Otep - Hydra (Victory Records)

Those with a discerning ear and a taste for rich music will no doubt enjoy Otep's sixth album entitled 'Hydra' on Victory Records. Otep pushes the boundaries of music with an album that forces the listener to open their mind. Hydra is not for the faint of heart.
Release Date: 
22 Jan 2013 (All day)

Los Angeles art metal band Otep released their sixth and quite possibly last album on Victory Records on January 22. Otep has never been a mainstream band and their newest offering is definitely a fringe product. Not everyone will understand or even appreciate the mind expanding prose and unique compositions.

Otep's album Hydra starts out in a creepy sci-fi thriller type of way. For Rising, there is this spoken word over 1960s type psychedelic sounds punctuated by randomness. It's jarring. It's freakish. It makes me want to hear more of the album. The anticipation builds in the song until finally it cumulates in a menacing chant... "rising like a hydra". Oh, Mama gonna like the new Otep album. The freak show gets fully undew way with Blowtorch Nightlight. It's such a frakking bitchin' song. You have to hear it to believe it. Otep Shamaya is brutal in her vocal delivery.

Crush is an amazingly put together song about crazy stalker love taken to the extreme. The lyrics not with-standing, the song sounds like a descent into madness. I'm sure we've all felt this way at one time or another when spurned by a lover. Crush is a musical soundtrack to those feelings of pure unaldulterated love coupled with extreme need.

Hematopia is a wonderful smoldering spoken word track augmented by outside street sounds. I felt claustrophobic and fearful sitting in my brightly lit flat listening to the track. It segues into Necromantic and Necromantic is a frenzied release of emotion. The guitars are jarring and the vocals piercing.One song flows quickly into the other and it's har to tell where one stops and a new one starts. It creates a chaotic listening experience. True to her reputation, Otep's Hydra is a work of art. Hydra is not an album for the casual listener.

Voyeur is just plain scary. It's a story about several very sadistic people. The laissez-faire delivery just adds to the menacing aura of the track. By the time you get to Apex Predator, Otep has taken you on a strange trip. Apex Predator is a hippy trippy groove laden track. It reminds me of a Henry Rollins / Suicidal Tendencies / Don Henley Diry Laundry mash up. It's definitley my favourite track on the album. The bass line is just infectious. The song draws you in and doesn't let go. Most of Hydra is spoken word over some pretty nifty sounds. Then you get to the track Hag and it's full on heavy metal. Hag sports blistring guitar work, hard driving drums, and just oozes pure wickedness. It's head banging happiness.

Those with a discerning and rich musical pallet will shed a tear as the music world will lose a refreshing original song meister in Otep. Hydra is a riveting cornerstone to an amazing musical career. Otep, we salute you!