If I could split myself in two I would have done as Destruction were playing the Underworld tonight with 3 other cool thrash bands but alas I walked past the Underworld and saw the thrashers going in to tear that place a new one, my own path however led to the back to the Barfly again so quickly after breaking my debut there two days ago.
I quite like this little venue for bands of this size. You can get right up close and there's no struggling to see the band. Whilst the attenance for the Voyager gig was fairly small the Barfly was much fuller for rising Candian metallers, Kobra and The Lotus. I must admit I sort of ignored or couldn't get into KaTL when I heard them in the past but their new album has blown me clean away and I think I've got a huge crush on Kobra and her amazing voice to boot. That gal can sing alright! She's just got a tremendous tone to her voice on record at least anyway and I was hoping to see it reciprocated live as well.
First up we had a couple of support bands to get through. First up a local band I've never come across called The SelfTitled oddly enough. They were a sort of mish mash of modern heavy rock and metal with screaming come singing vocals. I never could really get into them apart frm the very last song as I recall which had sort of punkish, thrashy grindy feel which felt energetic and moshworthy even not that there was any moshing going on. Not a great start but not terrible but the screaming vocals annoyed and the songs just didn't catch my ear. Better luck next time The Self Titled. The front man at least had some decent stage banter if nothing else that raised a smirk or two.
Next up were rising UK trad metallers and Maiden fanciers extraordinaire, Monument. I've known about these guys for a couple of years with their great ep and now super new album. I was really looking forward to these guys and man did they rock up a storm in the Barfly. They are one energetic mob with wonderful twin guitar galloping riffs and solos galore and air raid siren vocalist for a front man. If you enjoy classic Maiden you can't go far wrong with a band like Monument. All their tunes have a sheen and energy that is hard to resist and they play with huge smiles on their faces. Great stuff!
The Barfly was pretty well filled up but still with enough room to mingle and get a decent position near the side of the stage in order to get a decent view of everybody on it and one body in particular! I'm talking about Kobra of course if you needed spelling it out. Ever since the release of their new album High Priestess I've been watching consuming all things Kobra on youtube. That gal has a wonderful voice. I love the way she enunciates the words and her slightly baritone delivery. She puts a lot of feel and emotion into each word and punctuates it with higher notes that show off her vocal prowess.
As she ran on stage, right past me in fact, the band launched straight into High Priestess the title track of the brilliant new album and things were hotting up in no uncertain terms. Kobra's vocals were a little low in the mix for my liking I must admit. At times she was slightly drowned out by drums but on the slower songs she sounded truly great. She's also a great front woman for the band with a lot of smiles for the front rows and beckoning gestures. She's a confident sassy metal front woman make no mistake.
In the end you still need the songs to match the looks and voice and boy did KaTL deliver on that count. I do believe they played the whole of the new album if I'm not mistaken. Plus of course a couple of tunes from their previous cd which I must admit to not hearing as of yet. Although I did check the videos on youtube as I said. Her band is very cool indeed with a powerhouse drummer but most of all awesome melodic metal songs with memorable choruses galore.
Standout moments for me were opener High Priestess, Lost in The Shadows, Hold On, Willow and in fact all the new album basically. Lost in the Shadows is such a brooding darkly melodic umber that sounded particularly superb live. Hold On is perhaps the most melodic song on the new album and I loved that as well. the band played for around 75 minutes in total and they left to much applause. The encore started with my favourite song of the night, namely Heartbeat and ended with the energetic 50 Shades of Evil from their previous album. Thank you to Kobra and her band for a great night of metal and also to Monument for their fantastic Maiden inspired songs.
Battle of Wrath
Welcome to My Funeral
Lost in the Shadows
I Am, I Am
50 Shades of Evil