Kobra And The Lotus with Sertraline & White Noise Theory @ The Sugarmill, Stoke-on-Trent - June 24th, 2015 <¬-- Add fancyBox -->

Kobra And The Lotus with Sertraline & White Noise Theory @ The Sugarmill, Stoke-on-Trent - June 24th, 2015

13/07/15 03:27PM

It's always a strange experience when a band I really enjoy travels half way around the world to play in Stoke-on-Trent, and to my delight it seems to be happening more often. A few weeks ago, Canadian heavy metal band Kobra And The Lotus played at one of our local venues, The Sugarmill - the show took place on the one year anniversary of the band's third album High Priestess – and saw support for local bands Sertraline and White Noise Theory.

The evening started with Stoke-based, alternative metal Sertraline who were quick to start and soon commanding the stage with their big, eager energy. The band played through the likes of Set The World Alight and Mean To Me from their mini-album Bury The Ghosts while they looked to be having the time of their life on stage. The local crowd that had gathered early in the venue were full of cheers and enthusiasm for Sertraline, sharing a few jokes and laughs with the band between songs. Lizzie's vocals were sometimes lost to distortion, or not as full bodied due to the incredible presence she displayed on stage, often belting passages from the top of amp boxes and other elevated parts of the stage. When audible, Lizzie's vocals took on a distinct quality that really embraced the tones of the music. On the other hand, the growls sounded disjointed from the music, and this became especially noticeable during the band's cover of Pink hit Get The Party Started.

Sertraline have a lot of potential and I'm sure as they become more confident and more experienced they will flourish. The band put on a great show and really connected with the audience, earning them some of the largest cheers of the night as they closed their set. (6.5/10)

Up next was another local band, White Noise Theory. Vocalist James Bettaney showed an impressive vocal range, switching between strong, clear clean vocals and intense growls. The band played an interesting blend of progressive death and classic rock, with influences of more sub genres than one can count on a hand. Songs would go from crunching guitars and technically sound prog metal with brutal, punching death metal style vocals to a smoother chorus with blues influenced vocal melodies and back again. While the transitions were, at first, quite surprising they were well executed – however, with the wealth of influences present in the band's music songs were sometimes slightly confusing and hard to absorb. I feel that with a little more focus and direction in the band's sound that White Noise Theory could make a name for themselves. (7/10)

After a brief change over, Kobra And The Lotus entered the stage, opening with the title track of their latest album High Priestess. The band looked at home almost immediately and were full of smiles as they launched into Welcome To My Funeral. Vocalist Brittany Paige gave a new flair to the more 'traditional' heavy metal style of vocals, her vocal power and control was impressive as she kept pace note for note. The audience was treated to a brilliant cover of April Wine's Sign Of The Gypsy Queen – one of the tracks set to appear on the band's forthcoming covers EP Words Of The Prophets. The set was heavy laced with complex and fast paced guitar-work that really reached its peak on tracks Hold On and I Am, I Am – after which it seemed that the show was over.

Kobra And The Lotus came back for a smashing encore of Heart Beat and my personal favourite from the band's self-titled release 50 Shades Of Evil. The audience were left cheering for more, thirsty for a second encore after the band's hour long set. Kobra And The Lotus put on a brilliant and entertaining performance, with great style and flair that makes their Canadian brand of heavy metal stand out. (8.5/10)

Author: Tayla Dickinson

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