Kobra and the Lotus- Kobra and the Lotus

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Canadian heavy metal band Kobra and the Lotus originally released their self-titled sophomore album last year, but it wasn’t until last month that it was available in the U.S. Formed in 2008, the band has been through some significant lineup changes in the time that passed between 2010’s Out of the Pit and this effort. With the support of Gene Simmons record label imprint and plenty of mainstream support, does this group have what it takes to stand out?

Heavy metal has found its way back into the public eye in recent years, as plenty of longer running acts have regained popularity and newcomers have gotten record label support. Kobra and the Lotus pull from the familiar heavy metal playbook and also throw in the occasional power metal and hard rock ballad. “Forever One” is what first attracted me to the group’s material and convinced me to give the entire album a shot, and this piece is a great representation of everything the instrumentals have to offer. There is a decent balance of mid-tempo and faster galloping riffs that are reminiscent of Iron Maiden and a whole slew of other heavy metal groups, and plenty of flashy guitar solos. Kevin Churko, who has produced the last few Ozzy Osbourne records, served as the producer and as a result the album has a very powerful and modern sound. Kobra and the Lotus will feel familiar, especially to anyone that has followed this genre for a couple of decades, but when they get it just right the songs have enough staying power to keep you coming back. However, while the first handful of songs consistently impress after the halfway mark things become a bit hit or miss and there are a few tracks that sound a bit too similar to each other. It’s clear that the instrumentalists are headed in the right direction and do manage to hit the sweet spot from time to time, but with a bit more growth they could put together a record that consistently wows listeners from beginning to end.

Lead singer Brittany “Kobra” Paige was one of the main elements that initially drew me in, as she has a voice that is very powerful and commanding and is able to move between a mid-range and higher pitch. Rather than going for a constant falsetto or operatic pitch Paige starts off at a softer level and then breaks into a wail that has a commanding presence. There’s just the right amount of edginess to the performance and throughout each of the ten songs the vocals never become shaky and remain engaging. While the riffs definitely help Kobra and the Lotus to keep listeners coming back, Paige’s singing is what sealed the deal for me and if she can maintain this type of performance it will help the group as they continue to grow.

While not all of the songs grabbed me in the same way that the previously released singles did, there are still enough standout moments to make Kobra and the Lotus worth checking out. The band is at the pretty good stage right now, as they have some killer guitar solos and a vocalist that does the heavy metal legends justice. But they’re not consistently over the top, and if the instrumentalists can continue to hone their skills and find ways to make each song as engaging I believe they will go much farther.

http://www.kobraandthelotus.com/
http://www.simmonsrecords.com/

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