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Argus - Beyond The Martyrs

Label: Cruz Del Sur
Format: CD download
Released: 2013
Reviewed By: Mark Gromen
Rating: 7.5/ 10


When it comes to this label, you know Pennsylvania based Argus are going to be unique and strangely undefined. Press release mentions doom, but they are such, in much the same way While Heaven Wept is doom, sparingly and progressive leaning. The music is heavy, yet articulate and apart from the opening ‘By Endurance We Conquer’, the vocals are strong and slightly towards the higher end. The track in question sees the voice multi-tracked and echoing, in almost a Majesty bravado style. The songs alternate between minimalist and heavy, always plenty of space for musicianship, especially the six-strings.

 

‘The Hands Of Time Are Bleeding’ is a slower, more traditional doomster, with extended guitar-only section. Following the throwaway ‘Trinity’, a lively ‘Four Candles Burning’ inhibits a 90s Mercyful Fate vibe, without sounding like the Danes. A minimalist ‘The Coward’s Path’ returns to the plodding tempo, until 2/3 of the way through, when it gallops off, amongst a slightly operatic vox. ‘Cast Out All Raging Spirits’ rides an infectious, traditional metal rhythm and the closing, instrumental title track kicks off with the slowest pace yet. Midway, enlivened guitars take over, until the very end, when just a single, lightly strummed instrument fades out. Adventurous listeners take heed.

 
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