Released: 2015, Kaotoxin Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Otargos are a band from France, who have progressed their sound over the years from their inception in 2001. 2013's "Apex Terror" saw them move into a more industrial extreme metal sound, but still keeping a lot of their black metal roots. This year's "Xeno Kaos" is a brutal album with a cold raw sound, but still managing to keep a clear and powerful production quality. The album has an
immense mix of screaming growls, technical guitar, thundering bass and belting drums.
"Dominatrix" has an intro that sets us up for what is to come, as it blasts you in the face with Dagoth's vocals. He pierces through your ears like a knife, screaming and growling over the music. It is dark and extremely powerful, with guitars slicing through the drums. The album continues to show us how Otargos' can balance brutality and sublime guitar work, that just layers over the percussion brilliantly. The guitar work and solo near the end of "The Ruinous Powers", is just genius as it ends with an almost gothic haunting sound. "Chariots ov the Godz" mixes in moody spoken word, before returning to the screams.
The middle of the album greats us with "Dark Mechanius" which is my favourite track of the album, it starts slower with a slight doom feel. The steady beats of John A's drumming mixed with; the crunching guitar riffs carry this song along to an atmospheric conclusion. Dagoth and Hindrik's guitars work in unison to produce a mix of powerful but melodic tunes; "Phase Shifters" is a brilliant example of this. "Xeno Kaos" continues straight on into the brutality, creating a wall of sound that becomes a whirl wind of guitars and bass.
M. Pliszke's bass is matched against the guitars in a glorious mix on "Realm of the Dead", it has a mighty rhythm that carries the song along well. The midsection is filled with vocal distortion, which gives a little time to breathe before the onslaught continues. "Human Terminate" is Otargos' last chance to blow us away with how awesome this album is, to which they do not disappoint.
Having moved forward from their black metal roots Otargus continue to push their boundaries, mixing extreme metal, industrial snippets and technical musicianship. This album was an absolute pleasure to review, everything about it worked for me.
By Joanna Wilson