Monday, June 15, 2015

Otep at the Studio at Webster Hall

Otep Shamaya
Otep Shamaya has said that her first name originated from her mother's interest in Egyptian history; it is also an anagram for the word "poet." Shamaya grew up in Los Angeles, California, and formed the nu metal band Otep (also written as OTEP or OT3P) in 2000. The band's first big break came after only a few gigs when Sharon Osbourne caught the band's live performance and invited Otep to perform at Ozzfest. Otep has released six albums, the most recent being 2013's Hydra. In addition to Shamaya on vocals, Otep presently consists of guitarist Aristotle Mihalopoulos, bassist Corey Wolford and drummer Justin Kier.

At the Studio at Webster Hall tonight, Otep performed a fierce and primal set of hard, blasting nu metal with significant doses of alternative metal, goth metal, industrial metal and death metal. Shamaya was a performance artist with a mysterious aura, partly due to her red-and-white-colored contact lenses and the surrounding decapitated doll heads and blood-dripped masks. Appearing strong, fearless, defiant and dominant, Shamaya roared, growled, grunted, purred, rapped and sang aggressively while the power trio behind her split eardrums with music as raw and heavy as a cement mixing truck. The masked, bare-chested, gladiator-looking guitarist played precise, searing leads and crunching chords while the rhythm section pounded out fist-pumping tribal rhythms. Shamaya's magnetic personality and chilling shrieks consistently drew the audience back into a dark recess where unsettling madness reigned. Otep showed it has the potential to outdo Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie in the arena of horror art rock.

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