Otep
The Ascension

Wow. What an unimpressive display of nu-metal simplicity. The Ascension marks Otep’s third full-length release since 2002, and not much has changed since then. The down-tuned trademarked guitars are still well in place, Ms. Shamaya’s rap-like delivery is there, and also those boring spoken/crooned/whispered poetry like segments layered over simple and sparse cords are present.

The only real difference I can spot now is the inclusion of more clean vocals, which helps put them next to the likes of the ever growing in popularity of Lacuna Coil, In This Moment or even Evanescence. I also must mention their horrendous cover of Nirvana’s “Breed”. Growing up in that age, Nirvana played a crucial role in the development of my musical tastes, and even if I don’t really listen to them now, they still hold a special place for me, and that side of me finds Otep’s cover to be nothing more than an attention grabber or quick cash in. Atrocious is a fitting word.

To be truthful, there was a time I considered myself a fan of Otep. Back in 2001, I wasn’t really much of a metal fan, listening primarily to 60s/70s/80s rock such as The Doors, Led Zeppelin and Guns n Roses. Then someone asked if I wanted to go to Ozzfest that year, and a new metal fan was born. I witnessed the likes of Slipknot, American Head Charge and yes, Otep, and was impressed with what I saw, and a craving to find heavier and heavier music was permanently distilled in me. Now looking back over those 6 ½ years, I really do not see what was so great about them.

Maybe it’s just me, but I really do not see what anyone sees in this band. Nu-metal is dead – it’s two fads back now – a laughable release that nobody should have to pay for.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
December 2nd, 2007

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