Released: 2010, Indie
Summer is a great time for discovering new music. This month I’d like to introduce our readers to seven newer bands from the province of Alberta, Canada. I’ve asked some local bands of different styles to participate and they all said yes. Western Canada is already well-known in the global scene with veteran bands like Three Inches of Blood, Into Eternity and Divinity and so now we introduce to a crop of promising young hopefuls from Alberta. Feel free to check out the other reviews in this series including, Chron Goblin, Derailed, Hellrazer, Mares Of Thrace, Striker and The Unravelling.
Kobra and The Lotus are likely one of the most established and accomplished bands in a very short period of time. In perhaps just over a year they have gone from concept to delivering a very competent debut product with some big name support. The simplistic cover art (silver and black) simply featuring the bands name doesn’t give you much to work with but leaves no doubt who the band is. Even so, the band name could have been Black and Death Metal aside, it’s annoying looking at a CD and you can’t even see the band name. That’s not the case here! Even so, other band names could have been taken into consideration with over a dozen other ‘Kobra’ or ‘Cobra’ type bands currently in the metal scene.
As for the disc, the packaging is minimal the band perhaps opting to let the music do the talking.
Speaking of talking, the band’s name is on a few people’s lips as the debut was produced by Greg Godovitz and the vocals specifically were done by Kevin Shirley. They had no small amount of help including a guest appearance by Rik Emmett and the whole thing was produced out of Toronto, the locals going out of town to get the sound they wanted.
This disc does sound fantastic! It has clear, powerful production a nice separation in the mix and the vocals of Brittany sitting right in the middle of it. Her voice is a great rock’n’roll metal voice. Her delivery is certainly not the power-metal soprano style or the death growl style, just standard clear and loud vocals. It’s odd how few women sing like this anymore. Her voice reminds me a bit of Nathalie from Mystery Blue and a younger Lee Aaron might a familiar touchstone. Very listenable.
The rest of the band are no slouches pushing out a very decent mix of traditional Hard Rock and Heavy Metal sounds. It never gets too fast or thrashy but cruising along nicely in the ‘third beer on a Friday night’ head-banging zone. Matt and Chris display some tasty and elegant soloing, without getting too frantic. It took me a couple of listens to appreciate some of the songs because there is a sense of familiarity, perhaps having heard so many quality bands in this crowded genre, but having said that, locally speaking not many bands are doing this style, and the songs are strong.
The disc finishes strong with a cover of Motorhead’s Ace of Spades, for the 22nd time, but a solid enough rendition nonetheless. Lastly, the band finish off with a bit of a curveball. 'Legend' is an epic, semi ballad with acoustic guitar, symphonic flourishes and showcases Brittany’s natural talent singer in a higher register in her more natural soprano style. The song is great but doesn’t fit on the disc, it’s not really representative of the other tunes, but it does demonstrate the bands diversity and creativity, so in terms of track sequence it really is the only place it fits. Kinda like a nice bonus track in my mind. This should be a good year for Kobra And The Lotus.