Saturday, April 16, 2016

Otep - Generation Doom (2016)

A minute into "Generation Doom", and Otep Shamaya is already screaming "I don't give a fuck" straight into my ears, which frankly does not surprise me one bit. You see, her self named band Otep is all about anarchy, anger, and a "don't give a fuck" attitude, and it is a style that is highly debated in the metal community, is she the voice of the revolution or just some crazy bitch screaming her lungs out? Personally, I think Otep is a interesting, and rather unique band that, when they hit the right notes, can make some great aggressive metal, just a shame it rarely lasts throughout an album.

The only thing that surprises me with this record is that it exists at all, because Otep straight up retired after the release of "Hydra" in 2013, claiming that she was frustrated and no longer felt inspired to make anymore music (mostly thanks to labels trying to interfere too much). Now she has made a Rolling Stones, and returned with a huge knuckle sandwich in "Generation Doom".

Usually, Otep albums are extremely uneven, containing several different songs and styles (including dark whispers that barely classifies as music), but "Generation Doom" is a lot more cohesive than what I expected it to be. The album holds well together with its aggressive half industrial, half nu-metal sound, and Otep delivers a passionate performance. You can really feel that her blood is on the boiling point. And the music is not too shabby either, being either heavy, groovy, or just madness personified, it often works out really well.

My personal favourite is probably "No Color", a mystical song with a really cool chorus that sticks to your mind and is easy to enjoy. It might have a worthless ending (like several other songs in this album), but I am impressed that the band could create a great song without screaming. Even "In Cold Blood" is a slower song that shows Otep's versatility, a soft song that feels just right for the band. Otherwise it is the faster and heavier songs that steals the show, like the cybernetic "Feeding Frenzy", the well armored "Lords of War", and the Lacuna Coil sounding "Down".

And in the middle of all this aggression and anger we have a song called "Royals", and you guessed it, it is a cover of the song with the same name by Randy Marsh Lorde. The screaming in the chorus might be a little forced, but the band really succeeded in making this song their own, and it sounds really good, making this luxurious song into a anarchistic rally.

Unfortunately, there are a couple songs that drags the album down a notch. "Lie" is boring as hell, "God Is A Gun" has a really weird flow to it, and then we have "Equal Rights, Equal Lefts", a more hip hop spoken word song that may be a big part of Otep's personality, but this song just breaks down the flow of the album in the wrong way. Also, there is a line in this song I cannot comprehend. "He called me a dyke/I called him an ambulance". What the hell is that supposed to mean? Are those really insults? "Oh, so I am a vehicle that helps sick people getting to the hospital? That's... something?". She can write some great lyrics from time to time, but this is just dumb.

I think the hate for Otep will still be there, but it is a hate that I think fuels Otep to come back with twice the strength, at least that is what she has done with "Generation Doom". This album is the most even one, and it might also be the strongest album she has presented us with. She is still far from perfect, and the music will continue to be controversial, but this is a strong comeback, and an even stronger statement that they are here to stay, and continue to be pissed off.

Songs worthy of recognition: No Color, Feeding Frenzy, Lords of War

Rating: 7,5/10 Lies

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