|Review: Arghon - Equilibrium|
Year released: 2007
Genre: Progressive Power Metal
Review online: December 27, 2007
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
This is another Brazillian Progressive Power Metal band that sounds almost nothing like Angra, and actually a very, very promising one, for a change. With a sound slightly reminiscent of Pagan's Mind or even Circus Maximus, Arghon have brought out a debut album that, while lacking in a glossy production, shines with a tight, kinetic songwriting sensibility that could very well carry the band onto a major label and bring them to produce many a high quality album in the next few years.
As I mentioned, the sound here is a fairly set-in-stone Prog formula, as used by bands such as Pagan's Mind, Communic and Circus Maximus in recent years. The production is primitive and raw, but the lead guitar tone is excellent - crystal-clear and powerful as a new jackhammer - and the songwriting is of a generally high quality. The vocals here are a bit of a weak point, resembling a Nils K. Rue without half of Rue's dynamic range or power, but you get used to them well enough after a few listens. The band would benefit greatly from a vocalist more from the Geddy Lee school, though, and I'd probably shoot up the score a few points if this was so. The synth section is also extremely well done, bringing an ominous, kinglike punch to the already splendid sound. Look at the extended "outro" track for proof - a beautiful sweep of keys that ends the album leaving you mystified and wanting more. Fabulous.
The guitarists are the real show-stoppers here, though, as the lead melody lines are great at worst and jaw-droppingly awesome at best. The ballads "Far Beyond the Sky" and "Lost Angel" just drip sorrow and emotion from every pore and every guitar solo, and rarely have I seen such unabashed, real passion in a young rookie band. "Survivor" is a majestic seven minute epic that, after growing on you with multiple listens, will mesmerize you with its slow, hypnotic rhythms and grandiose synths. "Run Away" is probably the best song here, boasting a screaming, ripping solo towards the end of its duration that will blow you out of that chair you're sititng back in right now. Seriously, if these guys had a better production job, they'd be right up there with the big names, as this is some high fucking quality stuff all the way through.
For Prog fans, this is a pretty damn good debut from a band with obvious talent, and we can only hope they get picked up by a label and get a better production job next time around. This just gets better every time I hear it, so take it from me and go listen to these guys. Recommended.
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