Monday, May 9, 2016

Otep at the Studio at Webster Hall

Otep Shamaya
Otep formed as a metal band in 2000 in Los Angeles, California. The band's name was taken from vocalist Otep Shamaya's stage name and is an anagram for the word "poet." Before Otep had a recording contract, Sharon Osbourne caught a live performance and invited Otep to become the first female-fronted band to play the Ozzfest tours; since then, Otep has performed at several Ozzfests. Shamaya also is a spoken word artist, and appeared on HBO’s Def Poetry twice, recorded an unreleased poetry album and authored three books of poetry. She also authored a book of short stories and produced and directed an audiobook of one of the three stories. Otep's seventh album, Generation Doom, was released on April 15, 2016. The band presently consists of Shamaya, guitarist Aristotle Mihalopoulos and drummer Justin Kier; the live performances currently include touring bassist Andrew Barnes.

Headlining at the Studio at Webster Hall, Otep performed nu metal with elements of death metal and rapcore. Shamaya wore masks and handled a variety of props to articulate the messages in her songs; she held a Donald Trump mask on a spiked bat to begin "Lords of War," donned a Guy Fawkes mask for another song and spun a pig's head on a mic stand during "Blood Pigs." She recited poetry as prefaces to some songs. The band blasted bombastic chords, while Shamaya seemed equally comfortable with softer croons, hip hop raps and gutter screams. The set consisted of five songs from the new album, eight songs from earlier albums, and an odd cover of Lorde's "Royals" to conclude the concert. Otep ended up with a metal performance that was both artfully conceived and menacingly brutal.

Visit Otep at www.oteploves.me.