I was very enthusiastic about the eponymous debut album of the German band Argos in 2009. This was because the band explicitly intertwined elements of all the bands they admire such as King Crimson, Gentle Giant, The Beatles, but especially the Canterbury Scene-band Hatfield And The North and the Norwegian prog outfit Fruitcake. This resulted in a very nice mix of not such original, but extremely listenable music. Now, on their second effort Circles, Argos has strived to develop their own voice with mixed results. The first four numbers basically plod on without too much excitement. The first spark of life is the guitar solo in the fifth track Sun And Moon. From then on the band starts to resemble more and more rather understated keyboard-driven prog. From track nine, Total Mess Retail, the band members can no longer hold back and they go in full mode. Needless to say I therefore like the second half of Circles considerably more than the first part which is more of a challenging listening. I wonder what the third effort of Argos will bring.
**+ André de Waal (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2013