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Otargos - Xeno Kaos

Xeno Kaos
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 25 May 2016, 8:06 PM

OTARGOS is a Dark Extreme/Black Metal band based out of France. Formed in 2001, the band has five previous full length albums under their belt. “Xeno Kaos” is the band’s sixth, and contains nine new tracks. “Dominatrix” builds slowly with some twin guitars but pretty quickly scorches the landscape with blistering blast beat drumming and death vocals. It sounds like an amalgam of Death and Black Metal; the “wall” isn’t as big as in some Black Metal and the vocals are more traditional in the Death area. Dark and heavy, “The Runious Powers” is a little slower but without losing any potency. The audible focus is still pretty strong on the drums and vocals as opposed to the guitars, who pretty much keep steady chords along the way.

“Chariots ov the Godz” is more closely Black Metal at times as the sound is pushed up a notch, but there are also sections of looser passages that feature some programming and eerie spoken words. The song is also heavy with evil; just black in nature. “Dark Mechanicus” is a longer song on the album, at over six minutes. Thought there aren’t orchestral instruments per se, it does have a Symphonic feeling to it, or at the very least the approach was for a more epic sounding piece. “Phase Shifters” has a dominating rhythm as the instrumentation is packed tightly together. This could be the song set to the march of the Urak-hai as they head to Helm’s Deep to wipe out the world of man. The title track, “Xeno Kaos,” is another ultra-hard tune with some nimble lead guitar work and that sixth-sense, hair raising feeling that Death himself is lurking right around the corner. “Realm of the Dead” is rich with great rhythm and pacing and the descending guitar chords sound like you are being lowered into the pit of hell in a fiery cage, chocking on noxious fumes threatening to overtake you. If you could pour evil in liquid form into a chalice it would be made up of this track.

“Human Terminate” has an official video so that the music can reflect the imagery. It’s dark, wet, and filthy, amok with bugs and sterile cold steel wrapped in the shape of tentacles. Dirty, infectious hands reach out to envelope you. “Infernal Legions Strike A.E.” closes out the album. There is a longer lead in and a heavier Black Metal sound from the two-step chord that you often hear in this style. Overall the impression left on me from the album was reaching into the deepest and darkest areas of the netherworld. The effort was honest and earnest and did not smack of pretense. If you enjoy Dark Metal there is a lot to like here.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Dominatrix
2. The Ruinous Powers
3. Chariots ov the Godz
4. Dark Mechanicus
5. Phase Shifters
6. Xeno Kaos
7. Realm of the Dead
8. Huminate Terminate
9. Infernal Legions Strike A.E.
Dagoth – Vocals, Guitars
John A. – Drums
M. Pliszke – Bass
Hindrik A. S. – Guitars
Record Label: Kaotoxin Records


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Edited 28 September 2020

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