OTEP, the band led by singer, poet, illustrator, author and activist Otep Shamaya, will release a new studio album, "The God Slayer", on September 15 via Cleopatra. The follow-up to 2018's "Kult 45" offers up a mix of inspired original tracks as well as transformative takes on chart-topping hits from a variety of influences, including pop, rap and grunge, by such artists as Eminem, Billie Eilish, SLIPKNOT, Lil Peep and Olivia Rodrigo.
The LP's second single, "Ostracized", is the first original song from the upcoming album. Shamaya harnesses the power of her raw, unapologetic emotion and passion-filled poetry, which act as the driving forces behind "Ostracized". This dynamic musical masterpiece was forged in the fire of unadulterated rage, with an edge sharpened by an ear-shattering blend of high screams, death growls, and guttural vocals, galvanized by gritty guitar, pounding drums, and a face-melting solo, courtesy of VIGIL OF WAR guitarist Kiki Wong.
The first single from "The God Slayer", a cover of Eilish's "You Should See Me In A Crown", was releases during OTEP's U.S. tour earlier this year and has been generating massive buzz as well as landing in top 10 most popular tracks on Spotify.
"The God Slayer" track listing:
01. My Violent Appetites 02. Ostracized 03. Good 4 U 04. Exit Wounds 05. You Should See Me In A Crown 06. The Way I Am 07. California Girls 08. Pet 09. Territorial Pissings 10. Star Shopping 11. Purity 12. God Slayer
Not only is Shamaya a revered musical figure, known for her intrepid blending of metal genres and hip-hop, as exemplified on her notorious 2002 debut album "Sevas Tra", but she's also amassed an enormous following based on her fearless performances and confrontational, spiritually tinged lyrics. It's that combination of radical artistry and galvanizing message that the world desperately needs now more than ever, and OTEP is ready to answer the call.
"You Should See Me In A Crown" was the lead single from the 2018 debut album of another controversial female figure who cut across musical and social norms to carve out an identity all her own. That artist is, of course, Billie Eilish, and OTEP's cover version is no mere homage to a young acolyte but rather a radical reimagining of the song that mines all of its dark sonic complexity as well as its bold lyrical message, transforming it into the kind of modern metal epic that nobody does better than OTEP.
As Shamaya herself puts it: "To me the song is a warning against cultural reduction, biased underestimation and the volatile anti-Newtonian reaction of judging someone before you know their true power."
Last September, Shamaya told the 96.7 KCAL-FM program "Wired In The Empire" about the songwriting process for OTEP's new album: "This record actually was written with a couple of different songwriters, which I was really excited to work with. 'Kult 45' was my last album, which is four years old now. It's insane to believe that it's been four years, but it has. When I went back in the studio, the band had sort of dispersed at that point — everybody was trying to make a living and trying to find other jobs — and so I just went to the producer and we sat down and we found some really, really talented, creative people. And even though I've been doing this for a long time and have accomplished a lot — at least I think I have — I really work best with mentors. I like people that are, I feel, creatively better than I am so that I can have this sort of spiritual intercourse between all of us where we're sort of sharing ideas and I'm inspiring them and they're inspiring me."
Throughout the span of her career, Shamaya has been an undeniable force in bringing awareness via various acclaimed mediums to social and political injustices felt by various communities and subcultures. For years, publications such as Revolver magazine have lauded Shamaya for "following in the footsteps of outspoken musicians from folk singer Woody Guthrie to RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE's Zach de la Rocha, dubbing her "one of music's catalysts for social change".
OTEP's latest album, the aforementioned "Kult 45", was recorded at The Lair in Los Angeles, completely utilizing the same equipment used for OTEP's first album, "Sevas Tra" (down to Shamaya's vocal microphone, a SHURE Beta 58),in order to create a sound reminiscent of their roots. "Kult 45" was produced by the band, with assistant engineering from Larry Goetz, Nicolas Schilke and Lizzy Ostro.
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