Argus - Demo 2007 review
01. Beyond (Part 1 - Eternity)
02. The Damnation Of John Faustus
03. Bending Time
04. Sleeping Dogs
05. The Effigy Is Real
While most people associate Doom Metal with constant slow guitar riffs and often depressing lyrics, Argus wouldn't perfectly fall under that classification. These guys are a Doom Metal band, but they also have Heavy Metal spliced into their music. That's not to say they're a lot like modern day Heavy Metal bands such as Black Label Society or Firewind. Argus plays metal with down-tuned guitars, murky bass lines and at times, slower interludes. In fact, if I had to draw comparison to another band, it would possibly be Candlemass. Argus is still their own band however and still retains some originality about them.
This Spring demo is Argus' first and their first ever release. That considered, it's a rather decent piece of work. While you wouldn't expect the production to be crystal clear, and it isn't, it doesn't really take away from the music either. Many-a-demo has been spoilt by such a factor, their music being basically drowned out. Thankfully Argus' music doesn't suffer from such a shortcoming.
The main strengths of Argus are probably their vocals and maybe even the guitar-work. Not that the bass playing or drumming is especially bad or anything. The bass lines aren't exactly all that crisp, but they are at least prominent and don't drone on too much. The drumming follows pretty basic patterns but again, while it isn't a stand out feature of the music, it is still fine to listen to. So on to the more out-standing elements. The deeper riffing partly attributes to the catchiness of some of the songs. There are few solos, which I think is probably a good thing but the guitar-work establishes a nice foundation for the music. The vocal performance from Butch Balich is excellent though. It's something like a non-extreme Slayer/Entombed cross breed. I'm just using that as a point of reference though, Butch's vocals are more distinctive than that. When he sings, you feel that there's a lot of soul behind it. He makes you want to sing along with him and he holds his notes very well. For me this was possibly the best feature about this demo.
This Spring Demo is a pretty good indication of future successes from Argus, and while it suffers from a few drawbacks, it's rather a nice listen. It's also available for download from their label site - http://www.againstnature.us/bh/artists/argus/argus.htm so anyone can hear it.
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| Marcel Hubregtse
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