A hard-hitting and outspoken female-fronted metal outfit from Los Angeles, California, Otep's lethal blend of gothic, extreme, rap, alternative, and nu-metal draws from a wide array of influences, including the Doors, Metallica, Slipknot, and Deftones. Led by fiery singer/songwriter, poet, author, performance artist, and activist for LGBT rights and animal welfare Otep Shamaya, the band emerged in 2000 and quickly caught the attention of Sharon Osbourne, who invited Otep to join that years Ozzfest. The band spent the ensuing years blazing a trail of sonic destruction via career-best outings like Smash the Control Machine (2009) and Atavist (2011), while maintaining their penchant for pairing sheer volume with cultural and political provocation. Otep (an anagram for "poet") got their start in late 2000, when singer/band namesake Otep Shamaya brought her Marilyn Manson-meets-Kim Gordon style of singing to a crew of musicians known only as Rob, Moke, and eViL j. The foursome began gigging around Los Angeles and scored a deal with Capitol solely on the strength of their live show (they'd not yet recorded a demo), releasing the Jihad EP the following year. Rumors of cannibalism and dabbling in the mystical arts helped add to their mysterious image, and they found themselves receiving nods of approval from the likes of Ozzy Osbourne and Marilyn Manson for their antics. Their eighth live show ever was at 2001's Ozzfest, and Otep stepped into the studio with Terry Date at the tail-end of the year to record their full-length debut, Sevas Tra, which saw the light of day in the summer of 2002. That summer they again joined the Ozzfest tour, gaining a prime spot on the second stage. In 2004 the group released its sophomore effort, House of Secrets, which introduced elements of funk, hip-hop, and ambient into the group's melting pot of metal. Working with producer Dave Fortman (Evanescence, Mudvayne), Otep followed up three years later with Ascension and supported it on spring 2007 dates with Static-X. In 2009 the band signed to Victory Records and released Smash the Control Machine, which debuted at number 47 on the Billboard 200. Two years later the band released its fifth full-length album, Atavist, the first Otep outing that did not feature longtime bassist eViL j, who left the group shortly after the release of Smash the Control Machine. Arriving in 2013, the conceptual Hydra would be the band's first album to rely solely on drum programming, while 2016's Generation Doom, their seventh studio long-player, saw Otep make the move to Napalm Records. In 2018 the band issued their eighth studio long-player, the politically charged Kult 45. ~ Bradley Torreano

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