Argus - Boldly Stride The Doomed
3 May 2011

01. Abandoning The Gates Of Byzantium
02. A Curse On The World
03. Wolves Of Dusk
04. The Ladder
05. Durendal
06. 42-7-29
07. Boldly Stride The Doomed
08. Fading Silver Light
09. Pieces Of Your Smile
10. The Ruins Of Ouroboros

Is it only me, or do we get very little quality heavy metal recently? Sometimes I want to listen to an album that doesn't attack me with blast beats, lead-heavy riffs, shredding solos, throat-ripping vocals. I don't want it too fast, or too slow. I don't want to be crushed underneath the weight of production. Sometimes I miss the times when Iron Maiden released their best albums, when neither speed nor slowness, nor heaviness were the yardsticks of quality. It was only music that counted.

Argus gives me what I need. These guys seem to be taken straight out of somehwere between 1975 and 1983. When "A Curse on the World" kicks in, I feel like I'm listening to Iron Maiden's Killers. Similar riffing, tempo, overall atmosphere. The production, obviously, is much better, but the impression of being taken back in time is very strong. Pure heavy metal is what I call it. Fantastic melodies, great, clear and melodic solos, excellent vocals, a bit of pathos, but far from kitsch.

Of course, it would be nothing more that a copycat album if all numbers sounded like Iron Maiden. Fortunately, there's a lot of variety here. From fairly uptempo classic heavy metal of "A Curse on the World" and "Wolves of Dusk", through "42-7-29" which sounds like early Candlemass worship, and slightly doomy "Durendal", to pure epic doom of "The Ladder" and "Pieces of Your Smile", this album shines with variety, inventiveness and unadulterated enthusiasm. "Pieces of Your Smile" deserves a separate mention. Not only is it the longest track on Boldly Stride the Doomed, it's also an utterly brilliant song that overwhelms the listener with atmosphere, enchants him with beautiful melodies and captivates him with inspired guitar solos. 12 minutes pass like 12 seconds, and you will immediately want to re-listen to the song in order to hear all that greatness over and over again. I know I did, six times in a row.

So without further ado, I advise you, dear reader, to get this album and dive into its old-school coolness. If you're old enough, you might experience the best retro ride this year. If you're younger, you might just be able to understand the feelings that we, old codgers, had when the metal world was young, decades ago.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8

Band profile: Argus
Album: Boldly Stride The Doomed


Written on 20.07.2011 by
Writes overly honest and totally subjective reviews when fancy strikes him. Which is not often. Which is probably good, all things considered.
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Comments: 9  
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Marcel Hubregtse - 21.07.2011 at 01:26  
Great album this. A perfect mix of heavy metal and doom plus the vocals of Butch are brilliant once again.
R'Vannith - 21.07.2011 at 03:10  
As that heavy/doom blend is one of my favourite sub-genres I found this album more than enjoyable! Your excellent review does it justice.
In this sort of metal I don't think anything will beat DoomSword's latest in 2011 though.
Jan - 21.07.2011 at 07:17  
Good review - Argus is a top band for sure. I don't think of this as retro a all though.
Daniell - 21.07.2011 at 11:54  
Written by Jan on 21.07.2011 at 07:17

Good review - Argus is a top band for sure. I don't think of this as retro a all though.

It definitely doesn't sound retro at all, but it does bear a lot of similarities to 70's-80's metal.
Lokaeda - 21.07.2011 at 14:28  
If you like that kind of band, give DoomSword, Grand Magus, Pagan Altar and Dark Forest [UK] a try
Daniell - 21.07.2011 at 14:48  
I know and very much like the first 3
DHGgreece - 21.07.2011 at 15:25  
I have only heard of "There's a Curse on the World" and I must say I'm impressed. Too bad I cannot buy the album because of my priorities.
strade - 23.07.2011 at 03:59  
Me like.
omjaimes - 05.05.2012 at 21:42  
I really enjoyed this album, very sincere, with a realistic sound that give to the music a retro atmosphere, beautiful and diverse heavy-doom melodies and riffs, entwined with a powerfull voice. Good bands are almost always underrated.

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