Welcome Argus, another Pennsylvania metal band, with their sophomore title Boldy Stride the Doomed to the annals of Dangerdog Music Reviews. Recently I reviewed the latest from Power Theory, a band from the Philadelphia area; now we cross the state to the Western side, half way between Pittsburgh and Erie. While the former plays a classic melodic heavy/power metal, Argus leans more towards traditional heavy metal with subtle tinges of the doom metal. You'll hear echoes of Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Slough Feg, and Pennsylvania brethren Icarus Witch and Sinister Realm. Is Pennsylvania becoming a haven for traditional metal? I certainly hope so.
Led by Butch Balich's strong and soaring vocals, Argus breathes more melodic, well paced, traditional metal on Boldy Stride the Doomed. While tempos can moderate on all the songs, this is not entirely a 'doom' metal album. 42-7-29 approaches it, but smacks more of Sabbath steadiness. The longest song, Pieces of Your Smile, with its measured slower pace, is probably the song that best represents the 'doom' side. Ironically, Boldly Stride the Doomed, is not what its title could imply. It's a brisk, and short, piece of rocking heavy metal.
Generally, most songs build upon heavy, devestating riffs and a vigorous, sometimes dark, bottom end. Add to this the effortless power of the Balich's vocals and the generous and blistering guitar solos that add shimmer and glaze, then you have some epic material. The songs A Curse on the World, Wolves of Dusk, and Fading Silver Light, sound large and grand built upon this motif.
Having not heard their debut, I'm quite impressed with Argus and their second effort Boldy Stride the Doomed. Great heavy metal exists, and it exists without the modern, label and trend pleasing, abominations of hardcore riffs and dirty vocals. Classic and epic, foreboding and entertaining, Argus' Boldy Stride the Doomed is great heavy metal. Quite recommended.
On Make It Dark Twisted Tower Dire's mission of resurrecting and pursuing classic melodic heavy/power metal remains suitably relentless. Recommended.
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