Interview by Matteo BussottiPsychedelic rock, stoner rock and metal in a well-crafted mixture? This is what High Priest of Saturn are! We interviewed the singer, Merethe, to hear something abound this new band’s history, their plan for the future (watch out, a new album is coming!) and more stuff. Ladies and gentlemen, here I introduce you Merethe Heggset from High Priest of Saturn! Enjoy! Hi Merethe! Welcome to Femme Metal, it’s a pleasure to have you here! My first question is about the band: how did the whole project start?
I wrote a few songs that I wanted to try out with a band (I had never played with a band before), Robert and Andreas helped me out and the songs evolved. We decided to record a two song demo, which people seemed to like a lot, so we continued writing and the band progressed and changed further into what it is today. Robert moved to Oslo and is now in a great band called Spectral Haze.What can you tell us about the band’s name? I guess it’s related to the whole “60s psychedelic” world and imaginary, and…it’s very fascinating, let me say that!
We wanted something related to Saturn, as the mythology and symbolism of it appeal to us and fit our music well. Andreas came up with the final name, and we thought it was perfect. Continue reading »
Label : Svart Records
Review by Matteo Bussotti
Coming from Trondheim, Norway, High Priest of Saturn take inspiration from stoner and 60s-70s psychedelic rock. All this is made by only 3 musicians, Merethe Heggset (Bass Guitar and Voice), Martin Sivertsen (Guitar), Andreas Hagen (Guitar and Drums), and the result is quite pleasing, even if it’s not perfect. The first resemblance which popped up in my head was with The Flaming Lips‘ latest album, “The Terror”: atmospheric music and eerie, low (in volume) vocals. And this is pretty much the whole album.
Each one of the songs (or should I define them “Musical experiences”) is based on this simple formula…but, sincerely, they kinda sound the same to me. Continue reading »
Label : Rocksector Records
Review by Tony Cannella
From the U.K., Triaxis plays classic power metal the way it was meant to be played. On their second album, “Rage & Retribution”, Triaxis brings to mind classic metal bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. The songs pack all of the subtlety of a good swift punch to the face and are just as powerful. Triaxis wastes no time as power house riff-age of the adrenaline fueled opener “Sand & Silver” delivers the goods. On the next song “Black Trinity”, lead vocalist Krissie commands center stage as this is one of the stand out tracks.
Krissie’s vocals are tremendous as they soar right there with the music, and enough can’t be said about the excellent musicianship throughout the CD. “The Infected” is next and is dominated by a pounding, crunchy guitar riff. “Asunder” is a great song that changes tempos from ballad to mid-tempo and back again. Continue reading »
Label : Simmons Records/Universal Music Canada
Review by Tony Cannella
You can describe the band Kobra and the Lotus in one word. Metal! That’s it. If you want to know what genre or sub-genre to put them in, their self-titled debut album is about as metal as it gets. Hailing from Canada Kobra and the Lotus is a band that fans who have a love for pure metal, should seek out. There are a growing number of current bands who are bringing metal back to its purest form, but with all due respect to some great bands; in fact it is a great movement in the genre but you would be hard pressed to find a band better than Kobra and the Lotus. They have also received attention from Kiss’ fire breathing demon Gene Simmons who signed them to his label. Kobra and the Lotus’ debut album is a relentless metal extravaganza from the word go and the opening track “50 Shades of Evil”. Lead vocalist Kobra Paige has such a huge voice that has so much power behind it that it is right there in-your-face and impossible not to feel it – her metal-ness cannot be denied. Also impressive is the songwriting and the guitar work from Timothy Vega and Jasio Kulakowski. Next is the grinding “Welcome to my Funeral”. The final song is the blistering “Ana of Karmika” which features a galloping Iron Maiden feel to it musically and end things with a bang. The 10-songs on display here are laced with heavy riffs, some great melodic moments and just a huge sound that does more than pay homage to metal of the past – sure those Judas Priest and Iron Maiden influences are there (they have also been compared to the NWOBHM movement, but I don’t really hear it), but the material is far beyond a band that is simply paying respect to their hero’s. Kobra and the Lotus deliver the songs with such sincerity and ferocity. They are the real deal. Highlights include: “Forever One”, “Heaven’s Veins”, “Sanctuary” and “No Rest For the Wicked”. There is really not much more to say about Kobra and the Lotus except for the fact that this is not only the best debut I have heard all year but in a number of years. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love all of the different styles of metal I am exposed to with this gig – and I have had the pleasure of being exposed to many, many great bands, but sometimes it is easy to become jaded, then along comes a band like Kobra and the Lotus who re-ignites my excitement in metal and music in general. This album did it for me.
