"Hydra", the sixth full-length studio album from singer poet, illustrator, author and activist Otep Shamaya, sold around 2,900 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 155 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD was released on January 22 via Victory Records.
"Atavist", the fifth full-length album from Otep (2011), sold 7,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at No. 61.
Otep's 2009 CD, "Smash The Control Machine", opened with 10,400 units to enter the chart at No. 47.
In a series of postings on her Facebook page, Otep stated about "Hydra": "Looking back... Creating this album was beautiful madness. I allowed the personality of the creature I've created to take hold. I can see with her eyes, double vision, the strength in my own, the terror and envy and hate with hers. I can taste her cold soul forming an armor around mine. She is me, or could be, if I allowed it, if I didn't have art to release this demon of fire and iron from me. Hydra. Hydra. Hydra."
She continued: "It's a concept album about a girl corrupted by the world, corrugated by evil, ripped away from the golden, molten elixir of creativity, and abandoned on the placid, jagged rocks of a cruel and barbaric island where the rats poison themselves. This is a story of her personal alchemy of theophagy, revenge and righteousness. Her rise from the smoldering ash as a bruise that never heals transmuting, therianthropic, to the infinite, still-born messiah, a vigilante serial assassin, codename: Hydra.
Asked how she would compare "Hydra" to her previous releases, Otep said: "It's different in that it's a concept album based on a series of short stories I've been working on for the past two years. I see a lot of myself in this character named Hydra. A woman who has been betrayed her entire life, who has no other way to express herself except through her art which in her case, unfortunately for some, happens to be serial assassination. She is the darkest part of me exposed on any album. It reminds me of [2004's] 'House Of Secrets' quite a bit in tone and the way the songs exist dependent upon each other. It's theater of the mind, it's a journey, a story."
Otep released her first live album, "Sounds Like Armageddon", on November 6, 2012 via Victory.