10 songs full of power, power and even more power.
The first part is revealed – turn up the volume and start the musical rollercoaster!
KOBRA AND THE LOTUS are famous for their straight forward all-in metal with a voice you wouldn’t expect when you see vocalist Kobra Paige. She puts a lot of power (hell yeah, I’ll use this word a lot in this review) into her low voice and don’t you expect clear vocal lines. She can do it, but normally she uses her voice rhythmically. The opener ‘Gotham’ shows us, what we can expect from “Prevail I” in vocals and musically in general. Soft tunes are followed by strong riffs, the refrain with Kobra‘s low voice leads into a bridge with unfamiliarly light vocals. And that’s a great start into the newest release of the band.
In our interview at Female Metal Event past year, Kobra told us her band didn’t really have a concept or songs when they entered the studio – which stressed all people besides KOBRA AND THE LOTUS themselves. They experimented a lot which you can hear on the album, too. The riffs sound as if they happened naturally, maybe while jamming. The vocals fit into the musical (non-)concept and the drums – sometimes a bit too quiet – sound really fluent.
KATL’s “Prevail I” is really down to earth – thanks to the songwriting process that didn’t happen.
So “Prevail I” has the charm of a jam session of a handful musicians who know each other pretty well musically. Instinctively, they know how to put their own instrument on a previously recorded riff, knowing what they can expect from their band mate, who is up next with recording. No wonder, KOBRA AND THE LOTUS had enough material for a follow-up album! Every song on “Prevail I” is fresh and natural, a true contrast to bands like NIGHTWISH with albums that seem composed and styled through and through.
Now you could think, “Prevail I” is rough and loud. Yes, it sometimes is (e.g. ‘Victim’ and ‘Check the Phyrg’, ‘Hell On Earth’), but it’s not an album full of fast tracks, the only thing every song has is power to the core. ‘You Don’t Know’, for which KOBRA AND THE LOTUS shot a video, is softer and thoughtful somehow. And don’t forget the power ballad ‘Light Me Up’! The title track ‘Prevail’ is a hymn – simple and catchy with the promise this band will continue following their special style of Power Metal.
Awesome riffs and a great voice – but where are the drums?
It’s refreshing, somehow, but I also miss something in the songs – the drums are too silent. I’m used to hearing a beat that influences my heart beat, no matter if the music is loud or not. But the drums on “Prevail I” are lost somewhere in the record, most of the time. Listen to ‘Specimen X (Mortal Chamber)’ – don’t you agree the drums could be a lot louder? But, hey, that’s really my only criticism about KOBRA AND THE LOTUS‘ new album. One more reason to look forward to the band’s live gigs!
In sum, “Prevail I” is a powerful album which also impresses me on the technical side. The riffs are fast and unstudied but not simple. KOBRA AND THE LOTUS really grew as musicians from their previous albums. And they have always been a good live band. For their new album, the band found a good mixture of beautiful melodies, fast songs, strong guitars and Kobra‘s powerful voice. It’s fun listening to it and I’m thrilled to listen to part II!
KOBRA AND THE LOTUS – “Prevail I” Tracklist:
- You Don’t Know
- Specimen X (Mortal Chamber)
- Light Me Up
- Manifest Destiny
- Check The Phyrg
- Hell On Earth
What do you think about “Prevail I”? Are you excited to listen to the next part? Let us know in the comments!