OTEP has returned with House of Secrets, the follow-up to 2002's Sevas Tra (Art Saves backwards).
The Los Angeles-based firing squad, fronted by the woman of the band's name, has accomplished what few can on a sophomore release: Produce something far more frightening! House of Secrets is so aggressive, angry and loud that it will blow the mind of those who dare listen.
A statement against hypocrisy, "Warhead" provides the first sonic assault on the album. Various tempo-changing speeds and death metal guitar riffs, combined with impressive blast beats on the drums, control the musical aspect of the song. Otep's vocals dip into blood-curdling barks and screams, keeping listeners at bay.
"I speak in verses, prophecies and curses / I hate my life," Otep gently whispers at the start of "Buried Alive." A haunting bass line accommodates the whispers, building into a roller coaster of heaviness.
Besides not being the ideal woman to take home to mom, Otep is an imaginative poet. Some tracks contain full or partial spoken-word vocal filled with sounds of crying and abuse in the background. "I once dreamed of a world without consequences, without reminders of this brutal gutter I am collapsed in / Once I dreamed, but then I woke up," Otep informs during "Gutter."
Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison appears on the majority of the album, filling in while OTEP was reforming its lineup. Songs like "Hooks and Splinters" demonstrate Jordison's creativity and mastery of his art.
To sum up the listening experience of House of Secrets, Otep says it best during "Nein."
"I'll tell you a story that's never been told ... "