Otep – Generation Doom (Album Review)

Vocals: Otep Shamaya
Guitar: Aristotelis Mihalopolous
Drums: Justin Kier

After listening to Otep’s previous album Hydra which has some of the best lyrics I have ever heard I promised myself I would review the next album. Otep is one of those rare artists who can pretty much do it all, and yet still seems to fly under the radar, despite a sizeable body of work.  Perhaps she’s just too far ahead of the curve?

Her music can range from aggressive screaming punctuated by a high-speed double kick to a very accessible melodic style and even a rap/rhythm oriented style as Apex predator from the last album showed.

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  Mad Max style artwork takes us into Otep’s world.

Zero is the all-important opener.  Some noise, frantic breathing and the scream of “I don’t give a fuuuuuuck” start this searing track full of high tempo beats.  No shortage of aggression on this track.  Think Southern trendkill but more concentrated.  Feeding Frenzy and Lords of Wars are similarly brilliant.

There is also the unusual cover of Lorde’s Royals.  I really can’t think of too many singers who could pull this off, and Otep has definitely put her own distinctive stamp on this.

In Cold Blood is a slower, more melodic development, though there is some notable riffing that would make Kirk from Crowbar proud.  Down is great, and while not my favourite, I’m finding myself nodding along to this rhythmic affair. God is a Gun is brilliant.  These quiet, nervous verses are something Otep has mastered before her explosive chorus parts.  “God is a gun and the bullets are free”.

  2nd fave.

Equal rights equal lefts.  This has so many hilarious one-liners with a gigantic, epic chorus, even for an Otep song.  “He called me a dyke, I called him an ambulance”.  You can probably guess what her take is on this topic.  My favourite track, and it’s a monster.

No colour is focused and scorching, as it grows from its serene beginning.  Lie starts with Nu-metal 101 and yet is still capable of taking us to someplace unexpected.

All reviewers have their own subjective preferences.  One of mine is I always pay extra attention to the title track.  The artist obviously thought it was important enough to name the album after, why not?  Generation Doom – the title track snarls with more of the unforgettable rage in the undercurrent of this album. “I don’t care what you fuckin say but say it to my face”. Then at 2.20, we spiral into super slow heavy territory.

  On the shore winds us up.  On an album so heavy in places, this song is surprisingly pleasant to listen to.

Also 3 bonus tracks on the CD (Lie – acoustic version, breathing in the fire – spoken word and On the shore – remix with a bunch more spoken word on the end).  Otep has a lot to say and does so with plenty of passion and talent.  My only criticism is to make the font just a little bigger so we can read the lyrics and liner notes.  Outstanding and very necessary.

Otep: Facebook

Release Year: 2016
Label: Napalm Records
Category: Album
Country: USA

Reviewed by Matt