While I certainly appreciate those bands that push the envelope and inject a level of freshness to our genre, nothing knocks me to the curb with greater walloping clout than those records that effectively deliver undiluted h-e-a-v-y-m-e-t-a-l in its purest and most natural form. To many readers, that essentially equates to “antique sounding,” so if such an idea sets off the flight response, this is a pretty good time to start spinning your wheels.
Argus’ debut full-length bleeds influence from a wealth of metal’s grizzled elite. Piles of melodic twin guitar attacks hearken vintage pursuits such as Thin Lizzy and Iron Maiden, so those who pitch tent from the blazing fretwork of bands such as Slough Feg or Brocas Helm should definitely take note. But where Feg and Helm aren’t afraid to inject a healthy dose of merriment and pedal-to-the-metal hard rock, Argus favor a more sullen and serious delivery that’s magnified by the doom imprint in the crux of their foundation. Classic doom – the sort that ducks the misconception that things have to always be sloooooowly crawling from beginning to end. So expect plenty of mid-paced galloping that emphasizes a drubbing heaviness.
Personal highlights strike early with the infectious “Devils, Devils”, the fist-pumping romp of “Bending Time”, and the galloping charge behind the epic “From Darkness…Light,” but the wealth of bright leads, doomy-doom-doom riffs and Butch’s incredibly impassioned vocals results in an entire journey that’s pretty damn bullet-proof from start to finish.
Those already familiar with the band through their 2007 Bland Hand Records demo will quickly recognize four of the eight tunes (the only hitch, as far as I’m concerned), but the 30+ minutes of additional material is strong enough to make the record very worthy of picking up.
And for those still unfamiliar with Argus who prefer their metal classic, melodic, galloping and doomy, consider this your official call to arms.