Capitol recording group OTEP has entered a New Orleans studio to begin recording their highly anticipated third album. Assisting OTEP in the recording is producer Dave Fortman, known for his work with such bands as MUDVAYNE, EVANESCENCE and SUPERJOINT RITUAL. Along with longtime bassist eViL j, vocalist/songwriter Otep Shamaya is joined in the studio by ex-AMERICAN HEAD CHARGE guitarist Karma Cheema and drummer Brian Wolff (formerly of SYNAPSE). The sessions thus far have seen OTEP fusing the creatively destructive elements from the band's celebrated previous albums — 2002's "Sevas Tra" and 2004's "House of Secrets" — with a startling evolution of both sound and energy, resulting in the band's most blistering collection of songs to date.
"Recording this album has felt like being reborn," says Shamaya. "It's everything I felt from 'Sevas Tra' and everything I experienced during 'House of Secrets'. This album is the best thing we've ever done.”
OTEP kicked off the recordings last month by performing a special Day of Atonement benefit concert at New Orleans' House of Blues. Portions of the proceeds raised by the June 6 show — presented in association with the heavy metal community's philanthropic organization, Slave To The Metal Foundation — were donated to a pair of charitable organizations dedicated to helping rebuild Louisiana communities devastated by last year's Hurricane Katrina disaster. The gig included a rare on-stage visit from producer Fortman, who strapped on a guitar for an electric rendition of VAN HALEN's classic "Eruption".
"It was insane!" declares Otep of the adrenaline-fueled performance. "No one was ready for what we unleashed on them. The crowd was so passionate — the pit was out of control! People were being smashed against the stage, pit bosses were bleeding in the pits, girls were screaming with every ounce of their soul — it was beautiful!"
OTEP's contribution to Unite the United and the Volunteer Center of Southwest Louisiana was specifically earmarked to support bands and crew members currently on the road with the Vans Warped Tour, who recently took a day off to assist in clean-up and rebuilding efforts in Cameron Parish, one of the region's hardest hit areas. In addition, OTEP's donation was matched by both Capitol Records and Slave To The Metal Foundation.
"We couldn't be there in person," Shamaya says, "but working down here in New Orleans we felt it was the least we could do to send some assistance to our friends on the Vans Warped Tour."