Though contrived shock metal reached the end of its creative leash well before Marilyn Manson discovered corsets, godless doom and gloom rarely have a bad day at the cash register. Enter Otep Shamaya, a Los Angeles-based traffic-stopper who broke the ranks of Ozzfest three summers ago as leader of the hallowed circle jerk's only female-fronted metal act. Boasting a pair of brass clackers big enough to frighten ol' goofy eyes himself, Otep declares "menocide" on patriarchy -- all while giving nu-metal's limp formula a fresh injection of grrrlish rage and adrenaline. On the spiked heels of last year's tormented House of Secrets, Ms. Shamaya (who considers herself more of an orator than a singer) excoriates false gods and death squads, alternately screaming and rapping her way through a wide range of sacrilege and psychodrama. According to the band's website, she's "destroying popular culture one mind at a time." It's a lofty objective, all right -- one that has yet to put a rabid mutt like American Idol to sleep. But if "Blood Pigs" becomes the ring tone for even one goth kid's cell phone, it'll be a step in the right direction.


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