Otep

The Ascension

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The sticker on the front claims, "The long-awaited new album." The question is, by whom? On The Ascension, Otep Shamaya and her cohorts fool a bit with texture, trying to create a sense of dynamic tension on songs like "Crooked Spoons," "Noose & Nail," and "Perfectly Flawed," but usually end up in the same place: with some blend of post-rock and new and industrial metal. It's of little consequence, because the pummel and punish with age-old riffs and competent but unimaginative bashing saturate the band's "songs." To be fair, there are some other attempts here, such as the long balladic reach of "Invisible" and the creepy-crawler metal of "Communion." But even these tracks descend into the tried and true -- and therefore quite boring -- trademark Otep sound. Given that it's been three years since House of Secrets, one would have hoped that, while capitalizing on their strengths as a band, Otep would have progressed somehow musically and extended their ambition and aesthetic reach a bit further. Alas, it's not so.

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