Italian sludge/doom band OTUS has been around since 2012, releasing a demo in 2013 before taking several years to put together their full length debut. The resulting effort ‘7.83Hz’, originally released independently in 2016, is a 70 minute concept album that was inspired by Timothy Leary’s quote: “Turn on, Tune in, Drop Out”. If you missed this one last year, Argonauta Records is giving you another chance to experience the group’s take on lucid detachment and becoming fully in tune with the universe through their music, as they’ll be giving ‘7.83Hz’ an expanded CD release on March 20th. Today we’re excited to re-introduce the album in full to give you a chance to experience OTUS’ take on the realms of harsh and meditative doom.
‘7.83Hz’ is certainly a lot to take in, as its nine lengthy tracks that run for over an hour demand a commitment from the listener. But OTUS makes the most of it, cramming more variation and shifts into unexpected styles than I was initially expecting. It’s the type of record where it can often be hard to predict exactly where it will go next, yet all of the different elements flow seamlessly and keep you fully tuned in to what the group has to offer. At the core of OTUS’ sound is that familiar abrasive sludge/doom sound, driven forward by lumbering riffs and aggressive, low pitched screams. But it’s the psychedelic leaning melodies and transitions into drone and electronic territory that really make this album stand out. Opener Avidya is a perfect example of how much variety the instrumentals can pack into a single song while still maintaining a cohesive flow. It begins with some ominous sounding chanting that gives way to bottom heavy riffs and harsh screams, but later transitions into softer, hazier melodies and clean singing that gives off a psychedelic vibe. The title track reaches the 7.83Hz frequency, often referred to as the “Buddha’s frequency”, with the roughness of the distortion reminiscent a number of different drone bands, and you’ll find yourself sucked right into the waves of sound.
What’s most impressive about OTUS’ debut is how they’ve truly been able to bridge the gap between abrasive sludge/doom and the more exploratory, psychedelic side of the genre. They’re able to seamlessly move between sections that hit you right in the chest with lumbering guitar and bass over to much softer, reflective passages, all without ever doing anything that would pull you out of the listening experience. ‘7.83Hz’ lives up to the quote it was inspired by, and while you’re going to need some extended time to give it your undivided attention and lose yourself in all of the harsh and psychedelic tones, it’s well worth it. Argonauta’s reissue of ‘7.83Hz’ is out March 20th.
OTUS | Argonauta Records