Otep – The Ascension

Otep – The Ascension / 2007 Koch / 12 Tracks / http://www.otep.com /

“Eet The Children” is the first track on “The Ascension”, and while the band comes forth with some hard music and tight arrangements, all I hear from Otep here is a revision of the Coal Chamber, Clutch, and other “hard rock” band sound made famous in the mid nineties. “Eet The Children” may have a lot of screaming, but it will not be the next big track for Otep. “Crooked Spoons” continues taking wholesale from music from about a decade previous. This time, the drumming from Fear Factory is linked with the gothic imagery of late Smashing Pumpkins and middle-era Manson.

Still, Otep does not put anything new forward and does not give individuals and really reason why they should be picked over the mass of other metal bands that are currently out on the market. The first track that really makes me appreciate Otep as a band has to be “Perfectly Flawed”. While the style again is heavily influenced by “Antichrist Superstar”-era Manson, Otep throws in a little more in the way of a pop influence to bring the track into view as possibly the track that will bring them further up the charts. “Confrontation” moves Otep back a step, as the styles approached b y the band during this track mirrors that of a Powerman 5000 or Static-x (maybe even a little bit of Union Underground is present as well).  Otep goes for the gusto with their six-minute epic “Mike of Regret”. The pacing is a little too fact from the beginning, but the band does well to calm things down before everything boils over.

The two distinct styles present during this track are distant in influences and overall sound, but Otep does show a little bit of ability in the fact that they are able to unite both distinct sections of “Milk of Regret”. Te band is able to string together some passable songs with the second half of the CD, but there does not seem to be a defining hit for “The Ascension”. The fury and energy provided by the band has little comparison with other bands on the market, but the band desperately needs to go and craft their own sound for subsequent albums. When this happens, I have no doubt that Otep will be categorized as one of the best metal bands. As it stands right now, I feel that they are not contributing new to a metal genre that is already full of acts ready and willing to usurp Otep’s position.

Top Tracks: Milk of Regret, Breed

Rating: 4.1/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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