Friday, November 16, 2007

Argos Checkmate

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Argos Checkmate

These guys hail from Syracuse, New York and play a style that incorporates metal, hardcore and various sub-genres of both at times. This CD was recorded earlier this year. The first track “Dresden” had me turning up the volume on my player because the vocals were so muffled. After a couple of plays I got a better sense of what they trying accomplish, but it still felt like the vocals were robbed of their power and it hard to make a connection to the song as a whole. Track two “In the warm” has the band showing a different side, a side that was fairly impressive. The music here is massive yet relatively subtle overall. Maybe a little like YOB without the psychedelic overtones. Track three “Hellen Keller” was perhaps even messier than the opening track. I like the drums on it, but the rest was a bit like thrashing around in a basement (in a bad way) while someone holds their hand over the microphone of a tape recorder. Track four “Cerulean Tide” is back to the instruments taking over. Not quite as good as the second track, but still very thick and rich with a good sense of pacing. Basic perhaps, but it showed the potential that this band has. The final track is “Harlan” and we get muffled vocals, but we also get the basic, but vast music as well. I wouldn’t say the two halves work great, but they do work well enough. The track rambles a little, but certainly decent as I had not trouble staying tuned into what they were doing. So I liked three tracks and wasn’t big on two of them. I can’t and won’t try to interpret the band’s musical vision because that’s up to them. Yet my ears tell me that the largely instrumental parts showed real promise and the hardcore vocals didn’t work for me at all. Now I like hardcore vocals, but I want to hear them. Muffling anger, passion or whatever you have to bring just doesn’t work. All in all I would say that they show potential, but need some work as well. Check out their Myspace page below.


Blogger The Mule said...

Whatever their musical merits, I'll give them a bonus point for naming the band after a "Mr. Show" sketch.

12:56 PM  

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