprises, especially of course, when they are positive. “Cruel Symmetry” by German progsters ARGOS was real good one for me.
This is my first contact with the band (they have released 2 albums previously), and the quality of their brand new CD “Cruel Symmetry” has made me add their name to my watch list in the future.
Argos plays pure Prog Rock with the unmistakable British scent, adding some symphonic color and beautiful sonic landscapes. Despite the band’s Germanic origin the whole music is enriched with a good pinch of smooth jazz rock in the tradition of the Canterbury, UK bands.
But basically “Cruel Symmetry” is Classic Brit Prog Rock.
Not only the words (Robert Gozon is an English teacher, so forget the teutonic accent), the whole direction of the music, the themes and concept are pure British progressive rock, a successful mixture of seventies spirit and more contemporary sounds.
“Cruel Symmetry” is dominated by the nearly 21-minute title track, which takes the listener on a journey through the different stages of perception.
It’s a wonderful 13-part suite with all the necessary ingredients in the good and captivating Prog: strong melodies, combining themes, sophisticated arrangements, floating instrumentation between prominent keyboards and guitars, opulent bass & drums, some magic flute, and a hymnic conclusion.
The other six songs are on the same high level.
The lyrics are well thought-out (the humorous “The Story Of Flying Robert”, the ironic “Paper Ship Dreams”), and while in pieces like “Possessions” and “Open Book” the melodic and melancholic sounds dominate, there is also a little heavy edge in “Caught Within The Light”
Argos delivers a pure Prog dish in “Cruel Symmetry”.
This band is musically imaginative and varied in scene blending melodic-anthemic elements and sympho-inspired excursions, featuring as well rhythmically intricate passages embossed with more light, accessible parts.
A must listen for Prog fans and everyone interested in quality music.
1. Cruel Symmetry (20:45)
2. Paper Ship Dreams (4:32)
3. Chance Encounters (4:24)
4. Possessions (6:05)
5. The Story of Flying Robert (4:29)
6. Caught within the Light 7:06)
7. Open Book (7:44)
Robert Gozon – vocals, keyboards, strings
Enrico Florczak – guitars, various effects
Thomas Klarmann – vocals, bass, flute, synths, mellotron
Ulf Jacobs – drums, percussion, roland drum machine
BUY IT !