Otargos - Apex Terror
Listenable Records
Black Metal
9 songs (39:09)
Release year: 2013
Official Myspace, Listenable Records
Reviewed by Goat

Hailing from the land of orthodox black metal yet not, as my comrade Charles has noted in the past, strictly sticking to the most dry and flavourless standard of that subgenre, French mob Otargos present here their fifth full-length since 2005, which is a lot by black metal standards. That they've done so without attracting huge amounts of attention, if any, suggests that they've been going beneath the radar of most, and switching to Listenable from Season of Mist suggests a change in direction of sorts. Listening to Apex Terror, that would seem to be borne out; the music here is slower and more diverse than before, some Thorns-y industrial elements and a touch of Behemoth-ic martial death metal stomp joining the formula. Yet Otargos have never been your typical orthodox black metal band (Metal-Archives.com describes the band's lyrical focus at the time of writing as 'Quantum Physics, Anti-Religion') and although Apex Terror is as modern in sound as that sci-fi-y artwork would suggest, this is still very much black metal in nature and style.

Part of this is due to the band's atmospheric touch, the likes of Remnant From a Long-Dead Star familiar yet arresting. The sonic cacophony of before is gone, and the general pace is slower and doomier, but the heaviness and intensity is still there; the opening title track's epic build-up leading to a black metal explosion driven by a flurry of cutting riffs and Dagoth's throaty growl. There's a bit of electronic noise woven in, but as commentary rather than focus, and the melodic hints that grow as the track progresses before becoming lead guitar squalls are a good red herring. As is Fleshless – Deathless, building from typical black/death churn to a genuinely grandiose black metal crescendo, closely followed by the furious yet melodic For Terra. Fallout ties its industrial pulse very tightly to the central blackened riffing, and the crackling military voiceover on Drone Killing ties it into the modern world. That might be the central message here, that black metal can be cold and dark in tone yet of today's world, and Apex Terror proves this well. It may be over rather quickly, and doesn't do anything groundshaking, but is more than proof enough that Otargos deserve to be better-known than they are.

Killing Songs :
Apex Terror, Fleshless – Deathless, Remnant From a Long-Dead Star, Fallout
Goat quoted 78 / 100
Other albums by Otargos that we have reviewed:
Otargos - No God, No Satan reviewed by Charles and quoted 85 / 100
Otargos - Fuck God-Disease Process reviewed by Charles and quoted 84 / 100
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