Top critical review
3 people found this helpful
on 13 March 2008
It's a testament to bands like Otep that they are still going at all. They first came flying into the nu-metal scene around 2004 when the whole genre was starting to fizzle out. Korn members started to find Jesus, the novelty value of Slipknot gradually wore off and Fred Durst became, well, not very interesting anymore. Otep, whilst admittedly never reaching the dizzy heights that their contemporaries did, always had that something different with their strong front lady Otep (yes, the band is named after the vocalist) Shamaya
Fast-forward to 2007 and the band are back with `The Ascension'. They have adopted a much more experimental sound but the rap-influenced and Coal Chamber-esque whispered vocals, so often seen throughout nu-metal, remain prevalent. On the whole Shamaya's vocals are a treat to listen to, but sadly the same cannot always be said for the instrumentation. Many of the riffs are uninspired and at times the songs just don't go anywhere. For example, first track proper `Crooked Spoons' starts with an interesting enough riff but when it is repeated time after time throughout the track, it starts to become a tad stale.
To Otep's credit it's certainly not all doom and gloom. The aforementioned experimental side makes for some interesting listening and bodes well with Shamaya's various vocal styles. `Ghostflowers' for instance is a stormer of a track, switching between ambience, searing metal and some ridiculously funky bass lines rather eloquently.
`The Ascension' isn't a bad record and Otep do have a lot going for them, but with so much more interesting metal being released lately, this simply isn't good enough.