ARGUS – Beyond The Martyrs
The third album from Pennsylvania’s Argus, "Beyond The Martyrs" contains a lot of epic twin guitar harmonies and traditional metal rhythms and tempos- along with the twists of doom to keep your ears buzzing. Vocalist Butch Balich possesses one of those commanding from the mountain-top ranges- something you would expect from Tony Martin-era Sabbath along with Robert Lowe of Solitude Aeturnus notoriety.
Songs like "No Peace Beyond the Line" and "Four Candles Burning" contain a lot of twin melodic harmonies from guitarists Erik Johnson and Jason Mucio that possess those UK Thin Lizzy meets Iron Maiden qualities, but again done with a lot of cultural Slough Feg finesse. Certain songs just have this working class, down to earth toughness that seems to missing in a lot of metal today- I love the half time transitions within "The Hands of Time Are Bleeding" and the naturally dark chord choices for the 7:31 epic "The Coward’s Path- drummer Kevin Latchaw and bassist Andy Rampage getting a chance to gain a little spotlight with their professional execution through the cleaner verses and galloping instrumental sections. And how can you not succumb to the vocal ‘whoa’ parts in "Cast Out All Raging Spirits" – naturally joining the band in metal unity?
I think that more people should take in acts like Argus- because the talent is undeniable within this quintet and they know how to keep the arrangements on point while executing strong riffing, lead breaks and great hooks. Assuredly developing a strong following throughout most traditional supporters in Europe, "Beyond the Martyrs" should get the air guitarists ablaze and remind people of a time when Maiden, Thin Lizzy, and Dio-era Sabbath ruled the hearts of metal followers everywhere.