Cobrakill – Serpent’s Kiss Review

Serpent’s Kiss: Cobrakill's Electric Leap Forward with Fiery Glam and Sleaze Rock in their Second Album ...

Released by: Frontiers Records

Release Date: January 19th, 2024

Genre: Heavy Metal

Links: https://www.facebook.com/cobrakillrocks

 

Line Up:

Nick Adams – vocals

Randy White – guitars

Tommy Gun – guitars

Crippler Ramirez – bass

Toby Ventura – drums

 

Tracklist:

1.     Above the Law

2.     Bazooka

3.     Concrete Jungle

4.     Razor Blade

5.     Monstrous

6.     Same Ol’ Nasty Rock n’ Roll

7.     Torture Me

8.     Hungry Heart

9.     Seventeen

10. Silent Running

11. Ride My Rocket

12. Velvet Snakeskin

 

It’s not always easy to follow up a strong debut album. Having said that though, countless bands have, and one of the most recent to do so are German 80’s rockers Cobrakill. Their second album, “Serpent’s Kiss” (released on 19th January on Frontiers Music), has been heralded by the band themselves as “a significant leap forward for us”.

“Serpent’s Kiss” sees Cobrakill continue their quest to stamp their ferocious style of glam/sleaze rock firmly into today’s world of metal. The album is a more-than-worthy successor to 2022’s “Cobratör”: the songs are short and feisty, twin-guitar driven, with plenty of pounding double bass-pedalling and soaring vocals courtesy of Nick Adams’ incredible voice. The tracks are full of punching, shady riffs and tight solos that are a mix of energy and melody, whilst not being (thankfully) over-the-top speed-fests. Their sound – as well as their look! – is reminiscent of early Crüe and Ratt, with Adams reminding me somewhat of Robert Fleischman (remember him?), who handled vocals on Vinnie Vincent’s Invasion debut (1986).

The production on “Serpent’s Kiss” (handled by drummer Toby Ventura) is way better than “Cobratör” (whose sound frankly left a lot to be desired), plus the tracks are all very different, something that wasn’t the case on their debut. So in these respects “Serpent’s Kiss” is indeed a leap forward.

Although only 46:37 long, there’s a lot to like on the album, and plenty to keep you entertained. The 12 songs are, for the most part, fun, energetic and aggressive and are not to be taken too seriously. That said, you’d better believe that Cobrakill are for real.

Opening track “Above the Law” charges out of the gate at break-neck speed, replete with fabulous drumming and nice time changes. This is followed by “Bazooka”, another fun rocker with a barrage of crisp riffs from the outset and a great catchy chorus.

“Concrete Jungle” (a mid-tempo rocker with a hooky, melodic intro) and the moody “Razor Blade” with its gorgeous punchy riffs, bring the tempo down a little, before the pace picks up again on the album’s premier track, the brilliant “Monstrous”.

Everything about “Monstrous” is catchy – the crunchy riffage, the fantastic bass line and the fist-in-the-air chorus, and it defines what the band are all about: hitting you where it hurts with unpretentious, rapid-fire rock n’ roll.

I guess we can group the songs on the album as zesty rockers, dark and moody, and downright sleazy. The rockers include the aforementioned “Above the Law”, “Bazooka” and “Monstrous”, as well as the aptly-named “Same Ol’ Nasty Rock n’ Roll” – this makes up for its rather daft title with an intro sounding like a sped-up version of Priest’s “Heading Out to the Highway”, a gang-chorus and a brilliant solo overlaying a solid swathe of riffs.

The moody tracks are “Razor Blade” and the excellent “Seventeen” – this one also has an intro that sounds a bit Priest-ish (this time 1982’s “Fever”). It’s a bit more thoughtful than the other songs on the album, and it’s a nice change to the otherwise prevalent rock and sleaze combo.

And talking of sleaze, there’s the rather clichéd “Torture Me”; “Hungry Heart”, with its slow and dirty groove and the nice time change careering into the chorus; and “Ride My Rocket” (no prizes for guessing what that’s about!), which is a decent bump-and-grind, but it’s let down by some totally cringeworthy lyrics.

“Silent Running” is a nice cover of the Mike and the Mechanics’ track, but I think this is the weak link on “Serpent’s Kiss”, as I would have like to have seen Cobrakill stick exclusively to their own stuff.

Closing the album at high speed is “Velvet Snakeskin”, which finishes things off on a thoroughly satisfying note, driven by a furious tempo and wicked riffs.

Overall “Serpent’s Kiss” is a hugely enjoyable batch of well-crafted songs, in a fiery, raunchy style that will appeal to old and new fans of 80’s hair-metal. I would like to have seen them experiment with one or two longer songs though, instead of the plethora of three-and-a-half to four-minute tracks, but as I’ve said there’s plenty here to keep you hooked.

Cobrakill continue to demonstrate that the classic glam and sleaze rock of the 80’s is still very much relevant today. It will be interesting to see where they go from here, and hopefully we won’t have too long to wait.

So check out “Serpent’s Kiss” – play it loud and have a right old blast. But be warned, like their reptilian namesakes these guys are dangerous: just like snakes they slither, they writhe, they strike, and boy, do they bite!

 

Score: 8/10

Reviewed by: Brian Parker

 

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