House of Secrets

Quite simply, Otep's "House of Secrets" is terrifying.

Quite simply, Otep's "House of Secrets" is terrifying. Guitarist Lee Rios, drummer Doug Pellerin, bassist eViL j and the band's namesake vocalist had a vicious nightmare they caught on tape, one so disturbing that the album should be heard with the lights on. It brims with sounds that can warp the psyche: whispered chants of "bring out your dead," the snapping of scissors, gongs, howls of pain—and that's just first song "Requiem." "Warhead," "Buried Alive" and "Sepsis" pummel the listener, pausing only to gather strength for another furious doom/ speed metal onslaught. Conversely, the title track weaves its dreariness with lullaby notes and droning bass. Otep unleashes spoken word, singing (for the first time), brutal roars and rapping ("Self-Made") to tell her demented stories. The force of her screams and the cacophony the band creates pack a crushing wallop.—CLT