Yesterday, after nearly ten years of nagging from my dentist, I had my wisdom teeth removed. The process was a lot less painful than I expected it to be, and for the rest of my weekend I get to take Vicodin and play Xbox. And while the drugs seem to help with the dull throbbing on the left side of my jaw, it does absolutely nothing to lessen the aural agony Otep’s up-coming full length, “The Ascension,” is currently causing me. This is easily one of the worst albums I have heard in a long time. As far as I can tell, this female-fronted hard rock band is about five years behind the heyday for the genre, when bands like Limp Bizkit, Cold, Disturbed, and Drowning Pool were every frat boy’s favorite band. I’m actually a little surprised that anyone is still making this kind of over-produced, transparently fabricated, adolescent music that is utterly devoid of any artistic statement. If you’ve ever heard one of these bands, you’ve essentially heard them all. There is absolutely nothing new here.
The band is fronted, and apparently named after, Otep Shamaya who has some predictably deep-seated emotional issues. So, we are treated to her alternating between Durst-style rapping and clichéd nu-metal screaming about drug use, domestic violence, suicide, shitty boyfriends, and other angsty subjects. To their credit, Otep also uses their music to critique the on-going war in Iraq, and Shamaya has started a charity to aid Darfur. Reading through an Otep F.A.Q. on their message board, it is also quite evident that Shamaya is actually an articulate and intelligent woman, which makes it even more unfortunate that the way she chooses to express this creativity is with such trite and fraudulent music.
If you want to see something utterly comical, check out this link for an interview with the former Fusetv veejay Mistress “fuckin’ fuck yea!” Juliya. Here is an actual quote from Juliya to the band in reference to a recent tour that was planned out by their fans through online voting: “Have you been getting more pussy ‘cause you’re going to the more favorable places?” Brilliant. (http://www.dovetail.tv/app.html?channelId=1005&j=1) [By: Nathan Dylan]