REVIEW: Kobra and the Lotus – Prevail II (Musicalypse Archive)

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In 2017, KOBRA AND THE LOTUS released their hardest-hitting album thus far, Prevail I,” with the promise of its sequel less than a year later. The partnership with Napalm Records had born fabulous fruit and the first half of this Prevail series really knocked it out of the park. As such, we were extremely excited for the release of “Prevail II” less than a year later on April 28th, 2018.

There’s no beating around the bush with “Losing My Humanity,” with its fast-paced guitarwork and solid rhythms. Admittedly, this isn’t quite as catchy as the material on this album’s predecessor, but it is in-keeping with their less-thrashy new sound. “Let Me Love You” in name sounds like a ballad but is another upbeat, guitar-driven track that does slow down as the vocals start, allowing Kobra Paige to remind us that she is a queen of deeper vocals. The chorus is great but maybe could have pushed the vocals a little more to get a little more feeling in there. Surprisingly, “Ribe” is an almost western or country sounding acoustic interlude – a good song but unusual in the context of the whole album, especially taking the loud “HEY!” at the end into account, making the transition into the next song quite sharp.

Speaking of the next song, “My Immortal” (thankfully not an EVANESCENCE cover) is one of the singles and definitely one of the strongest songs on the album, with a varied and interesting contribution from the rhythm section and a truly fabulous singalong chorus. Props to Kobra Paige for having a strong, deep voice without sounding masculine. She makes it work and it’s great!

The speed kicks back up again for “Human Empire,” a total fight song, where they layer Paige‘s deep tones in the chorus to an unusual effect that I’ve yet to decide if I like or not. “Heartache” is a bit more of a straightforward rock track, a little lackluster overall, but likewise pretty nice to have on in the background. “Velvet Roses” has a good head-bobbing groove but again, doesn’t do much else to stand out from the others.

They slow down a little for “Modern Day Hero,” with some lightly groovy moments and a slightly dull chorus, even if the lyrics are quire nice. The guitars take off once more for “You’re Insane,” dancing around a bit as Paige explores her deeper register.

Some versions of the album end with “White Water,” though there are some versions that have a 2.5 minute track called “Chain” and an acoustic rendition of “Losing My Humanity.” I personally enjoyed “White Water” as a closer, as it’s a little slower with some emotion and feel to it, one of the better tracks on the album, with some good dynamic rise-and-fall and a decent laid-back solo that fades out.

Ultimately, while “Prevail II” does keep up the band’s new style admirably, it was a bit of a let-down in some senses, with a solid sound throughout but few songs that really stuck out from one another. Granted, I was pretty hyped up after “Prevail I” so do take me with a grain of salt. In truth, this album is far from a real disappointment as it’s still pretty easy to listen through and enjoy on the whole. It simply could’ve perhaps used a bit more variety to give it some more life.

Written by Bear Wiseman
Musicalypse, 2018
OV: 2393

Tracklist

  1. Losing My Humanity
  2. Let Me Love You
  3. Ribe
  4. My Immortal
  5. Human Empire
  6. Heartache
  7. Velvet Roses
  8. Modern Day Hero
  9. You’re Insane
  10. White Water

Lineup

Kobra Paige – vocals

Jasion Kulakowski – guitars

Brad Kennedy – bass

Jurek James – guitars

Marcus Lee – drums

Label

Napalm Records

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