Argus - From Fields of Fire

Argus From Fields of Fire cover
From Fields of Fire
Cruz Del Sur Music
Not to be confused with other bands with the same name, this American quintet return some four years after the rather respectable “Beyond the Martyrs” with their fourth album. Having been around for a dozen years, they haven’t had any serious missteps and have kept the quality control of their releases rather high.
Things are no different in the case of “From Fields of Fire”. The aesthetics of primal doom-laden heavy metal are well met, with slow sharp riffing that tends to recall Maiden and stentorian vocals. Overall, I’d say they sound like a less lyrical and bleaker Solitude Aeturnus.
There’s hardly a bad moment here… after a short intro with the acoustic “Into the Fields of Fire”, “Devils of Your Time” hits hard and steady and feels epic, without having to resort to cheap vocal theatrics.
“As a Thousand Thieves” has some impressive doomy riffing, before it turns into a steady galloping Maiden/Solitude/Dio sort of number, with a bit of Mercyful Fate (musically, in there for good measure.
“216” is slow burning, but once it comes around to it, it’s rather impressive.
“You are the Curse” is the most straightforward and possibly faster tune and feels a bit like a “letdown”, but doesn’t spoil the proceedings too much.
“Infinite Lives, Infinite Doors”, which lasts well above ten minutes, is not all that complex, but expectedly breaks for some extended soloing in the middle to justify that duration. It’s good.
“Hour of Longing” is heavy and sounds anguished, lyrical and full of despair. I still think Brian Balich could attempt to sound a bit more theatrical, but it might not be all that easy for him. I am pretty certain that some harmonic vocals on top might make the whole thing sound more majestic. Maybe…
“No Right to Grieve” is another slow burning epic and maybe one of the better moments on the album, with one of Balich’s most passionate deliveries…
Finally, “From the Fields of Fire” is the sister-track to the intro “ITFOF…” and is another acoustic fragile piece that concludes the album nicely.
Without being the best doom album I’ve heard this year (I suppose Sorcerer’s newest work wins that), Argus deliver a solid slab of doomy heavy metal that sounds just as it should and should in turn be appreciated by the masses accordingly. If only…