Album Review: Kobra and the Lotus - 'Kobra and the Lotus'

19 August 2012 | 7:40 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Someone has been listening to Iron Maiden.

Does perception equal reality? While we are merely talking in rhetoric, allowing ourselves to indulge, perhaps the answer is neutral. Sometimes it does, at equal times not so much. On face value, Kobra and the Lotus look like your stereotypical rock/metal outfit. Female singer, leather clad, long haired males taking the instrumental reigns – nothing new, right?!

Well, sometimes generalisations can be dangerous. On this self-titled offering you enter expecting a mild response and finish the listen with subtle enjoyment. It's not to excessive or unrivalled levels, but still to a degree that justifies some basic praise.

These Canadians channel a prominent Iron Maiden intensity. It begins fast and doesn’t really relent. The beauty of the beginning is it quickly alleviates any thoughts that this is some glorified pub rock band with the token female singer. This is instead (and thankfully so) considered and purposeful metal that doesn’t deserve any stereotype to come into play.

The riffs seem to take main priority; with the sound a textured blend of 80’s power metal and modern double kick paced rhythm. ’50 Shades of Evil’ gets down to business early and ‘Welcome the My Funeral’, while similar sounding, hits its spots. ‘Forever One’ has the gang chants (or perhaps refrains).

With a release like this you know there is going to be a melodic period and a section set aside on the album for the metal ballad. ‘Sanctuary’ and ‘Lover of the Beloved’ tick this off in a neat transition of consecutive tracks.

Perhaps, if there is a weakness to isolate, it is that after the first four or five songs, the listener is presented with everything this self-titled full-length is about. One therefore has to decide whether the subsequent tracks are worth their time.

No Rest for the Wicked’ is a little hit and miss, but doesn’t diminish or replace the prevailing feeling that this is a surprisingly solid release. Where the album could give way to derivative and cheesy elements, it instead delivers in an honest manner.

It’s traditional metal with a modern face. Kobra and the Lotus present an unassuming album that seems to work. Draw from that what you will.

Calgary heavy-hitters Kobra and the Lotus are determined if nothing else. This full-length is purposeful and delivers slightly more than the impartial would initially expect. The ten tracks make for an engaging listen. And, if you’re still not sold and decide against this release, just adopt South Park’s assertions and “blame Canada.”