Review: Otep – Atavist

Rated:

3/5

With their fifth malevolent creation, Atavist, Otep dig deep, delivering a pummeling batch of songs that are equal parts catchy and cacophonous, from the brutal “I Alone” to the anthemic “Fists Fall” to the phenomenal “Atom to Adam.” Unfortunately, frontwoman Otep Shamaya’s tendency for self-indulgent poetic license that often bloated her prior albums is still present. But the actual songs here definitely live up, in the best way, to the record’s title, which is defined as “one that is marked with a recurrence of or reversion to an ancestral form or a past style, manner, outlook, approach, or activity.” Shamaya’s unmistakable demonic roar is as savage as ever, putting even the most brutal of vocalists in the metal scene to the test. Likewise, her band’s primal, pounding post-nu-metal riffage is as heavy as anything the group has ever recorded. But spoken-word tracks like “Baby’s Breath” and “Bible Belt” break the album’s momentum and would be better sequestered to their own stand-alone poetry-slam record. Still, there’s no denying that “We Dream Like Lions” is a great and hypnotizing song. Also very impressive is Otep’s cover of the Door’s classic “Not to Touch the Earth.” Ultimately, despite the spoken word tracks, Atavist proves a successful reemergence of the best animalistic traits and tendencies of Otep’s previous offerings, resulting in a feral, furious metal record to be reckoned with. JEREMY BORJON


  • Brad

    Otep’s poetry is one of the main things that make the band unique. I love the poetry and love the break and mix up of putting it on with the metal. Also, the song is Bible Belt not Baby Belt.
    This is my FAVORITE OTEP album!!!!!!!

  • Steve

    umm hate to say it but its bible belt

  • Steve

    umm hate to say it but its bible belt

  • Yedra

    Shamaya’s poetry, while indeed self-indulgent and occasionally irritating (especially when presented anachronistically within her Facebook and web pages) is what makes Otep = Otep, both the woman and the band.

  • Not-avaible

    “Unfortunately, frontwoman Otep Shamaya’s tendency for self-indulgent poetic license that often bloated her prior albums is still present.” oh, man. this was just ridiculous.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=716281207 Phil Sacrifice Smith

    Otep is the band and the person, it’s her poetry, her music and she can do with it whatever she wants to. Personally I like the poetry it gives the listener a deep and penetrating look into Otep and all the she is and all the makes her the way she is.

  • Castro007

    Artcore! = Mixer of Grunge, Punk, Rock N’ Roll, Rap, and Metal!

  • http://twitter.com/AndMixtapes Travino

    I think someone who understands that her poetry is part of her art and music should review this. “Otep Shamaya’s tendency for self-indulgent poetic license that often bloated her prior albums”? Fucking get real. That was a cheap blow.

  • Ceej

    I agreee with Travino. Like what the fuck? Her poetry is part of what Otep is. People don’t understand and underestimate the poetry.. yet we the tribe are fully behind her and understand. Fuck the mainstream. xDD

  • http://www.facebook.com/SS4L.Aegrescit.Medendo Violet Leigh O’Brien

    Just as a side note the spoken word pieces are Baby’s Breath & Bible Belt… not Baby Belt…

  • :)

    If Otep removed the spoken word, it wouldn’t be Otep.
    That is what makes them, them. They are unique and unlike any other metal band out there.

  • Begleytony

    Otep have not put out a brutal album since their first album. it has been pure garbage since then. Sorry the truth hurts Otep Shamalamadingdong…..

    • Anonymous

      What an ass, You clearly haven’t listened to House of Secrets or The Ascension. I’ve just purchased Atavist and have only listened to a few tracks, and I must say, it’s as hard as anything on House of Secrets, which was their second and hardest album.

      MORON!

      • Sigh

        No, i’m sorry but if you think ANYTHING on the atavist is even remotely tolerable compared to the old shit, YOU’RE the moron.

        • Anonymous

          First off fucktard I wasn’t talking to you. Secondly opinions are like assholes and I didn’t ask to hear yours.

        • Anonymous

          First off fucktard I wasn’t talking to you. Secondly opinions are like assholes and I didn’t ask to hear yours.

    • Omnoss

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  • http://twitter.com/drjonfrockit jonnie fuckin rockit

    begleytony, you’re kind of a snot huh?

  • NATURALHIGHWAYMAN

    I must speak up, Every artist has an extraordinary way of expressionism that will always be misunderstood by those who fail to grasp the art that an artist is expressing- I appreciate the complexity and the diverse forms of expression beyond just a loud scream, sometimes its the pauses and quiet moments that say the most-NATURALHIWAYMAN/TWITTER

  • Pingback: Otep Shamaya Lists The Five Famous Figures, Alive Or Dead, She Would Want To Seduce Into Bed - Revolver Magazine

  • Genus Venus Lorefore

    Self-indulgent poetic license? — That’s such a bad thing?
    It’s a good thing when it allows you to explore new possibilities; it’s creative and allows her to express what she wants in her own way, better. As for the self-indulgent part . . what the hell are you referring to? — Anything objective particularly? — If not, shut your mouth.

  • Burntskull

    I agree with the reviewer. The poetry stuff is the weakest parts of Otep albums. I always thought of it as self indulgent too. I also agree somewhat with Begleytony. Their first album is definitely Oteps best. I wish they would head back in that direction. Asention struck me as an attempt to sell out.

  • Faith

    I love Otep’s work! It is epic! Right down to the poetry-songs! But even though I love Otep, in some instances I have to agree: songs like Gutter from the Album House of Secrets is a waste of a minute, bu other songs like Kisses and Kerosene is awesome! and something I will listen to over and over and over again. As for the new album I expect it will be no different.
    Keep up the awesome work Otep! and continue the Choas!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1509232803 Youstina Artcore Ibrahem

    Her poetry is the key aspect that makes her who she is. She’s an artist..not a singer.. she’s an activist and a a core performer in the ARTS.. not just music. to take away and “dislike” her poetry in her albums makes you not a fan of OTEP. you’re a fan of the sound you like that she feeds ever couple of songs. her poetry and her music go hand in hand.. Otep is Otep.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1509232803 Youstina Artcore Ibrahem

    Her poetry is the key aspect that makes her who she is. She’s an artist..not a singer.. she’s an activist and a a core performer in the ARTS.. not just music. to take away and “dislike” her poetry in her albums makes you not a fan of OTEP. you’re a fan of the sound you like that she feeds ever couple of songs. her poetry and her music go hand in hand.. Otep is Otep.

    • http://www.facebook.com/babalu.13 Joey Sanabria

      hahahaha X)

    • http://www.facebook.com/babalu.13 Joey Sanabria

      hahahaha X)

  • http://www.facebook.com/tj.regnoht Tj Xineohp Regnoht

    love her voice!!!!