Album Reviews

Kobra & The Lotus – Prevail II

Canadian hard rock/metal exports Kobra & The Lotus are primed and ready for their return to their quest for world domination with the release of Prevail II on April 27, 2018, almost exactly one year since the release of Prevail I. Originally planned as a double album, once Kobra and company signed to German label Napalm Records, the label decided to split the release into two separate chapters which would give the fans a chance to take in the massive amount of music instead of having some of the tracks getting lost in the shuffle. The plan has worked so far as Prevail I was a great success not only as a critical favorite but a fan favorite as well. The band also had a successful North American tour run in 2017 with Xandria and Once Human.

Prevail II takes over exactly where the predecessor left off with an album chock full of heavy metal riffs, hard rock melodies, and superb songwriting. As with the first Prevail album, Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Pretty Maids, Doro, Primal Fear) is the man in the producers chair. Given that the body of music was all written and recorded at the same time, Prevail II is, at least sonically, an exact twin to Prevail I. Musically, Prevail II also has a fantastic diversity between hard rock, metal, and classic rock that made Prevail I so enjoyable.

Kicking the album off is the dark heavy metal crunch and massive wall of chugging guitar that is Losing My Humanity. Kobra’s impassioned vocals are rich and textured, full of melody and aggression. When Paige sings each lyric you can feel that she believes in the lyrical subject matter 1000%. The next track, Let Me Love You starts off with a crushing riff that will get the listener headbanging and slows down during the first verse as Kobra’s soft vocals take over with an emotionally charged plea. The chorus is a massive sing-a-long with melody and a fantastic hook that is on par with anything the band has recorded previously.

There is a short atmospheric acoustic guitar interlude titled Ribe that sets the stage for My Immortal, a a mid-tempo song with fantastic blend of metal and hard rock. The rhythm section of bassist Brad Kennedy and drummer Marcus Lee keep the time changes intricate, going from a quick pace to a wider breadth during the soaring and uplifting chorus with precision and power. Fallen Empire is another heavy rocker with a pummeling heavy rhythm and Lee’s powerful drumming leading the way. Guitarist Jasio Kulakowski gets to shine with an impressive shredding solo while still showcasing his sense of melody.

The album switches gears on Heartache, a softer side of the band that shows their hard rock roots. The song has a gothic melody and Kobra’s vocals are rich and warm and get the songs message across perfectly. This is a song with a magnificent chorus that was made for hard rock radio but never loses the bands metal edge. Velvet Roses brings the heaviness back to the forefront with a killer guitar riff that shows Kulakowski’s roots in old school 80’s heavy metal. The song is a foot stomping rocker that will go over well in front of live audiences. Kobra’s vocals reach for the stratosphere with an incredible range and power.

Modern Day Hero is another mid-tempo rocker with a heavy guitar crunch and the incredibly melodic chorus is a throwback to the classic hard rock of the late 70’s and 80’s. The full on metal assault comes roaring back with You’re Insane, with Jasio’s wall of chugging heavy guitar riffs and the machine gun doube bass drums of Marcus Lee. Kobra’s vocal prowess is on full display with a “Whoa-Ohh” refrain that recalls classic Bruce Dickinson. There is an Iron Maiden vibe with the main guitar melody as well. Kulakowski lets ‘er rip on the guitar solo with an incredible showing of feel and dexterity.

White Water slows down the pace as Kobra’s soft vocals recall classic Ann Wilson of Heart. Paige is one of the most underrated vocals in metal, but here, as well as on the rest of Prevail I & II, she really comes into her own as one of the best vocalists in todays hard rock music scene. Next up, to close the album is a cover of the classic Fleetwood Mac song, The Chain, given the Kobra & The Lotus unique metal spin of course. The song was originally included on the Japanese release of Prevail I but is presented here officially for all of KATL’s fans to enjoy. The bonus track is an acoustic version of Let Me Love You, which proves the adage that a great song can translate from electric to acoustic with ease. The acoustic version gives the song a whole other emotional meaning and is a nice extra to end the album.

With Prevail II, Kobra & The Lotus continue the brilliance that began last year with the beginning of their magnum opus. Here’s hoping that the album finds success and the wider audience it deserves as the band is currently on a U.S. tour with Texas Hippie Coalition.

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