OTEP Generation Doom Napalm Records
By Robin X Steeley (RS11)
Otep’s Generation Doom is what we have always loved about this group; breathy, heavy, grinding, dirty, raw, and ritualistic, with lyrical content that can be either haunting enough to give you shivers or make your skin crawl in empathy for lyricist poet Otep Shemaya. “Zero” starts out heavy with a racing beat and the opening words “I don’t give a fuck!” An angry anthem is the feel throughout this effort; “Zero” has the thrashing heaviness on lockdown with just enough catch to appease the masses that don’t get it beyond the music. It ends with an earth shatteringly long scream and this leads into “Feeding Frenzy,” different in its approach, more technically driven, there’s some foot tapping head bobbing action between feeling the need to jump in the pit. It ends at 2:56 and within ten seconds you hear police radio chatter, gunshots at a school, bone chilling to listen to and controversial at its best.
Track three, “Lords of War” eases into the intro and the first verse begins the build and the poetic climb to the staccato chorus and the sounds of a cocking gun, as she speaks of devils, bombs and bullets, before it erupts into a full bounce mid song. That continues to the outro, a crying child and a fierce diatribe. This fades into her insane cover of Lorde’s song of pop fame “Royals” and I have to say I dig Otep’s take on it, and it was surely a bonus, the least expected song here. I was curious how she would twist it, and she handles it like she does all things, fiercely, with a deeply imbedded scream here, a ferocious growl there.
Next track “In Cold Blood” is damn near a ballad, it has a somewhat 80’s flair to it, more gentle fare here, piano hauntingly trails through mostly clean singing. I hate to compare songs, but something about it reminds me faintly of “Tainted Love.” It gets heavier in the latter part of the song then slips back into the ballads gently moving, breathing chorus. Next is “Down” with its rap flow and beat that’s vocally driven and trips round and round into an angry howl – then back to the beat. There are a lot of layers of sound here, yet it’s both simple and listenable. I love the lyric “You can’t command what you can’t control!” This one has stick in your head forever quality too. “God is a Gun” right out of the gate grabs me, maybe because it reminds me most of what I love about Otep; brutal beats, melodic growling vocals, hate laden brashly spit out lyrics, monster riffs, and heavy low end bass. Classic Otep formula! This might be my favorite track offered here. Haunting, panicked, angry. YES.“Equal Rights, Equal Lefts” is anthemic, dirty filthy, and full of perfect expletives, a clear anthem for equal rights with a poetic tirade against injustice. I loved the line “He called me a dyke, I called him an Ambulance!” and “I’ll always get more pussy than you!” absolutely hysterical -but also a clear message for equality.
Track ten is “Lie” – I have to say it’s good- but so ritualistic, so intense, I’m almost exhausted. This is more than just listening required, it’s involved. The entire album is alive, breathing, and it’s got a fucking heartbeat! Title track “Generation Doom” is equally vicious. Pure unadulterated Otep again here, the track just keeps getting better as it rolls along. The breakdown midsong complete with gang chant was an unexpected gift in G-Doom. Like tasting metal in your mouth it melts down into screams and sounds like a painful song to sing – till she laughs at the end in the studio; clearly, effortlessly.
Final track “On the Shore” is surprisingly beautiful. Vocally and lyrically enchanting, far more melody here, and oh what a lovely ending. I needed the rest, the come down of this track. It has been an impressive listening experience, a dynamic mix – it ends at 4:18 but if you hang out, there’s a bonus track added on at 7:34. Spoken word, beautiful, personally perfect to me and relatable I’m sure to many. This soundtrack is set to the sound of grunting pigs in the background. I even hear a ringing cell phone. It has me hanging on the edge of my seat. I want to send it to my last heartbreak, it’s THAT good. Overall, this is an Excellent release, it’s completely worthy of a Poetic Warrior. Get more info about the band at https://www.facebook.com/otepofficial/ http://otepsaves.me/
Lover of music. Lover of writing. Music is the audible form of emotion, and I have a deep need to find out what it takes to make a song, an album...a band. When a musician says, "No one has ever asked me that before," or "That was the best interview I've ever done," I know I've done my job right.