By Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

Otep recently started its U.S. club and theater tour dates in support of its just released third album, “The Ascension.” Billed as the Balls Volume Strength Tour, it kicked off Oct. 30 in Detroit and will conclude Dec. 14 in Wichita, KS, after 31 shows. Also on the tour are Hellyeah and Bloodsimple.

The band enlisted producer Dave Fortman (Mudvayne, Evanescence) for the record and also called on Grammy nominated guitarist Greg Tribbett (Mudvayne, Hellyeah) to co-write three songs. Otep is currently working on the videos for two songs from the album, “Confrontation” and “Breed,” to be directed by P.R. Brown (Smashing Pumpkins, James Blunt). To date, Otep has sold over 400,000 units.

“As with any offspring, you’re going to see the genetic traits of its parents,” frontwoman Otep Shamaya said in a statement. “So in ‘The Ascension’ you’re going to see the DNA combination of ‘Sevas Tra’ and ‘House of Secrets’, but as with any child, it’s going to have its own experiences, its own identity and its own behavior. I think fans will hear that it’s a true blending of the first record and the second record, a powerful spawn of those two striking creations but also feel the excitement of something brand new and mysterious.”

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Otep tour dates:
11/13 – Santa Ana, CA – Galaxy
11/14 – Los Angeles, CA – Key Club
11/16 – Ventura, CA – Ventura Theatre
11/17 – Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues
11/20 – Amarillo, TX – Midnight Rodeo
11/21 – Dallas, TX – Palladium
11/23 – Oklahoma City, OK – Diamond Ballroom
11/24 – Houston, TX – Meridian
11/25 – Abilene, TX – Crossroads
11/27 – Memphis, TN – New Daisy Theater
11/28 – Atlanta, GA – Roxy Theater
11/30 – Tallahassee, FL – Floyd’s Music Store
12/1 — Tampa, FL – Jannus Landing
12/2 – Orlando, FL – Hard Rock
12/4 – Norfolk, VA – NorVa
12/5 – Baltimore, MD – Ram’s Head
12/7 – Worcester, MA – The Palladium
12/8 – Hartford, CT – Webster Theater
12/9 – New York, NY – Fillmore (Irving Plaza)
12/11 – Peoria, IL – East Peoria Convention Center
12/14 – Wichita, KS – Cotillion (KICT Christmas show)