Otargos - No God, No Satan
Season Of Mist
Black Metal
10 songs (55:42)
Release year: 2010
Official Myspace, Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Charles
France’s Otargos follow on from last year’s Fuck God Disease Process with another offering of orthodox but creative black metal. Whilst they are maybe a more primitive proposition than many of their higher-profile contemporary compatriots (this being the land of Deathspell Omega, Pensees Nocturnes, Blut Aus Nord etc.), they are also a much less primitive proposition than hundreds of other bands we could doubtless name and, in fact, have a bit of a cerebral streak themselves. The attentive will no doubt notice from the title that this is an explicitly atheist project- mainman Dagoth identifies strongly as a Cartesian rationalist and a scientist who pledges to have little to do with cartoonish Satanism (despite some of the song titles here). In terms of the lyrics, delivered for the most part in a standard black metal roar, this has very little effect on your listening experience. But I can’t help thinking that the brainy and coldly scientific approach they take to music filters through to their craftsmanlike approach to songwriting- they emphasise cleverly worked, standalone tunes capable of incorporating brooding and atmospheric slow tempos and occasional industrial influences. And they often rely more on clever manipulation and construction of sound rather than pure, devoted energy.

Its predecessor did similar things with comparable conviction, but this probably represents a step up. This is thanks to the immediacy and power of some of the tunes here, which reveal Otargos as, when at their best, a band worthy of black metal’s big leagues. Workshop Industrialised has a bludgeoningly inhuman feel to it, with the percussion sounding like crashing metal machinery and the guitars emitting tortured, dissonant noises that sound like gleaming steel being beaten into twisted shapes. Origin’s melodic lines, on the other hand, manage to drag a vibrant and screeching tunefulness into an otherwise barren, brutal whirl- it’s just a shame it starts fading out as a rare guitar solo emerges. The factor common to all the best moments of No God, No Satan is a neat grasp of texture. Different timbres, different harmonic ideas are laid cleverly over a fairly relentless, mechanized blast to produce a densely complex sound.

The review would be incomplete without mention of the two longer tracks here, which seem to form focal points. Cuiusvis Hominus Est Errare gives way half way through into a quiet, creepy clean guitar murmur that gets eerier with repetition before exploding into a dissonant slow groove. And 17 minute-long closer The Hulk of Conviction and Faith pulls a similar trick, collapsing into a series of loud and ugly slow riffs that flail about like a beached Cthulhu sea monster for the great majority of the track’s running time, and with which the album leaves you on a marvellously hostile note. No God, No Satan isn’t here to make friends but it ought to win admirers; all in all, a compellingly punishing black metal album.

Killing Songs :
Origin, Workshop Industrialised
Charles quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Otargos that we have reviewed:
Otargos - Apex Terror reviewed by Goat and quoted 78 / 100
Otargos - Fuck God-Disease Process reviewed by Charles and quoted 84 / 100
0 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 1 replies to this review. Last one on Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:02 pm
View and Post comments