In the midst of all the strange and wonderful stuff that’s out this year (Kontrust, you will be done this month. Promise), there’s not always a lot of room for proper metal. You know, the stuff where it’s loud with chorus and bitchin’ guitar solos. Of course, when you decide to mention it’s a lady who isn’t Doro Pesch, the corset brigade pisses itself like a child at Easter. Fortunately, Kobra & The Lotus’ debut record sounds more like Judas Priest than Leaves’ Eyes.

Make no mistake about it, K&TL are very much the kind of band who’ll ask you about something called nu-metal. Well, they would if you could hear them above the wall to wall sound that  so few bands seem to have these days, taking all the greatest parts of the 1980s and giving it a fresh lick of paint and production sparkles. K&TL are the bastard child of Triosphere, Warlock and every other British band that had the good decency to wear leather in the last 20 years, Fifty Shades Of Evil opens with some Glenn Tipton-esque arpeggio sweep before descending into a vicious rhythm of double kick backed, palm muted anger. Every song bring something unique to the table, although Welcome To My Funeral is as close to legal plagiarism of latter day Iced Earth as anyone is likely to get.

From the raptured gang drone of Forever One to the I-thought-this-shit-died-out-twenty-years-ago “hey” gang vocal (no doubt intended for the live arena) of Lover Of The Beloved, K&TL have shamelessly indulged in their musical fantasies of big lights, big stage and a big fucking sound. While the record never pushes the boat out in terms of progressiveness, what you do have is just over forty-five minutes of all out metal assault with some, quite frankly, absurd guitar solos. Contemporary snake-based power metallers Crystal Viper dance relatively close to this territory, however, K&TL bring in the catchy hard rock guitar riffs Accept would be jealous of (see Nayana).

Despite an attempt at a ballad (presumably before getting bored halfway through Sanctuary and turning everything on again) K&TL’s debut album is a non-stop metal extravaganza. Do yourself a favour and get it. Then turn it up and use it blast the cobwebs out of those corners the feather duster won’t reach.

8/10

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