Kobra Paige, the Canadian rock goddess, and not the latest member of the Avengers, leads the Lotus gang on the power of her alto through the uneven terrain of Prevail I. The luxuriant vocals mashed into the middle of multi-track layering gone mad, anchors the album in mesmerizing ways.
Kobra and the Lotus tromp through the same forests as the Epicas and Nightwishs of the music world, presenting a package to rock the maple syrup out of their rabid fan base. The band has the look, the muscle and showmanship that places them in the major leagues…with a duffel bag of minor league songs.
Prevail I is a cog in a the machinery of some sort of conceptualism, but the concept is found only in the liner notes. The songs, not the voice, should fuel the concept. There is no “Fifty Shades of Evil” here. The chanteuse and the great musicianship of the backing boys crank up the playlist for CHXX-FM primarily with “TriggerPulse,” “Gotham” and “Hell On Earth.” Anyone less than a Kobra Kid would be unable to differentiate which one’s what.
The band has its own tonality, if not a unique sound, due to its professionalism and Paige’s ubervocals. It does pop out a little from the cohort. If the gods of the great song hit it with a lightning strike, Kobra and the Lotus would have all the pieces they need.
Megastar engineer Ted Jensen mastered Prevail I, and it was produced by Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Epica). They both have great track records, but went down the wrong road on this album, loading it down with one chalky layer atop another. It makes Prevail I’s mock anthems utterly dependent on Paige’s majestic vocals. They somehow managed to round off Paige’s usual bite with a heavy hand on the processor boxes. These are big songs for big ear buds, and the production has squeezed the album into a dinky waiting room.
Nevertheless, fans of Kobra and the Lotus will love this album. It will get 4 and half stars on Amazon and fly off the internet. Hard rock fans may grow to appreciate its virtual reality take on the genre. For the rest of us, it’s a couple of interested listens and then a sigh.
(released May 12, 2017 on Napalm Records)