Otep Shamaya is a woman of words and they are cutting and concise.
She begins with a growl and a scream and a curse and a riot against an unjust world. Generation Doom is industrial, beautiful, solemn and strange, incorporating a plethora of musical styles and influences.
She is American in extremis, slam poetry taken up a notch (or twenty) to create her own brand of music – Protest Metal.
From the Mad Max-esque album cover, Generation Doom is dedicated to the moral wasteland that America is threatening to become. It is an album of battle anthems, marching tunes to rally the masses (Lords of War and Equal Rights Equal Lefts) with catchy hooks and lyrics that are going to be with you for weeks. Uncompromising and unashamed, she declares war on any and all of those who would subdue us.
I hear shades of Marylin Manson and Diamanda Galas in her wavering shrieks, counterpointed by minor piano chords and spoken word to create a Holy Ghost story (God is a Gun).
Moving away from the more obvious Metal and Gothic influences apparent on 2013’s Hydra, she has produced an album which is somewhat more accessible whilst losing none of her integrity as an artist. An example being her cover of Lorde’s ‘Royals’ which is instantly recognisable as both the original track and as an Otep creation.
The final track (On the Shore) is a lyrical, musical lament to the end of a love affair, leading us into the secret track, a spoken-word poem which leaves her retching on the relics of a relationship. A sombre end to the riot; all that is left when everything is gone.
Available from April 15th, I would heartily recommend this album to anyone who has ever been female, sidelined or made to feel powerless.