Image via Brave Words
Release Date: May 12, 2017
Artist: Kobra and the Lotus
Label: Napalm Records
Producer: Jacob Hansen, Ted Jensen
Personnel: Kobra Paige (Vocals), Jasio Kulakowski (Guitars), Brad Kennedy (Bass), Marcus Lee (Drums)
Hailing from Calgary, Alberta, Kobra and the Lotus, led by vocalist Kobra Paige, have been feverishly working to build up their metal reputation across the world since 2009. They come from humble beginnings, playing in small dives and getting up and close with their fans, but with the likes of their previous studio efforts Out of the Pit and High Priestess, they’ve worked their way to fame by being named one of the up and coming bands in 2013. Since then, they’ve shown no signs of slowing down which is evidenced by their current studio efforts.
This review is on Prevail I – the first installment of a double album, with Prevail II being set to release sometime this year. I remember when this album was released last year, but I didn’t have the opportunity to listen to it, as I unfortunately got lost in the weeds of life, but I determined to listen to the album, and I’m glad I did.
The idea of a double album was introduced to Paige by her father, who argued that not many young acts have enough patience to pull off a double album, and that Kobra should do just that. At first, she thought it was ridiculous because it is true that a double album takes a great deal of patience for any artist, but she couldn’t shake the idea and decided to go forward with the idea. Judging by the band’s work here, I’d say the right call was made.
(Brad Kennedy, Kobra Paige, Jasio Kulakowski, Marcus Lee)
Image via Kobra and the Lotus
Armed with a matured voice in Kobra Paige, Kobra and the Lotus delivers their most complete album to date. “TriggerPulse” shows off Paige’s classical, vocal qualities and the songs chorus seems to remind me of a band like Anberlin. “TriggerPulse” is currently the band’s most popular song on Spotify with over two million listens, so Kobra and the Lotus obviously did something right there.
“You Don’t Know” introduces us to the bands heavy side with a pounding riff, yet eases us into the verse with meek vocals from Paige. A cool fact about the song is that it’s a personal message relative to whomever is singing it. “You don’t know what it’s like to be me” dominates the song’s chorus and came to Paige naturally. The song is a collaborative effort by the band and forced the band to break from their old habits and push them to new limits. More of this cool story can be found on the band’s site.
Not much in the way of guitar solos. Prevail I relies on strong choruses, vocals, and sufficient riffs. The drums are noticeable as well for delivering heavier and pounding song intros, but I found that the band’s reliance on Paige was quite severe. To me, that’s a two edged sword, considering her classical training and astute range are beneficial, but the rest of the band takes a back seat, which I feel is rather unnecessary. They certainly offer Paige more support than Lzzy Hale enjoys with Halestorm. Honestly, I’d love to see Lzzy Hale sing with a group of musicians like Kobra Paige has.
Something to note about Prevail I, the album did not grow tiresome on me nor did it seem stale by having random songs thrown in to hit some magic number of songs. In fact, I think the album got better on the back half of songs, something I’ve found to be quite rare since doing this blog. One of the few albums that immediately spring to mind is Persistence of Time by Anthrax, which I felt was definitely back loaded. A common theme among music albums in general that I’ve discovered is that they tend to be front loaded to gain immediate interest, but for the most part only hold the attention of the band’s most ardent fans. To my delight, Kobra and the Lotus didn’t go this route. ”Manifest Destiny”, “Victim”, “Check The Phyrg”, “Hell on Earth”, and “Prevail” close things out for the album in strong fashion.
“Check The Phyrg” was of particular interest to me since as it is an instrumental with a fantasy flair to it. To me, it worked, and allowed me to appreciate the musicians considering Paige’s voice dominates throughout the rest of the album. In actuality, this may have been my favorite track because it seemed that the band was able to freelance and have a lot of fun here.
Although I felt the album got stronger as it progressed through the tracks, the first few songs “Gotham” and “TriggerPulse” did their job in reeling me in to the album and served their purpose as access songs.
All in all, Prevail I proved to be an accomplished album from what appears to be a very capable band. I look forward to hearing more from this group of Canadians.
I’m going to give Prevail I an 80%.