Wow!! Well... we're off to a great start here with a gut wrenching roar of 'I don't give a FUUUUUUUUUCK!!!!!!!!' on the opening track called 'Zero'. My heart is immediately pumping with adrenaline as I sit here waving my arms around like a nutter playing air drums (Yes, I do that sometimes.... tee hee). What they have done here is pure genius, they have opened up with possibly the heaviest and angriest track on the album, and what an opening it is. I'm pulled in straight away, held by my proverbial nuts and swung around like a human ragdoll. OUCH!!
This LA four piece (including touring bassist Andrew Barnes) began life sixteen years ago after being invited to play Ozzfest by Sharon Osbourne who had previously seen them live. They were unsigned and demoless at that point, but were given their lucky break due in large part to the energy of their live performances. Since then, they have released seven full lengths, the latest being 'Generation Doom' on Napalm Records.
As I stated before, 'Zero' is a masterclass in brutality with gut wrenching growls masterfully done by vocalist and founder member Otep (Poet) Shamaya. 'Feeding Frenzy' is slightly more melodic, and by that I mean that the vocal hooks are more sung than growled. I could go on about how great a vocalist Shamaya is until I'm blue in the face, but by doing that I would be doing the other band members a grave injustice here. Justin Kier does an absolutely amazing job on drums, and when partnered by Andrew Barnes on bass, the rhythm section on the whole full length is an awesome thing to behold. Ari Mahalopoulos on guitars has the perfect sound to string this all together so to speak. After listening to the twelve blistering tracks, I felt somehow happier and rejuvenated.
The short and curlies to this is that my only regret in listening to 'Generation Doom' is that I didn't discover Otep sooner. Every track here is a work of poetry, and very intelligently and passionately written at that. There is a mix a styles going on in every track, from rap, to melodic, to death metal. There is so much going on in 'Generation Doom' but the experience somehow doesn't get flighty. Otep have proven themselves to be a very consistent outfit with many powerful tools of heavy metal destruction in their arsenal. I'll be keeping an eye out for their rise to power from now on. Brilliance incarnate!!
On a final note, hang about for a while after the final track 'On The Shore'. I believe you will be pleasantly surprised.