OTEP frontwoman Otep Shamaya has issued a statement in response to the rumors that the band has been dropped by Capitol Records as a result of the recently announced merger of Capitol and Virgin Records into the Capitol Music Group.OTEP's third full-length album, "The_ Ascension", was previously scheduled for release on March 20. The CD was recorded in New Orleans over the course of several months with Grammy-winning producer Dave Fortman (EVANESCENCE, MUDVAYNE). Commented Shamaya: "We are still waiting for an update on everything from those authority figures and finger-pointers who are in charge of such things. But we assure you the album will be released as soon as corporately possible." Unrelenting yet vibrant and utterly musical, "The_ Ascension" features the aggressive rhythms and defiant vocal performances — on such tracks as "March of the Martyrs" and "Crooked Spoons" — that fans have flocked to throughout the band's more than five-year history. The album also reflects the band's ever-present drive to challenge genre conventions, as with the stirring, delicate sounds of "Perfectly Flawed" — a melodic gem that places Otep's compelling vocals at center stage. The multifaceted album is further highlighted by the explosive dynamics and looming drama found on songs including "Milk of Regret" and the band's inspired rendition of NIRVANA's "Breed". "We recorded 'Breed' to celebrate an inspiration that means so much to me," says Otep of NIRVANA and Kurt Cobain in particular. "His death left a huge vacancy in this world and I wanted offer a tribute to a band that had done so much for music. Our version still sounds like an OTEP song but honors the original, which is exactly what we wanted." In addition to writing with longtime comrade and original bass player, eViL j, the band recruited guitarist Karma Cheema and drummer Brian Wolff. The multitalented Otep teamed with Grammy-nominated MUDVAYNE guitarist Greg Tribbett in composing "Invisible", "Crooked Spoons", and the powerful protest anthem, "Confrontation". She also collaborated with Grammy-winning songwriter Holly Knight to create the hauntingly beautiful "Perfectly Flawed".