Otep Album Review: As Angry As Ever

Back in 2013 Otep’s sixth record ‘Hydra’ was proclaimed to the last one for the band. With some distance from the music business the larger-than-life Otep Shamaya found some more energy and recorded another full-length album. ‘Generation Doom’ is her seventh album and this time around there is not talk about it being her last one.

Three years and a short hiatus have passed before Otep signed a new record deal with Napalm Records in 2015. ‘Generation Doom’ is now somewhat of a fresh start for Otep. The last record ‘Hydra’ still had all the ingredients Otep was known for but received a rather disappointing feedback from fans and critics due to the overly complex song structures. On ‘Generation Doom’ Otep brings things a bit more back to basics. The tracks are arranged with a more traditional approach to structures which makes them a lot more listenable. The trademarks of Otep’s sound – her psychotic, screaming vocals, the aggressive and political lyrics as well as a modern metal sound somewhere in between nu and alternative metal – are still there. Good examples are the album opener ‘Zero’. ‘Zero’ is one of the fastest tracks on the album, has a pretty brutal riff at the beginning and a variety of Otep’s aggressive vocals. The often repeated line ‘I don’t give a fuck’ makes it pretty clear that Otep is as angry as ever and still has a lot to criticize.

otep album review

Tracks like the opener ‘Zero’ are among the highlights of the album. Otep is at her best when she’s angry and the music is heavy. These stronger moments include songs like the title track ‘Generation Doom’, ‘God Is A Gun’ and ‘Feeding Frenzy’. As always there are other elements on an Otep album. Unfortunately, this is where the weaker moments of the album come through. The surprising Lorde cover ‘Royals’ is still one of the better songs but it certainly lacks the aggression that made Otep popular. The rap-influenced (yes, I said rap and not nu metal) songs like ‘Down’ and ‘Equal Rights, Equal Lefts’ sound exerted rather than convincing. If that wasn’t enough Otep finish the album on the lowest point with ‘On The Shore’. I would expect a song like that rather on a Taylor Swift album than as the album closer of an Otep record. Maybe this is a sign that we actually have seen her last album.

Some of what I wrote might sound harsh. ‘Generation Doom’ is not a bad album and certainly a step into the right direction for Otep after the pretty disappointing ‘Hydra’. However, there are a few dispensable tracks on the album, that water down the impact of the stronger parts. The overall result is an average album.

6 of 10