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Live at Ozzfest, 2004, Alpine Valley, WI

Review by Gary Hill

This was another of the Ozzfest performers I was really stoked to see, and they did not disappoint me. I think that's because I was expecting something a bit different than what the typical Ozzfest headbanger/mosher was, and they delivered. I guess for many of the people in attendance who were not in the know the show may have left them scratching their heads a bit. It was obvious, though, that there was a large group of the faithful gathered around the stage, and they seemed to really enjoy the band's performance.
I noted in my review of House of Secrets that I saw a lot of parallels to The Doors in the music of Otep, and the live show if anything only reinforced that. Certainly the extreme aggressive nature of the sound has little in common with that band, but the exploratory, experimental, creative nature of the band truly feels like an extension of the legacy. Jim Morrison in his day was one of the darker, more violent and creative minds of his time. Otep certainly carries that flame. Much of the show was devoted to what felt like improvised free form examples of musicians and a poet creating art right in front of the audience, inventing and reforming ideas and audio images. This is something you don't often see in music, especially today, and I found it quite exciting. They did a few real "songs", and those were delivered with enthusiasm and fire, but the more interesting points in the show were those where the band really seemed to be explorers on a new path through a soundscape, painting images with sounds and words. You really got the feeling you were part of the creative process.

Arnold Hablewitz
Arnold Hablewitz
This is a band who I am betting is different with every show. That also is definitely a rarity in modern music. I am definitely interested in following this band, as they seem to be one of the truly original and artistic adventurers in the industry. I expect great things from them, and I have a hunch they are going to continue to deliver.

Gary Hill
Gary Hill
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2004 Year Book Volume 3 at
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