With four records up their sleeves, Kuko De Kobra dropped their fifth record and second concept album Liontamer on the 23rd of August 2023. Spearheaded by songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/vocalist John Sharling in collaboration with producer/multi-instrumentalist Marco Angioni and Klaus Agrebo on drums, Kuko De Kobra explores themes of communication gone wrong in Liontamer. So let’s dig deeper into it together.

Kuko De Kobra kickstarted Liontamer with Shotgun Democracy, a perfect opener with intimidating, building-up riffs and a smooth groovy pace. Shotgun Democracy promises a heavy record to come, as Kuko De Kobra‘s heavy, steady riffs are mixed with melodic guitar licks, powerful vocals, and banging drumlines in a fluid classic heavy metal structure. Starting off with some chill arpeggios, The Rain is Coming Down Hard comes next. It has a warm flowing pace with a catchy harmonic chorus and an escalating sound, I believe this sing-along chorus will initiate some cool moments when played live. The Rain is Coming Down Hard has strong old-school vibes that are mashed with its modern production, offering a unique entertaining mix with a deeply emotional touch. Bullshit Detector steers towards a heavier sound with alternative vibes and a classic 90s/early 2000s vocal melody. It has a big sound that gets even bigger and catchier as it progresses into an epic, multi-layered one with interesting movements, showing authentic skillful writing and an open mind for experimentation by Kuko De Kobra. And A Hole Burnt Through The Cigarette Itself comes next picking up with its predecessor’s energy. It has groovy riffs and pounding drums that maintain its dynamic pace while securing a dense sound as they subtly add new elements, keeping their sound fresh and breaking the structure’s steadiness. Mixing thick guitars and hard-hitting drums with some country touches comes Not My War, a tune with diverse textures that kept things interesting as we got closer to the record’s center. It has a spacious structure that gives the listener the chance to properly digest its diverse sound and gives each element the chance to shine within its dynamic twists, all topped by a powerful vocal melody that holds it all together. What Simon Said brings a punk-ish twist to Kuko De Kobra‘s mix with its fast attacking riffs, while the vocal melodies bring a lot of Mastodon vibes that perfectly fit What Simon Said‘s attacking pace and straight-to-the-point flow. Riffhanger III – The Song Of The Boat Man hits next with epic doomy guitars and big atmospheric vocals, taking the record into a storytelling area. It has one of the record’s most interesting structures with a slow decisive flow, one hell of an expressive hooking vocal melody, and thick groovy riffs that keep you slowly headbanging as it moves on adding licks and melodies along the way to elevate its sound. Ghost Of A Smile builds on Riffhanger III – The Song Of The Boat Man‘s sound with a sludgy twist, a more dynamic flow, and a catchy big chorus. It has a fluid groovy sound that organically pushes its boundaries towards an open sound while keeping the heaviness uncompromised till the very end. May J takes a rocking direction with ballad vibes and some irresistible singalong parts, it adds a bright layer to the record’s dynamics that might be considered an acute shift especially when compared to the two songs before it. Stationary keeps May J‘s alternative sound going and played around with it, introducing a multi-layered changing structure with some emotional melodies, defining their solid writing, and cementing their diverse sound that adds a lot to Liontamer‘s experience. Flexing Kuko De Kobra‘s writing and mood-shifting abilities Hallowedmouth And Silvertongue hits next with a mellow flow and some deeply emotional melodies. Its slow heavy riffs created a haunting atmospheric sound, and cleverly hosted the song’s progression and heartfelt sound within its streaming flow, smoothly preparing the listeners for the record’s finale. Bad Morning comes with hard-hitting riffs, deep bass, and rocking drumlines, ending the record on a highly dynamic note. It somehow sums up what Kuko De Kobra has been doing throughout Liontamer with its heavy riffs, highly melodic parts, and changing structure with its subtle atmospheric vibes, leaving the listeners no choice but to go back and dig deeper into their catalog.

Liontamer is a solid record that shows Kuko De Kobra‘s diverse influences and approaches and their high attention to detail. They managed to put together a diverse-sounding record bonded by hooking dynamics and an admirable drive for experimentation. Looking forward to more from Kuko De Kobra, keep on rocking. Cheers!