Rating – 98/100
- 50 Shades of Evil
- Welcome to My Funeral
- Forever One
- Heaven’s Veins
- Nayana (My Eyes)
- No Rest for the Wicked
- Lover of the Beloved
- Calm Before the Storm
- Ana of Karmika
- Kobra Paige – Vocals
- Timothy Vega – Guitars
- Jasio Kulakowski – Guitars
- Pete Dimov – Bass
- Griffin Kissack – Drums
Interview by Miriam C.
Sometimes promote a band means sacrifice half the night spent on Skype, I’m not complaining on the contrary. Well, it was on one of this long, sleepless, summer nights that I’ve have had the honor to chat with Kobra Paige, leader of the last newcomers of the Canadian classic heavy metal Kobra and the Lotus. Let’s see what she has to tell about the deal with Simmons Records (yes, that Simmons!), the new debut album and gigging. Keep the flame on!
First of all do you mind present a little the band with some biography?
It all started when I wanted to find some musicians to jam some Iron Maiden with but by the first practice we started writing our own tunes instead. In 2008 I founded Kobra and the Lotus with drummer Griffin Kissack. We then toured extensively, trying to figure out what our true sound would be and the direction we would take in the creation of this next debut album coming out. It was last summer after hearing that album, we recieved a call from Gene Simmons saying he and Universal Records wanted the band. Right now we are in a new chapter for Kobra and the Lotus as we are no longer indie.
About the deal : On August 6th Simmons Records will publish your debut album, that’s a huge, congrats! Would like to share when you have had your first contact with your label? Did you meet Mr. Gene Simmons in person?
Thank you, we are very excited! Yes, I have met him in person several times! It is crazy to think that we work with him. When I first met him it was at Heavy Montreal Festival in Canada. Kiss was headlining and he wanted me to come down so I could watch them play and later hear his label proposal with Randy Lennox from Universal. When I got there he was fully dressed in his gear. He walked over to me without saying anthing and put his arm around my neck pretending to shake me. It was fuckin’ awesome!
Hahahahahaha Simmons is a freaking genious I mean he has the sense of business…
Yes, he’s a very clever man and a marketing maniac. He also is very passionate about keeping metal alive.
If you count that he had created the Kiss coffin too…
Even Dimebag Darrel was burried in one!
What you tell us about the genesis of your self titled album? When have you started to nail down the first lyric?
This is an interesting beginning because we had initially began writing the album 2 years ago and it was fully mixed and mastered for last April 2011. After the band signed, we went back into the studio in January to replace the slower, ballad songs with new up beat ones. These songs are the first 4 on the album and we wrote them this last fall. Our single “Forever One” was created from start to finish inside the studio.
Sorry for the delicate question : why replace the first 4 songs, in what you weren’t satisfied of?
It was not a case of unsatisfaction but a change to fulfill the purpose of the album better. The songs we replaced were ballads. Because it is a debut album and introduction for Kobra and the Lotus to a lot of the world, we decided it needed to be a very high energy, to the point project. We count on putting the unused ballads on the next album.
Let’s say it was a well-calculated strategy, right?
So, in some ways “Welcome to My Funeral” launched and introduced your selftitled album and now it’s time for “Forever One” and seems that KATL jumped out straight from the golden age of the 80′s heavy metal although you’re very young. How came this huge passion for the 80′s?
