Otep: Hydra Review

By on January 12, 2013


Release Date: January 22
Victory Records

American metal band Otep has had an impressive musical career, lasting well over a decade; a career ripe with achievements most bands would kill for: 2 full-lengths on Capitol Records, and a long lasting partnership with powerhouse Victory Records that has resulted in such notable accomplishments as their 2009 release Smash the Control Machine debuting at #47 on The Billboard 200 [selling over 10,000 copies in its first week]. Ready to go out with a bang: Otep is now set for the release of their final studio album: Hydra.

Hydra kicks off with its intro “Rising” a track that literally “rises” the album to life with a combination of haunting vocals and a massive instrumental buildup that explodes into a full on metallic assault. The album’s next track “Blowtorch Nightlight” blurs the line between insanity and reality with seemingly possessed comatose vocals and bone chilling screams of urgent loathing. Hydra’s 3rd track “Seduce & Destroy” [a personal favorite] begins with a hauntingly sexual riff driven vibe: a vibe that is accompanied by lashes of aggression and some killer distorted guitar work. The album’s next track “Crush” (one of Hydra’s heavier songs) unleashes is a mental breakdown of musical terror before the band slows it down in the calmer transition track “Hematopia.” This sense of calm deceptively continues into the album’s next track “Necromantic” before it delivers an outburst of brutal vocals that can put any male metal vocalist to shame. “Quarantine” and “Voyeur” revamp Hydra’s insanity before the albums 9th track “Apex Predator” gets back to business with taunting sexual undertones of desperation and torture. For Hydra’s next track “Feral Game” the band jumps from calm and seducing melodies to animalistic outbursts of absolute terror.

“Livestock” sets a dark piano driven transition before the album explodes into its next track “Hag” (Hydra’s heaviest song) with its ferocious guitar work and soul slaughtering vocal bombardment. Otep closes the album with the track “Theophagy” a soft and haunting end to Hydra’s musical journey. Hydra drops January 22nd on Victory Records; be sure to snag your copy or order it today.

Review by Matt Crane – HHM