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Otep - Generation Doom Award winner

Otep
Generation Doom
by Sammy M at 14 May 2016, 3:38 PM

Nu-Metal can be a tricky genre. So many of it’s so called “stars” become more known for insane behaviour than their actual music. This happens more and more with these bands, and often the ones that manage to remain composed, either fizzle out quickly, or soften up massively and become more “radio rock” than actual metal.  OTEP in no way fits into either of these groups.

After their last album “Hydra”, Otep Shamaya said that it would be the final one that they would release. Thankfully she did not stick to her word, and as a result, OTEP have produced their finest album to date. “Generation Doom” is incredibly loud, powerful, and full of passion, from start to finish; which is exactly what we needed from them. From the second “Zero” started up, I remembered exactly why I fell in love with this band after I had lost interest in most nu-metal when they released “The Ascension” back in 2007. The immensely powerful vocals of the frontwoman, and band namesake, Otep Shamaya, paired with the heavy, and often beautiful guitar work of Ari Mihalopoulos, make it extremely hard not to love them, and impossible to ignore.

This rage fuelled power drives many of the tracks on this album, and there doesn’t actually appear to be a weak link, however, there are a few which stand out for doing something different or for just being an exceptional example of what OTEP does so well. The fourth track is an incredibly unique cover of pop-star Lorde’s “Royals”, and say what you will about the original, this cover blows it out of the water. OTEP somehow takes a fairly bland song and fills it with emotion and power, in a way that Lorde could not have expected. The next song, “In Cold Blood”, was certainly not something I’ve come to expect from an OTEP album, and is one of the reasons that “Generation Doom” is so good. It ditches most of the anger that drives a lot of their songs, and actually sounds rather sad through the lyrics, the music, and the feeling behind the vocals. The usual screams do make an appearance later in the song, but they still manage to sound deep and melancholy.

The latter is such a beautiful song that it actually had me hoping for at least one more like it. And I got what I wanted. Jumping forward a few tracks, “Lie” had a similar thoughtful and somewhat sad feel to it which just like “In Cold Blood” is a completely unexpected but very welcome change from the rest. Possibly the biggest stand out of the entire album, ”Equal Rights, Equal Lefts”, contains very little singing or screaming from Shamaya, but instead she goes with the other nu-metal trope of rapping her way through, quite possibly, the best lyrics of her entire career. It’s a big middle finger to everyone who has ever put her down or stood in her way, and it comes out in the best way possible.

As I have said earlier, there really is no weak link in this album. Lyrically, instrumentally, structurally, and emotionally, the best work OTEP has ever released, and if this turns out to be their last outing as “Hydra” was meant to be, “Generation Doom” is without a doubt an extremely strong way to go out.
 
Songwriting: 10/10
Originality: 10/10
Memorability: 10/10
Production: 10/10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. Zero
  2. Feeding Frenzy
  3. Lords Of War
  4. Royals
  5. In Cold Blood
  6. Down
  7. God Is A Gun
  8. Equal Rights, Equal Lefts
  9. No Color
  10. Lie
  11. Generation Doom
  12. On The Shore
Lineup:
Otep Shamaya – Vocals
Justin Kier – Drums
Ari Mihalopoulos - Guitar
Record Label: Napalm Records
     


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Edited 05 July 2020
 

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