Argos are one of the most British sounding bands you will ever hear. The only issue is that they are German! But they have a sound that reminds me of bands like Van der Graaf Generator and Nektar. At least that’s from a musically perspective. Vocally singer Robert Gozon has more in common with the “proper” stylings of XTC’s Colin Moulding. While I do like his voice, it can be a little to “up scale” sounding to me.
I think many people won’t might it at all since it’s a rather common delivery in prog, especially Britprog. Musically, the band are rooted in 70s prog rather than the 80s neo prog scene. There are more big sweeping moments than technical moments. This is not to say Argos aren’t quite technical. Rather they are more inclined to play something to suit the song rather than themselves.
“The Hunter’s Last Stand” makes for a very strong start, that showcases the band’s playing and their ability to arrange their music as well. It has a bit of funk to it, you know the kind that often found its way into classic prog. Then it slowly opens up into a majestic track. “Parade of Unpainted Dreams” is a boppy track which reminds me even more of old XTC, beyond that of the vocals.
“Beneath The Valley Of Sleep” is not a favorite, mostly due to the repetitive lyrics and rather iffy vocals. Gozon doesn’t quite have the range to pull this off well. Bassist and band leader Thomas Klarmann steps to the mic for “Shock Headed Peter” and has a voice very similar in delivery to Bozon. Not sure why he is on vocals because his voice is even weaker. The track is a tad boring as well and sounds too much like “Parade of Unpainted Dreams.”
“Elsewhere” has the melodic start that works well before yielding to some VERY nice solos. It proves that you can accomplish a lot in less than 5 minutes. And what prog album would be complete without a 19 minute epic closing track? “When The Tide Comes In” is that epic. Again, the problem is the over politeness of the vocals and the seemingly tentative playing by the band. Thilo Brauss gives a great performance on keys however.
Overall, “Unidentified Dying Objects” is just an okay album that falls well short of impressing me. Granted my standards for prog rock might be a little bit high at times. Still, bands such as Argos are aplenty and there are better options to be found. If you do live and die with ALL prog, perhaps this album will have enough to satisfy you.
- The Hunter’s Last Stand
- Parade Of Unpainted Dreams
- Beneath The Valley Of Sleep
- The Days Of Perky Pat
- Shock Headed Peter
- Still Fighting Gravity
- When The Tide Comes In
Label: Bad Elephant Music
Release Date: 20 July 2018