I guess for many of us in the band, the rock/metal of the 80′s was the first initial big impression that music made on us. It’s the appeal of musicians needing to know how to actually play their instruments, the rawness of the craft, the energy and feeling the music gives people and most importantly the unity it brings to metal culture by not exactly being a niche genre of metal. Now the roots of our influences are well cemented but we have moved on a long time ago to enjoying all kinds of music. We don’t sound 80′s influenced intentionaly now, it just comes into our writing without even realizing it.
Incredible, I really don’t believe that this 80′s sound come out so naturally… again congrats. Would you mind explain a little the band music influences and your personal too?
Hmm, if you were to have an iPod of music right now from our band it would contain anything from Beethoven to Devin Townsend. In our band you will be guaranteed to find someone influenced by any kind of diversion of rock/metal you can find. Technical to simple, progressive to more classic structured, all areas. I think a lot of us believe every kind of music has something to learn from even if it’s not a sound we are crazy about. It can be as easy as recognizing a song format we want to use.
So your created this mix of old and new sound thanks to your tastes quite openminded and it’s a bombastic blend of everything… but what Mr. Simmons liked of you and your band to get such an istant deal?
He liked that we were a touring band, which meant it’s not just about the music but a great deal about the live show as well. He also liked that we were classic metal with a female front.
And connecting about this (I mean the fact that you’re a female front) – the thing that hits me about your vocals are that for have such a different background (you studied at the The Royal Music Conservatory classical music) are straightforward, let me ask how these classical studies are helping you in the band and what originate the choice to found a real heavy metal band?
The moment that made me want to do heavy metal was a Judas Priest concert I went to when I was 15. I couldn’t believe my eyes and after seeing them, I couldn’t look back. The most important things I have taken from my previous training are knowing proper breath support and being able to read music. That being said, some of these stages are huge now and I run out of breath from running around so much. I thought I was going to pass out after Gods of Metal in Milan haha!
Really? I know that a huge stage also if I wasn’t never been there unfortunatly – how the gig was, what were/are you impressions?
It was amazing! We thought Italy was incredible because the people were very passionate and energized. It was inspiring to see such a great crowd on such a blisteringly hot day to stand in the sun.
I like very much the “Welcome to My Funeral” videoclip. What is the topic treated in the videoclip and is it related to the lyric?
Yes, the video is very related to the message. The song talks about self-sabotage. Many times it is easy to let fear stop people from doing something or to let a negative feeling consume them. I call this digging your own grave. In the video I am conducting my own funeral and it is the “monster” form of me that is behaving crazy.
Now a curiosity : I found also that on 2010 under Sonic Unyon you published “Out in the Pit”, can you tell us more about it and the curious fact that I would like to know why you consider this upcoming album your official debut album?
That is our first official Kobra and the Lotus album. We independently released it and toured it in the UK and Canada. It is the very first time I ever co-wrote music with anyone! It has been very confusing to some fans why it has stopped distribution and is scarcely recognized. The reason all comes down to major label politics. When we signed, they requested this upcoming album be recognized as our”debut” since it is the first to come out of Universal/Simmons Records. It’s all been very interesting.
Another little curiosity : Since I really like the band’s name, can you tell me more infos about? I mean, who choose it and how come out?
Thanks! Kobra and the Lotus is derived from two different band names that ended up coming together through comedic events. We were first called Lotus because I was very intrigued by the purity of the flower growing from mud. I thought it seemed very similar to metal which is sometimes judged to be harsh but can actually be very beautiful and melodic. The guys I was currently playing with thought it was too feminine and so Kobra became the new name. Cobras have always been seen as fierce protectors and creatures that do not bow down to cowardly ways. In the end it was the concept of fierce beauty that inspired Kobra and the Lotus.
So Kobra, we’re at end I really hope that you liked the interview (I hope also that I covered everything) before we say goodbye and greet our readers/fans, what’s are you next projects?
We are actually filming a new music video in a couple weeks and that will be for another track coming off the album! Hopefully it will be ready in time for our CD release. Otherwise we are already working on the next album in the time between touring! Thanks very much for staying up late, I hope you get to sleep in tomorrow!
Kobra Single Photo by Tim Tronckoe
Style switcher only on this demo version. Theme styles can be changed from Options page.
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