ALBUM REVIEW: Generation Doom – Otep

OTEP, striving towards a much deserved reign with their seventh studio Album. A career spanning over a decade, OTEP have found strong ground within Generation Doom and no longer need to survey the future, but grasp it by the throat, make it bleed and gain the lifeblood Generation Doom offers. Success is now and OTEP rise to take the world by storm; destruction where destruction is due.

Generation Doom delves into subjects highly relatable to OTEP‘s gritty backdrop of L.A. With themes of drug abuse, the fake imagery of the high life; to put it as simply as one can, Horrifically smashing apart the American Dream and visions of luxury; social themes ultimately setting down a policy of truth on such matters.

The daring journey begins with Zero.

Power generates from the voice of Otep Shamaya from the get go; there is no messing around, straight to the point with the opening lyrics. In comes the instrumentation, machine gun kick drums surrounded by a tight performance from drummer Justin Kier, allowing guitarist Ari Mihalopoulos to lay down simple but effective chords and note hammer pulls. OTEP are here to start a war, with a heavy introduction and combat-like prowess through and through; it is enough to make the frail shatter. Deep grooves run throughout the track with harrowing sound effects adding to the beast that Zero is. A lengthy shriek from vocalist Otep Shamaya ends the track. A powerful start to a promising beginning.

Feeding Frenzy swiftly calls upon the listener. Grungy open guitar notes, with sporadic bangs from drummer Justin Kier leading the track into serial grooves that are unstoppable in their quality. It is the middle eight section that steals the show. The pulse of the track that leads into the final chorus; which is, shall we say, catchy.

Royals is where the album starts to take fresh steps and making every step a curb stomper. Slower rhythm’s, deeper grooves; just can’t get enough. Otep Shamaya opting with a relaxed voice for the verses. A beautiful, graspy voice. Adding true heart to the surrounding instrumentation. Relaxed and heavy bass lines from bassist Ari Mihalopoulos. Swarming comes the chorus that raises the roof and then some. OTEP are at the high bar of their song writing abilities, with all sections of each track being everlasting in the long-term memory. Delivery is also a big factor in OTEP‘s repertoire; striking performances.

In Cold Blood features relaxed beginnings, soft vocals and programmed drums. It is a different start, however, it is welcoming and what follows is a chorus that can hold its own weight. If you like to sing along, here is your opportunity. Otep Shamaya controls the chorus with heartfelt melody that is attuned with the chord progression of the guitars and bass. In Cold Blood is the anthem of the album, while not as aggressive as previous tracks, it is just as enjoyable.

Haunting piano notes start God Is a Gun off. Sudden bursts of noise through instrumentation rattle the cages, then cease, then drag the monster from its cage and the track really begins. Almost theatrical; Otep Shamaya shifts her vocal style to levels of momentary insanity, returning to her demonic shrieks. God Is a Gun is reminiscent of OPETH‘s heavier works in essences. Swinging rhythms to fast heel and toe work from drummer Justn Kier. God Is a Gun is a strength that can’t be broken. A brilliant track.

Equal Rights, Equal Lefts is a real twist to the plot. Sounding like a modern day Hip-Hop track straight out of California; it is strange how it manages to work with the tone previously set in Generation Doom. Rolling hi-hats, slow beats underneath the click of the cymbal percussion. Come forth the chorus. Industrial in its sound, heavy with effects and pounding percussion. A strange but fitting track.

The title track and it is for sure the track that will have crowds circling in surges of pure enjoyment. Fast tempo and down right aggressive. When OTEP unleash the monster inside there is a inkling of early, raw SLIPKNOT. The aggression and passion of hate in every scream from Otep Shamaya, it adds a dynamic to the album that is used wisely and is never over done. Generation Doom  is a homage to what has been lacking in the heavy metal scene for sometime, natural aggression that is delivered from the core of the heart.

The final track, On The Shore, is a relaxed track that crafts beautiful melodies and peaceful moments of wonder and amazement; in that it is hard to believe OTEP can change their style and make it work perfectly. A beautiful track that ends with a storytelling ode to a lost heart and love that remains blackened by mystery.

There are no falling moments to Generation Doom, it is a consistent journey that simply gets better track after track, showcasing the strengths OTEP possess and the heart and soul that has gone into this album. Generation Doom is OTEP‘s strongest album to date, it is a masterpiece.

Rating: 10/10

Otep Generation Doom

Generation Doom is out now via Napalm Records.

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