Boldly Stride the Doomed
Released: May 2011
Label: Cruz Del Sur Music
Five burly blue-collar Pennsylvanians recording for an Italian label, Argus split their time between Sabbath despair and Maiden conquest, and rule at both. They open serene, with a minute-long instrumental, but soon they're thundering across mountain ranges with swords drawn, the belting of aptly nicknamed Brian "Butch" Balich leading the charge. "Durendal" is gargantuan glory-metal with a whiff of Thin Lizzy, and 11-minute romantic downer "Pieces of Your Smile" sounds suicidal to a Joy Division degree. But they can speed-race, too; interstitial pianos, bells and horns add emotional weight.
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