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Otep: Hydra

Victorious swansong for fearsome LA frontwoman

Thirteen years and six albums in, Otep Shamaya is calling it a day with one final studio offering. Conceptually based on her self-penned graphic novel, Hydra collates the singer’s most sinister influences into a melting pot of hypnotic songs that twist and turn with every note.

Heavy with atmosphere, these 13 tracks focus less on metal and more on the powerful lyrics she’s known for on her spoken-word and poetry interludes. Frequently harrowing and often making for uncomfortable listening, macabre content is accentuated by Otep’s effortless alternation between whispers, half-raps and screams.

It all reaches a climax with the unrivalled brutality of Feral Game. Otep has inspired many since she first burst out but now it’s time for her departure, she sends out a blood-curdling scream as Hydra’s final warning shot. Chances are this won’t be the last we’ve heard of her.

Natasha Scharf

Dark prog (and chocolate) fan Natasha has been a Prog regular since 2009. News Editor between 2014 and 2019, now Deputy Editor, she is the only member of the team to have appeared on Prog's cover.