Argus – The Outsider Review

Being fair and square, the thing that attracted me to “The Outsider” was the guitar solos. For sure, guitarist Wim Wassenberg studied at Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour school of guitars due to the slow, and more importantly, emotional phrasing that gives to each note its due value. That’s a somewhat lost art in guitar playing as, mostly, today’s guitarists are only interesting in competing on how many notes they are able to put into a guitar solo. The faster, the better, they do think. Though I do like this style I do appreciate the lost as well. There is nothing more beautiful to listen to a guitarist choosing each note for the solo. It’s something only similar to a craftsman’s work.

A fun fact is that just this week The Finantial Times published an article about Prog Rock and how some bands are kind of reviving the genre. Of course, for us that follow the world of music Prog Rock hasn’t ever been dead. It doesn’t have the same number of followers it had in the good old past, I mean in the early 1974 nor the same positions on the charts. But it’s never been dead at all. As a matter of fact, Argus perform the good old Prog Rock with many features of the good old days and some of the 1980s.

Now, about the album “The Outsider” I have a few kind words. Ok, at first the fan will have to wait some good seconds for the opening tittle “Depressed” to start. Despite its tittle, “Depressed” isn’t depressing – no pun intended, really. It’s a medium tempo 1980s Prog Rock with some good tasting of Pink Floyd. Not exactly the sonancy, but the feeling and the mood that the guitar solo gave to me. “Some Time” gave me this impression much more as it begins with the guitar solo. Each note played give the thrills ad that’s exactly the idea of this way of soloing. Sorry, I couldn’t help it reminding again Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour one of the staplers of this kind of guitar playing.

Ok, then, as you my fan asked, no more talking about the wondrous guitar soloing. “The Outsider” is also full of some Emerson, Lake, and Palmer features in the songwriting I must say. All six tracks are long with lots of carefully played instrumentals – the last, but not least, “Breaking Chains” is instrumental. What do I mean by Emerson, Lake, and Palmer features in the songwritng? It’s the subtle use of instruments as the flute in “Outsider,” the synth and the keyboards and the way the arrangements were done. The carefull use of the cadence in order to choose where is the best moment to have a crescendo or the guitar solo. What the fan must note in “The Outsider” is the care of the band in each detail. It sounds like as if the band chosed carefully where to put each note and each part of the instrumentals and vocals. Well, on second thought, I guess they did it.

My impression is that metallers will love “The Outsider” and Argus for having all those features that we all love. It’s not a heavy album, but the music inside it is of great quality and one thing we metallers love is good quality music.

Argus “The Outsider” was independently released on December 15th.

Track Listing:

  1. Depressed
  2. Some Time
  3. Outsider
  4. Visions
  5. Lost Girl
  6. Breaking Chains

Watch “Outsider” official video here: