Otep
Ascension


3.0
good

Review

by beans USER (19 Reviews)
February 20th, 2008 | 55 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Otep make an intresting album that definitly has its own sound, but trips over its own feet .

Lyrics are open to all sorts of interpretation, some people see songs meaning one thing while a complete other demographic sees another thing. Some songs are much more cut and dry than others, and some are meant to be open for interpretation. Going back to the 80’s when Dee Snider was battling the PMRC about what exactly his lyrics meant in some of his songs, now resulting in the often seen ‘Parental Advisory’ sticker. For as long as people have been writing songs, other people have been interpreting them in many different ways, some people see poetry, and others see ramblings. Otep is a interesting mix of the two, Otep Shamaya fronts the band that has been described as ‘not quite nu-metal, but not quite death metal.’ Otep writes her lyrics as poetry, with complex metaphors and interesting vocal lines. When she gets it right, they’re some of the most intense lyrics I’ve heard in a long time, but when they miss the mark, they stick out like a sore thumb. The problem with approaching writing like this is the simple fact that sometimes lyrics need to fit the music that is being played, in some songs (as you’ll find) the lyrics don’t pay any attention to…well…anything. As you read this review keep in mind that this is my introduction to this band, I haven’t heard anything other than this from this group, although I’m looking to after hearing the potential on this album.

Otep play an interesting blend of music, they have some elements of the much reviled ‘nu-metal’ and also carry some elements of common thrash and death metal. But altogether I believe they succeed in creating a sound that is definitely unique. The one thing that makes this band unique is the vocals. Otep Shamaya’s vocals are an interesting blend of singing, screaming and half yelled half screamed passages. They really do make for an interesting listen; the vocals are a very refreshing sound in that they don’t sound like anything you’ve heard before. But at the same time they can come off as whiny and misplaced sometimes, the overall feel of the vocals are just very different and may not appeal to everyone. The lyrics are the highlight and at the same time, the downfall of the record. The lyrics are written as poetry, you can read them just as well without music as you can with the music. Some of the songs like ‘Eet the Children’ and ‘Crooked Spoons’ flow seamlessly in between the lyrics and leave little room for interpretation. Whereas other songs like ‘Milk of Regret’ and ‘Ghostflowers’ just come off as ramblings with no sense of direction to them. You can tell that some of the songs feel forced, as if to create filler on the record. Which is its major downfall, the album fails to maintain a steady level of good memorable songs. Firing off the album with 4 great songs then letting one or two slide under the radar takes the listener away from the overall effect of the music.

The music itself is pretty diverse maintaining a creepy and somber atmosphere the entire way through, the only songs that don’t follow this formula are the songs ‘Perfectly Flawed’ and ‘Breed’ which come off more light and try to add another element to their playing. ‘Breed’ coming off almost as an old school punk song, and ‘Perfectly Flawed’ sounding like a sappy love song. But the rest of the songs carry the tone that is set out by the first few songs. Songs like “Noose & Nail’ and ‘Home Grown’ deal with such issues like religion and domestic violence and are some of the most powerful on the album. Although the tough (woman in this case) persona gets old after a while. Although she does a very good job at conveying her emotions and putting those emotions in words, I really can’t explain how good of a writer this woman is when she gets it right.

The other instruments on the album do play an essential role but almost take a backseat to the vocals. Not intentionally but it seems that the vocals were pulled much higher in the mix than everything else. The drums hold their own with some interesting fills and you can tell that this guy knows his way around the kit. Listening to songs like ‘Noose & Nail’ you will hear his best work on coming up with some different beats to some pretty generic riffs. The bass is audible at some points of the record and they do a pretty good job at maintaining the creepy atmosphere in the right places. Now this brings us to the guitars. They don’t do a bad job, that much is true, but when you really sit down and listen to them, they’re some pretty generic riffs. The main one in ‘Crooked Spoons’ is about as simple as they get. Now it’s nice to see a band not have to create insanely complex guitar lines in order to convey that they are good at their instruments. But spanning over 45 minutes and 14 tracks…as you can guess by the end of the record, the record gets a little boring.

Overall ‘The Ascension’ does a pretty good job at creating a brooding atmosphere and having some generally good songs with stellar lyrics. But the album fails to maintain that pace throughout the course of the record with bringing the tempo down when it should stay where it’s at. Altogether this is a pretty good release that deserves a little attention from the people who have followed this band from their earlier releases. But as a new set of ears, it’s a pretty good album with some flaws that stick out like a sore thumb, some are more obvious than others but altogether it has some pretty heavy and interesting tracks and I’m looking forward to hearing some more mature material from these guys, (and gal.)



Recent reviews by this author
Those Who Lie Beneath An AwakeningThe Taste Of Blood Predator
Tricky Nearly GodThe Haunted Versus
Suffocation Souls to DenyNeaera Let The Tempest Come
user ratings (174)
Chart.
2.9
good
other reviews of this album
blursuckhard (4.5)
The only album worth listening to by them...

Exhorder (3.5)
A fantastic blast of music that is varied and has some of the most soulful vocals ever coupled with ...

related reviews

Sevas Tra

Hydra

Kult 45


Comments:Add a Comment 
Eliminator
February 20th 2008


2067 Comments


This isn't IGN.

DWittisarockstar
February 20th 2008


1501 Comments


[quote=eliminator] This isn't IGN. [/quote]

OMG really?

beans
February 20th 2008


2328 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

what does that have to do with anything?

Ire
February 20th 2008


41948 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Well written, but this band is awful imo.

Eliminator
February 20th 2008


2067 Comments


what does that have to do with anything?

chan's commentThis Message Edited On 02.20.08

beans
February 20th 2008


2328 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

ok im offically lost but whatever thanks for the comment

its not that bad, and like i said i havnt heard any of thier other stuff.This Message Edited On 02.20.08

BallsToTheWall
February 20th 2008


48858 Comments


I've heard some of this band years ago. A couple tracks from Sevas Tras and House Of Secrets were cool. Nothing more, nothing less. I saw this was out but haven't heard it yet. I'm a bit curious.

Good review too.This Message Edited On 02.20.08

Shattered_Future
February 20th 2008


1560 Comments


Maybe I missed something, but I tried listening to this and it was probably one of the worst albums I've heard.

skullcrusher149
February 20th 2008


560 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

This CD is straight outta '99

beans
February 20th 2008


2328 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

its not for everyone, and i still dont know what the hell ign is so you're talking to a brick wall

edit: and this was released in 07

but nice tryThis Message Edited On 02.20.08

Willie
Moderator
February 20th 2008


17609 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Their first album had some interesting songs from time to time, although a little underdeveloped... these last two albums have been pretty bad, as the music has become worse and her lyrics more self-indulgent.

beans
February 21st 2008


2328 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

very true, listen to noose & nail, it deals with reliegeon and its pretty cool how she puts certain things

skullcrusher149
February 21st 2008


560 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0



its not for everyone, and i still dont know what the hell ign is so you're talking to a brick wall

edit: and this was released in 07

but nice try





It's called a joke

CushMG15
February 21st 2008


1810 Comments


I heard the cover of breed, and was mildly entertained.

beans
February 21st 2008


2328 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"It's called a joke"



i know man

Pebster49
February 21st 2008


3021 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

OMG This is awful...the song "breed" was a horrible cover(That song really wasn't good to begin with), and I laughed when she tried to act all BROTAL in "Confrentation". These guys are as bad as the stupid band Kittie

Cesar
February 21st 2008


2732 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Finally someone reviewed this. This review is pretty accurate, I though the album was fine, but absolubtley nothing special.

Wizard
February 21st 2008


20199 Comments


Not a bad review. I enjoyed the first paragraph about interpretations on lyrics and
such.

For as long as people have been writing songs, other people have been
interpreting them in many different ways, some people see poetry, and others see
ramblings.

But how this applies to these guys baffles me!
These guys (and girl) are nothing but a really shitty nu-metal band. Her lyrics are
just immature as hell (remind me of Jon Davis) and the music has become insanely
worse since ST. These guys should cease to exist! This Message Edited On 02.21.08

beans
February 21st 2008


2328 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

it relates to them because she writes a lot of poetry and most of it converts to her songwriting so i thought it applied to what people might interpret and such



see i dont see them as a nu-metal band...but thats just me...

skullcrusher149
February 21st 2008


560 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

"It's called a joke"







i know man




:chug:



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy