Huge riffs, huge hooks and equally huge choruses is what you'll find on the excellent debut album Colossal Gods from Belgian metallic rockers Cobra The Impaler. Founded by ex-Aborted guitarist Thijs "Tace" de Cloedt, Cobra The Impaler combines elements of groove, thrash, progressive, and classic heavy metal. Armed with an infectious dual vocal attack and soaring guitar harmonies, Cobra The Impaler uses this to their advantage within the band’s overall sound.

Since exiting Aborted in 2005 after four years of service, Tace has resurfaced with Cobra The Impaler to create something more musically diverse compared to his former band. The album is immensely varied, as the combination of piercing melodies and edgy guitar riffs coagulate together nicely, creating an emotive and engaging atmosphere.

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Opening with the title track, the mesmerizing melodic guitar harmonies immediately grabs your attention before turning into a chugging, mid-paced rocker with infectious vocal harmonies. In fact, numerous hooky vocal ear worms are littered throughout the entire album. The defiant "Blood Eye" is about standing up to your demons and detractors and conquering them, accompanied by heavy riffs with an immediate urgency that really propels the track, and the Mastodon-esque "Tempest Rising" is the cornerstone of the entire album with its abundance of massively emotive guitar solos. The band can also replace this emotional heft with pure aggression, most notably on the furiously thrashy "Spawn Of The Forgotten" and "Spirit Of Lyssa," while their more groovy moments occur on the majestic album closer "Mountains."

Vocals are another highlight here, as Manuel Remmerie (also of Majestic Sun, Von Detta) reaches soaring heights with unfiltered clarity on every track. Tace and his compatriot James Falck's guitar work is equally impressive when it comes to their chugging riffs and highly engaging guitar solos (see "Tempest Rising" and "Spirit Of Lyssa" for proof). Journeyman metal drummer Dirk Verbeuren (also of Megadeth, ex-Soilwork), a bandmate of Tace's on Aborted’s 2003 classic Goremageddon, drives the rhythm section with his tasty fills and ramped-up aggression.

Cobra The Impaler makes a great first impression on its debut full-length album Colossal Gods. The eight track/43-minute affair is hugely engaging with a high repeat factor that makes one discover new things with each subsequent listen. The band;s harmonious sound and incredible vocals and hooky songwriting — accompanied by a top-notch production — makes for an immensely enjoyable listening experience from front to back. More good things can only come from this talented Belgium band in the near future.

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Colossal Gods released February 25th via Listenable Records.

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