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Otargos: Apex Terror

Gallic extreme metal to take your head off

During their decade or so of existence, France’s Otargos have always been considered a black metal outfit, not merely because of the nature of their music but also their aesthetic, the members rather unambiguously clad in a familiar array of corpsepaint, spikes and chains.

Lately things have changed, however; the band now tag themselves ‘dark extreme metal’, appear in rather more slick attire and claim to have harnessed “catchier death and obscure thrash” influences. Whether this has anything to do with the conflict that occurred while on tour with Watain we can only speculate, but this, the band’s fifth album, certainly repositions the group somewhat.

Technical yet dynamic, it is a ferocious assault made all the more devastating due to its powerful production, the songs harnessing catchy and subtly stirring guitar work as well as more rhythmic and atonal passages. There’s certainly a heavy dose of the dry black metal of their last album (as well as an industrial touch), but this owes as much to the blackened death of Behemoth and Immolation, the aggressive barrage retaining a crucial amount of atmosphere and occasion.