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New Music Review: OTEP “Generation Doom”

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Review-In 2013, Otep Shamaya said that Hydra would be the last record of her band. 3 years later, here we are with the new Otep cd. Where, Hydra was a huge departure for the band, Generation Doom seems to be the bridge of the past sound mixed with the risky nature of Hydra. Zero opens the cd in the signature bouncy screaming sound that Otep has always had on display. Where Shamaya seems energized and passionate, and seems to be back on the vocal attack. When she is singing in her chorus, “ I don’t give a fuck”. Feeding Frenzy is our next single and it just roars like an out of control machine. This song also displays that the band has tricks up its sleeve with Shamaya showing she is more than some screamer, she has this catchy melodic delivery that just feels so passionate. The band also compliments her style with what they bring to this song. The guitar riffs that are just so crunchy and catchy, that will get mosh pits worked up fast. The next song is Lords of War is the song that the fans wanted on Hydra. This is the song style that the fans can relate to, the spoken word mixed with the heavy chorus and band just creating this violent sound that will make fans react. This is just such a hammering attack that Otep seems to own, no one can come close to when they deliver like this. To do a Lorde cover is a brave move, to improve on the original was shocking. While this is a stretch for fans, and very commercialized in its delivery, the chorus though shows that Otep added its own twist to it. In Cold Blood is that song that I feel Otep needs to put out more than wants to, they need that one song that can relate to mainstream fans when a video is made. This is the song that I feel fans will struggle with the most. It is clearly a sell out song, but it has some Otep dust thrown in, but I just did not feel this song catch me. Down is another, while the opening tracks went into harder realms, the later the cd goes, it seems that the middle is softer. Down is that commercial song that is very catchy, and I feel can really separate fans. The song has elements I liked, I loved the catchy chorus. It definitely will stick with you after it is over. God is a Gun has classic Otep mixed in with an alternative almost Marilyn Manson feel. The song clearly shows that Otep is trying to change while staying the same. The experimental side of Otep is clearly on display yet again, Equal Rights, Equal Lefts. This is an odd song that shows that Otep is willing to dive into the deep end of the pool. The funny thing is long after it was over again, I could not get this song out of my head. It is like a angry rap song for the metal edge. The rest of the album is a mixture of this experimentation that Otep seems to be exploring and a throwback to their metal roots as well.

This record is clearly a band that is trying to break out of one mold, but I just feel that the experimentation like on Hydra may be a little too much for the casual Otep fan. I mean, let’s be honest, you have a singer who is very polarizing. People either love the band or they hate the woman. And I know she will chalk it up to being a very outspoken strong female, but I feel that is not the issue at all. Fans are sick of nonsense. They are sick of bands on a drop of a coin saying, “ Ok, this is it for us”. Then, they are back again with something else. People are sick of singers who constantly seem to want to wage wars or point fingers at problems that make fans question, “ why should we support this”. With Otep, you know you are going to get those endless spoken word moments that just seem to be repetitive of the last spoken word moments. I get it, the band is your vehicle and your voice, but you contradict yourself from interview to interview, from cd to cd. In the period of a few cds you went from thinking you were so ugly (your words not mine), to proudly bragging and boasting you can fuck someone’s wife and girlfriend if you choose? You clearly speak of individualism and how much a radical thinker you are, but why is it when I see protests on television or a peaceful assembly to challenge rights on television, I never see you in the crowd, but on a stage getting paid to spew what you feel? The new record is a good record, a little challenging at times, but overall it is a good effort by this band that I am really questioning their motives and actions. It is like a paid rebellion, a profit voice. I get that she thinks the whole world is so against her, but I got some sad news, with the way your albums sell, I am not sure if this is not just you against yourself.

01 – “Zero”
02 – “Feeding Frenzy”
03 – “Lords Of War”
04 – “Royals” (Lorde Cover)
05 – “In Cold Blood”
06 – “Down”
07 – “God Is A Gun”
08 – “Equal Rights, Equal Lefts”
09 – “No Color”
10 – “Lie”
11 – “Generation Doom”
12 – “On The Shore“

8 out of 10

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