There it is! The new record of Kobra and the Lotus. I have been looking forward to this one. After a mysterious intro of about 50 seconds, we are powerfully greeted by the title track Evolution. Immediately it also becomes very clear why the album is named like this, because in this first track you can clearly hear that the band has gone on a different path. If I were to describe the album, I would say it leans a little bit more towards hard rock rather than heavy metal. Granted, Kobra and the Lotus always were a bit of a hybrid when it comes to creating their own sound, but Evolution definitely brings something new to the table.
Why do I say that? Well, the title track really shows who Kobra and the Lotus really are right now. A heavy hard rock/metal band that holds nothing back. Strong and heavy bouldering guitar riffs and awesome, fierce and pristine vocals by front woman Kobra. The thing that stands out is that the album is mostly driven by the vocals, but what do you expect from such a strong, powerful and outspoken singer? When listening to the album hearing every song, I can only conclude that the band knows what they are doing and that they are completely within their own element. To me, on their previous album they were still searching a bit, but not on Evolution! Straightforward guitar riffs and drums, while singer Kobra fiercely takes the lead by using all available qualities she and her beautiful voice have to offer.
Overall the album feels very positive, but it is also a bit socially critical at times. It is about not letting negative emotions in your life not dictate how you feel or act, by focusing on the positive things in life and what you can gain from that. The singles Burn and Get the Fuck out of Here perfectly get this message across. The song Thundersmith is in my opinion a true battle cry and one of my favorite songs on the whole album. But my absolute favorite is The Circus. This song truly indicates what has been the general tone of my review, Kobra and the Lotus are really happy with where they are right now musically and that shows! They are here and they are here to stay and literally nobody can stop them. And let’s face it, who in their right mind would want that?
The variation on this album mainly comes from the diversity of Kobra’s voice and with the aforementioned path the band is on I sometimes get the feeling that a lot of songs on this album sound a little bit like more of the same, but with a singer like Kobra in front of your band it doesn’t matter that much, because she seems to know infinite ways to keep everything from getting stale and boring and let’s not forget that we are treated by some awesome guitar solos along the way as well!
There is one song that I would really like to talk about and that is the beautiful ballad Wash Away. This song is a very welcome detour from the powerful battle cry-like sound the rest of the album has and also really shows how vulnerable this amazing band can be.
For me Evolution feels like a liberation of Kobra and the Lotus, a sort of statement saying “We are Kobra and the Lotus, this is what we do and we are not going anywhere!”
You can read our earlier reviews of Kobra and the Lotus’ Prevail I here and Prevail II here. You can also read our interview with Kobra here, as well as our 14th part of Promoting Bands in which we mentioned Kobra and the Lotus here.