There are a lot of people presenting themselves to the world as artists in various forms. Some use it for personal gain or notoriety, some come close, and others have no business saying it to begin with.
It is a rare person; a rare artist, poet, writer, storyteller, and visionary that combines so many elements at once to create. And perhaps the world at large doesn’t recognize it. Maybe that individual is telling the world to go f**k itself anyway when it comes to the machinations of corporate greed, environmental waste, and political lies. Then writes a graphic novel that comes from her very soul and creates her best work yet. Sadly; it is her last album at the same time. I say that part sucks.
OTEP has long been a fan favorite, a voice to the voiceless, standing on top of the pile and challenging the powers that be to be better, that we will no longer accept what they sell us. Her music has grown; her writing has gone from deep to creative genius. It is, in my humble opinion, a sad day to hear her say this is the last one.
HYDRA is a concept album based on a novel. She and I discussed the novel and this album in our interview here. I always respected her, always listened to what she sang about and said in her poetry. This album is dark and nothing less than genius. When I spoke with her you could hear it in her voice ‘great, another waste of time interview’. When she realized I wasn’t there to talk fluff and truly wanted to hear her thoughts on many subjects and to discuss writing as art among other creative outlets, we had a discussion vs. an interview. She went from let’s get this over with to opening up just a bit, especially when it came to writing. That left me respecting her far more than I already did. It is hard to find a level of trust with her, at least it seems that way, and I like to think that I did somewhere, even if just for that moment in time.
The Rising starts the album off; a dark, foggy realm of sound creates the backdrop straight out of the film The Fog, a ships horn sounds off in the distance as she reads to you a cryptic script that melts into the loud angry shouts that we all know her for. And then she comes right at you with that signature, angst driven tone in Blowtorch Nightlight.
1:30 into the second track and I realize that this is beyond her scope of work thus far in her career and it is a shame to think this is her last album. OTEP, you are only now hitting your stride, I humbly beg you to reconsider!
Seduce & Destroy, the third track on HYDRA, is unlike anything that I have heard her create yet; and it’s only the 3rd song. You get the drift, right? If you already love her work, this album will send you into a corner, weapon in hand, ready to take on whatever comes at you out of the darkness and you will smile the entire time as long as this collective work of musical genius plays in the background. Every song is a story of its own within the story itself. Try and pull that one off. She has. You will take the trip along each tale only to find yourself in the depths of her twisted, sick story that is Voyeur. HYDRA never lets you get away, never lets you leave, and forces you to see what so many never want to see reflected in the mirror.
Released on January 22; you can get it yourself and I advise that you do. Now.
OTEP; if in fact this is your last album (and I knew you were tired when we spoke last year) this is an amazing thing that you created. I hope to be lucky enough to actually read that novel we talked about. If this was created from that; it must be literary genius as well.