Otep brought their aggressive metal to The Music Factory with support from September Mourning, Through Fire, Doll Skin, and Nuskin.

Opening the evening was Nuskin from Delton, Michigan. They powered through a short, but energetic set of rock and industrial metal. The dual lead singers worked the stage while the band laid down a solid groove.

The band includes Steve Maple (vocals), Beau Ross (vocals), Orin Knuppenburg (guitar), Chad Hess (bass), and Casey Gillett (drums).

Next up was the young and aspiring group, Doll Skin from Phoenix, Arizona. We are talking about four girls between 16 and 19 years old. The band consists of Sydney Dolezal on vocals, Meghan Shea Herring (drums), Alex Snowden (guitar), and Nicole Rich (bass). These girls rocked beyond their years.

With each band member’s hair dyed a different color, they tore through a set of punk and alternative rock that had the audience taking notice. They have been doing their homework as they had all of the moves down pat from guitar poses to working the crowd to big jumps; they have a great stage presence. Guitarist Alex even tore off some killer riffs complete with finger tapping; impressive indeed.

Doll Skin released a record called In Your Face (Again!)  produced by David Ellefson of Megadeth who is also helping manage them.

Through Fire from Omaha, Nebraska was up next. Their music was melodic, yet still hard rocking. Lead singer Grant Kendrick is an imposing singer with a powerful voice. Guitarist Justin McCain (founder of Emphatic) liked to play up to the crowd and striking various poses; very entertaining.

Their current single is “Stronger.” Their debut record is targeted for a summer release on Sumerian Records.

Through Fire is Kendrick and McCain with Jesse Saint (bass), and Patrick Mussack (drums).

Providing direct support to the headliner was September Mourning from Los Angeles, California.

They played an impactful set that revolved around vocalist Emily Lazar (September). Their stage was sparsely lit with the various band members dressed in black and September dressed in all white. She thrashed, stalked, and even crawled on the stage throughout the set. At one point, she climbed into the pit to greet fans in the front row; they were in awe.

September Mourning put on a theatrical performance, but that does nothing to take away from their music. This band is made up of a talented set of musicians. Together, the music and visuals made for an excellent live performance.

September Mourning’s set included songs from their debut EP, Volume I, including “Children of Fate” and “Eye of the Storm.” A full album is expected to be released on Sumerian Records later this summer.

The band lineup is bassist Jeriah Eager (Shadou), guitarist Rich Juzwick (Riven), guitarist Kyle Ort (Wraith), and drummer Josh Fresia (Stitch).

You could feel the excitement growing in the crowd in anticipation of headliner Otep taking the stage. Named after vocalist Otep Shamaya, they band started strong, their music and stage presence captivating the crowd.

Otep plays a style of music that has been called nu metal, rap metal, alternative metal, and even extreme metal. Label it what you want, it just flat-out rocks and tonight was no exception. Lyrically the music is driven by Otep’s personal views and life observances; she is not one to sugar-coat anything.

From the get-go, Otep was full of angst and energy that matched the emotion and power of the songs, yet she managed to smile and engage with her fans. She is great frontwoman that owns the stage and works it from side to side when she is not bouncing up and down. At one point she was even shadow boxing, throwing jabs and uppercuts into the air. A visual highlight came during the song “Blood Pigs” when Otep brought out a boar’s head, played with it throughout the song, and even went head to head with it.

Her band provided the hard-hitting drive that powered these aggressive songs. Guitarist Ari Mihalopoulos was an intimidating sight; he is built like a bodybuilder and wears a mask. The band also includes Justin Kier (drums) and Andrew Barnes (touring bassist).

Touring in support of their April 2016 release Generation Doom, the setlist consisted of several songs from it, as well as from various older releases. New songs included “Equal Rights, Equal Lefts,” “Generation Doom,” “Zero,” and “In Cold Blood.” Older songs included “Crooked Spoons,” “Blood Pigs,” and the encore, “Confrontation.”

Otep is currently on tour through May.

Otep Shimaya came out after the show to greet fans, sign autographs and pose for pictures. It was the perfect ending to an awesome night of music.

Otep
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September Mourning
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Through Fire
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Doll Skin
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Nuskin
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