Some bands just get better with each release. Such is the case with KOBRA AND THE LOTUS and their new album Prevail I (May 12, Napalm Records). Vocalist Kobra Paige once again sings the songs with such conviction you’ll find yourself getting caught up in each and every one of them. And just when you think the band can’t possibly pull any more original yet biting riffs out of their arsenal boy are you wrong. Pound for pound this is the group’s most complete album to date. The songwriting and performing on this disc is exceptional from the first note to the last.
Opening with a bang, “Gotham” lets us know what we’re in for right away, and that hook is guaranteed to worm its way into your brain and take up residence there. And on those riffs I just mentioned, here comes “TriggerPulse,” axe man Jasio Kulakowski making the strings do his bidding with excellent results. Drummer Lord Marcus Lee and bassist Brad Kennedy start off third track “You Don’t Know” a song that is going to be one of the band’s biggest singles ever. Between the lyrical messages and Kobra’s delivery it’s an amazing number, and one I look forward to hearing live someday.
“Specimen X (The Mortal Chamber)” is one of the heaviest cuts on the disc. When this band goes balls-out they certainly don’t half-ass it, that’s for damn sure. A change of pace is next with the acoustic guitar-driven “Light Me Up,” and it’s got a gorgeous, lush melody that begs for repeat listens. Which brings us to my 100% favorite tune in “Manifest Destiny”…WOW!! Just…WOW!! The crunchy riff coupled with a constant lead behind it is again, one of the most original things I think I’ve ever heard, and the chorus is magnificent. This is one that I have to spin seven or eight times before moving on.
“Victim” has a wee bit of electronica in places, which only serves as an enhancer, while instrumental “Check the Phyrg” is a surprise, albeit a pleasant one. There’s no arguing that all the players have serious chops, and a song like this shows they could share a bill with the heaviest of the heavy and have crowds clamoring for more. “Hell On Earth” is deliciously evil-sounding and closer “Prevail” has a big, big chorus and ends Part I of our journey in glorious fashion. All told Prevail I is KOBRA AND THE LOTUS’ best album yet with nary an imperfection. So if anyone needs me I’ll be over here pressing REPEAT while impatiently waiting for Prevail II!
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM