Otep – Smashing Control Machines everywhere.
Smash the Control Machine, Otep?s fourth studio album, and first album since joining music label Victory Records, brings back four of the original band members to create a politically and socially driven commentary on the modern capitalist world in which we live.
Since the discovery of the band by Sharon Osbourne in 2000, Otep has grown musically, while staying true to their roots. The lead singer, Otep Shamaya, a poet, activist, blogger, radio presenter, artist, author, and illustrator maintains a strong bond with her fans, who she calls her ?Tribe? and who have given themselves the collective moniker of ?Shadow Soldiers?, and regularly corresponds with them personally.
There are many themes in this album, with the most prevalent being a call for exploited and repressed people to rise up against the elites who repress and exploit them, shown through Shamaya?s gravelly voice uttering words of incitement such as, ?I?m with the freaks, the f*gg*ts/ the geeks, the savages/rogues, rebels, dissidents, devils/artists, martyrs, infidels/ do we sit still, under attack/ or do we start pushing back/ never back up, never back down/ and fight? in the song ?Rise, Rebel, Resist?. Issues like female circumcision, drugs, women and child abuse, war, love, sex, art, apathy, and revenge are also covered in the album.
The title track on the album, ?Smash the Control Machine?, has a strong presence and leaves a lasting impression on the listener, as well as being a bit of a which puts it in my top three songs on the album. ?Rise Rebel, Resist? is an anarchist head banger?s dream, with a consistent bass presence which makes it a great song to rock out to, putting it in my top three. ?UR A Wmn Now? provides a melodic and somewhat melancholic ballad which brings a welcome break in all the noise-intensive music. The track features guest artist Emilie Autumn on violin and Koichi Fukuda on piano, and with these three artists, an amazing collaboration is bound to happen.
This album is not for the fainthearted, with some of the songs and poems such as ?Kisses and Kerosene?, ?Where the River Ends? and the bonus track ?I Remember? being very graphic and disturbing, which may put some people off.
Overall, Otep fans will definitely not be disappointed by this album, and fans of Nu-Metal, Metal, and Hard Rock would likely enjoy it as well.
Otep?s YouTube channel:
Album cover and list of songs: