Sweet Cobra

Mercy

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Imagine how Black Sabbath would sound if they grew up on punk instead of blues, and were fronted by a hardcore shouter. Now you have an idea of the musical style that Sweet Cobra specialize in. On their third full-length overall, 2010's Mercy, Sweet Cobra issue their latest with a heavy heart, as it features a member who passed away prior to the album's release (guitarist Matthew Allen Arluck, who lost a battle with cancer). With the surviving bandmembers (singer/bassist Botchy Vasquez, guitarist Robert Arthur Lanham, Jr., and drummer Jason Gagovski) opting to soldier on, Mercy serves as a fitting tribute to Arluck, as the sludgy riffs and overall mammoth sound of the proceedings certainly make Sweet Cobra stand out from the onslaught of other up-and-coming metal acts. A case in point is the album-opening "Brux," which fits the aforementioned Sabbath/hardcore shouter description, as do such other tracks as "Silvered," "Crusader," and "Reinhold London." But whereas many other metal acts of the 21st century fall prey to the dreaded "one dimensional trap," Sweet Cobra manage to buck the trend and throw a few interesting curve balls the listener's way, including the title track, which contains vocals that are best described as a "heavy metal barbershop quartet." Throughout Mercy, Sweet Cobra offer a style of metal that should appeal to both veteran headbangers and hardcore punks.

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