From Northern Ireland and loaded up with attitude and talent to match steps forth Kobi, a four piece rock band that offers a sound that is likely to stir movement in the most belligerent of hearts. With their intense and stunning live shows drawing more and more to their music as well as critical acclaim, the quartet from Larne should find many more joining their rapid rise with the unveiling of their brand new single Masquerade.
The band is labelled as hard rock but this track alone reveals there is more to their sound than that too easy to use term suggests. Their influences list the likes of Black Sabbath, Metallica, Black Label Society, and Thin Lizzy, though as the single plays the impression was more of Therapy? in a suggestive union with Nine Inch Nails at a blood soaked dirty bar being crooned by Revoker. Masquerade is bursting with big imposing riffs, colourful and sweeping melodic guitars, and one of the best dual vocal attacks currently around, elements that make all Kobi tracks essential listening.
The single kicks off with a delicious dark heavy riff chugging along menacingly. As vocalist/guitarist Ztveo Harrison unleashes his fine vocals joined by the excellent voice of drummer Warren Boyd the track rises and expands as the guitars of Harrison and Aaron Gowdy flex their muscles and skills. It is very engaging but it is the wonderful bass of Jamie Mills stalking the whole time that really completes the track. He brings a deep throaty grumbling sound to the song, delivering riffs that one could listen to all on their own; this is not to say he is the reason the track is so good but he certainly plays a big part alongside the quality of the others. As the song progresses the switches between the more metal heavier elements and the hard rock guitar grooves and parts are seamless and though the combination sounds risky the quartet not only pull it off but show it is instinctive and undeniably impressive. The dual vocal attack is just as stunning as the musicianship, with the voices of Harrison and Boyd totally distinct and completely different. With Harrison’s slight growl on his delivery imparting the attitude and defiance, Boyd matches him with his melodies and more subtle tones, it is the perfect combination.
Though this is a review of the single, a mention for another track Contradiction should be made. This is more of a hard rock track but still delivering the strong striking riffs whilst adding some inviting guitar moments and an expressive solo; undemanding but very satisfying it is simply hard driven great rock ‘n’ roll. It may not quite live up to the heights of Masquerade but that is simply because the single is one special track.
Kobi are a band on a rapid rise and if they can keep creating tracks like Masquerade who knows to what heights they may find themselves, certainly it will be a long way to look down once they get there.
Pete RingMaster 21/06/2011