LABEL: Napalm Records
RELEASE: December 1st, 2023
AUTHOR: Paul Hutchings

COBRA SPELL albumrand01. 666
02. S.E.X.
03. Satan Is A Woman
04. Hotline 666
05. Bad Girl Crew
06. The Devil Inside Of Me
07. Fly Away
08. Love = Love
09. Love Crime
10. Warrior From Hell
11. You’re A Cheater
12. High On Love

Solidly played, with crunching guitar riffs from the start, it’s a shame that this album is spoilt by some of the most awful lyrics that have graced an album for some time. COBRA SPELL is, of course, aiming for the eighties sleazy rock market and they certainly have achieved that with this debut album.

COBRA SPELL comprises an international flavour. They are led by ex-Crypta/Burning Witches guitarist Sonia Anubis, whose fretwork is one of the highlights here. Elsewhere, the solid rhythm section of Hale Naphtha on drums and bassist Roxy Herrera provides the foundation for each song, whilst guitarist Noelle dos Anjos and vocalist Kristina Vega complete the line-up. Maybe something got lost in translation?

Whilst the band are competent, and the polish on the production is buffed to a fine finish, the lyrical content is something to make your toes curl. One might hope it’s a parody, but I genuinely don’t think it is for one minute. So where do we start in this 12-track sleaze fest? Well, skip past the intro of 666 and arrive at the first real track, S.E.X. The awful words damage what is a powerful traditional metal sound, with the simulated sex gasps a terribly poor choice. It gets worse on Satan Is A Woman which sets the bar high for worst lines on the album. There is stiff competition though, both Hotline 666 and Bad Girl Crew proving as cringy as their titles suggest.

There’s a blast of high-level power metal on The Devil Inside Of Me, with the music on point and powering along nicely. Sadly, the lyrics are once again a struggle. It’s a real shame, for Vega possesses a great voice. She gives a great performance on the ballad Fly Away and the melodic rocker Love = Love, which gets extra marks for the storming saxophone solo and the rich synths that at least provide a different take.

You’ll have gathered by now that I struggled with the lyrics in this album. Musically, it’s quite punchy if a little routine from start to finish. Warrior From Hell doesn’t inspire, whilst I’ll leave you to your own imagination about what I thought about You’re A Cheater; suffice, it wasn’t particularly exciting. That just leaves album closer High On Love, which at least is the last song to have to listen to. Again, it’s musically fine, rocking along at a good speed and it’s one of the more impressive songs on the album.

Ultimately, it is of course, down to the listener to decide. I’m not engaging in debate about the gender divide, women in rock, or any other debate other than to say that I don’t think that I’d have felt any less frustrated if this had been some machismo outfit in wigs and tight trousers. It’s a shame, for there is such potential here. To deliver in such a cliched way does COBRA SPELL no favours. And before I forget, the album art is unbelievably bad. Whoever approved this should be looking for a new job. It is horrendous and leaves one wondering about the overall management and decision making control in this band.