Written by: AZ on 02/02/2013 17:30:28

Otep is dead! Long live Otep! Oh, wait, has that time come already? Well, as surprising as it may come to some of you, the vicious, infectious, dark and powerful front woman of the band claims that the release about to be discussed here is the last mark Otep's signature on it. It's really a shame to write these lines because I always felt that the band is somehow unique. I'm not thinking only of the intense and honest shows that they performed through the years (the masks, pigs, etc) but of the drive that pushed Shamaya and the cast around her so long. Well, if there is a way to finish off things, I bet “Hydra” is really good way to do just that.

“Hydra is a concept album based on a graphic novel I have been writing for two years about a girl corrupted by the world, corrugated by evil, ripped away from the golden, molten elixir of creativity, and abandoned on the placid, jagged rocks of a cruel and barbaric island where rats poison themselves. This is a story of her personal alchemy of theophagy, revenge and righteousness. Her rise from the smoldering ash as a bruise that never heals transmuting, therianthropic, to the infinite, still-born messiah, a vigilante serial assassin, code name: HYDRA.”

Typical in their way of addressing matters in a sadistic, violent and derisive manner, Otep have produced a release that corresponds to the lyrical theme provided by their vocalist. With the short side note that the work of the musicians that contributed to the record is not neglected in any way, I must say that to me Otep is purely about their vocalist and her vision. Having said that, the record is a step back from pure heaviness and guttural screams that we are used to hearing from Shamaya. It rather takes a slow-tensed perspective that fills the space around you like a closed space filled with water. It is so silently intense that you may feel it choking you at times.

The feminine behavior of Otep behind the microphone can be sensed from afar and this time it is used constantly throughout the whole record. To me, it is her trademark and she has learned the precise moments where that fragile, almost naive, girlish out-of-tune singing is so powerful - especially in the dark atmosphere of “Hydra”. Her vocal presence is amazing as she creeps up under the listener's skin, telling dark, tormenting tales. Slowly she weaves her tight bonds around you until that one silent dark moment followed by a loud, illuminated and painful awakening.

The ”tribe” - the band's fanbase – receive a dark release which is brutal in its silent monologues, with vengeful spikes that rape one's ears only the way Otep can. Feminine, vast, epic, heavy and systematically powerful – that is “Hydra”.


Download: Apex Predator, Blowtorch Nightlight, Seduce and Destroy
For The Fans Of: Otep Shamaya
Listen: Facebook

Release Date 22.01.2013
Victory Records

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