BLEEDER’S DIGEST: QUICKIE REVIEWS OF NEW RELEASES BY TURBID NORTH AND OTARGOS
I’d never heard of Alaska’s Turbid North before they sent me their new album, and my decision to move it to the top of my “listen to” pile was based soley on their awesome, awesome cover art — which led me to believe that they were some kind of folk metal band. Nope. Turbid North play muscular yet melodic modern death metal that’s much more in line with Misery Index than Finntroll. And y’know what? They kick all kinds of ass. The music isn’t revolutionary by any stretch of the imagination, but Orogeny offers a steady stream of crush-your-ballspectacular riffs, well-structured guitar solos, and massive, booming drums. Given their skill at administering blunt force trauma, it’s impressive that that they also demonstrate a skill for Mastodonian stoner-prog atmospherics, as on the epic two-part “Kodiak,” and the twelve-minute plus closer, “Floating the Ionosphere.” The production is top-notch, too.
(3 1/2 outta 5 horns)
Given that their fellow French black-metallers in bands like Alcest, Celeste, and probably some other bands with “est” in their name are pushing the envelope in that genre (and that’s to say nothing of the seemingly dozens of other great French, non-black-but-still-metal bands that have emerged these past few years), it’s pretty disappointing to hear Otargos doing the same ol’, same ol’. Not that they’re bad, mind you; but there’s absolutely nothing on No God No Satan that one hasn’t heard a million times before. I guess if you’re fanatical about black metal and really need something to tide you over, you could do a lot worse than No God No Satan, but the incredible lack of originality here makes it difficult to recommend this album to anyone else.
(2 outta five horns)