Release DetailsLABEL Capitol
RELEASED ON 7/27/2004
House of Secrets
posted on 9/2004 By:
If you do not like Slipknot style metal stop reading this review now.
Or, hell, even if you do.
I do, sometimes. They are not a favorite band - I own the first one which I bought when it came out. I especially like the slower stuff they do on that disc. If I were to rate them against all the bands I have ever heard they would be about average, maybe a little higher.
Otep lifts Slipknot’s style almost maddeningly, though. Musically, the only real difference is that the ideas are not quite as inventive. The guitar and bass are tuned down to -f minor or whatever and just play simple riffs made disturbing pretty much by depth of pitch. The drummer kicks some ass, just like his counterpart in Slipknot, but it’s the exact same kind of ass; tribal style punk/speed. So musically this is not at all head turning, but it’s not particularly bad.
Then we have the singer. It’s a she, in case you haven’t heard of this group before, but she shares the same overall problem as the rest of her band. Spoken word, occasional sing song and lots of throaty hollering. Slipknot. Songs about the tragic unfairness and misery of this world. Slipknot. Songs of taking the power from your oppressors. Slipknot.
But where Slipknot use their fifty some-odd pointless members to fill in the spaces with tired trip-hop and sampled mood setters, Otep goes for poetry. I have known a few women in my life, and I would say that women can and do express things in a way a male-dominated world like metal should find refreshing. But quite honestly I don’t want to hear it spoken on my metal album. That’s not why I buy this shit. The stretches of quiet, foreshadowy poetic interludes are just too often for me. The subject matter is much that same as you might expect, but it is delivered with a certain arm-cutting intensity that is more compelling than you might think.
I will also say that the title track is pretty cool with an interesting cadence that juxtaposes well with the rest of the record, singsongy and fraught with portent. There are moments like this from time to time on the rest of the album, but this song works like no other because of it.
In the end, though, this is just a Slipknot clone band. Most of us seem to hate Slipknot, so take it for what it’s worth. I will say that this, along with so many bands like this, is a group that could be making excellent music if they explored a little more and stopped sounding like someone else all the time. The little flashes of greatness are there, but they will never become more if they are forced into a frame of worn out ideas and styles. For now I can’t recommend this.
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