Released: 2013, Listenable Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Their fifth offering, Apex Terror comes from France’s savage black metallers Otargos. Now on Listenable Records, coming after their 2010 much praised fourth record “No God, No Satan” the band is continuing with their themes of anti-religion and atheism, both of which are very agreeable to me, but is the music so intelligent and interesting?
As the title track’s synthesizer swirls and militaristic calls leave, a tightly played warp of black and death metal enters. Despite the obvious heaviness and evil characteristics that come through very quickly, it also becomes apparent early that the bass heavy production may not suit the band so well. It is hard to make out the low played, chugging riffs, but the virtuoso lead work cuts through and impresses. As “Fleshless-Deathless” comes in as the second song, it is refreshing to know that this isn’t going to be a case of all 9 tracks sounding the same. It begins with a grinding and doomy riff, as the drummer Thyr’s work complements the atmosphere well, with fills and cymbal hits slicing through at all the right moments.
Highlight track “Drone” begins with whirling dissonance before bursting into an excellent, Dissection style section. Think “The Somberlain” but with vocals that would be more familiar on a Behemoth record. With its great structure and catchy edge to what there is of a chorus, the track is sure to be one I’ll revisit rather often.
Affairs come to a close on this album with “Versus”, a solemn choice of ender with thumping bass, layered on top by dreamy and discordant rhythm guitar work. A higher tempo is next introduced with tremolo bar based solos that are soaked in wah-wah. A disappointing way to end a decent record is just to close with chaotic noise and heaps of childish profanities, but sadly, this exactly what Otargos do here. Despite this, Otargos have managed to churn out a semi-credible fifth album in a limiting genre of music, and it’s really worth checking out if it sounds like your idea of good music.
Review by Jarod Lawley