There was always something psychedelic about Monster Magnet, something that gives them a vibe that is reminiscent of the music from the late 60s and 70s. But how do you classify this style? It is definitely not Metal, but is it really Hard Rock? There sure is a certain Hard Rock vibe about the band, but all in all it defies all possible definitions that go beyond ‘psychedelic’. And “Cobras and Fire” sure is psychedelic! It is even more psychedelic than one would expect from Monster Magnet, which is saying quite a lot. This what makes this album both interesting, but also strange and maybe also a bit weak for somebody who is into Heavy Metal. It is simply too relaxed, too laid back. This is nothing bad as such, but this album is full of chill-out songs that are nice to ease up a gig or a party, but in order to chill out, you need to rock out first, and that is simply not happening.
It starts with the first song “She Digs That Hole”. It is quite good, but still not the kind of song that should open an album. It simply lacks that certain smack over the head for that. The second song “Watch Me Fade” with its keyboard passages reminds me a lot of The Who, but that certain smack is still missing. Chill out music again.
And it goes on with the third song “Mastermind” where you get to hear some faster passages, but where that certain energy infusion like let’s say through a guitar solo is still missing. And it goes on and on like that. Nice songs, but the album is way too relaxed and way too slow. Only the eighth song “Ball Of Confusion” is a nice exception. There is still a psychedelic vibe to it, but it is much faster and sort of delivers that smack I was referring to earlier. But one song from ten? That is a pretty bad average.
So, with a heavy heart, I feel the need to rate “Cobras And Fire (The Mastermind Redux)” with only six devils. An album should simply be about more than about decent songs, it should be about a decent selection of decent songs, a collection of works of art that make up a bigger work of art. And this is what this album is not. But then, maybe this is exactly what you want? A chill out album to relax after a long night? In this case feel free to add another devil to this rating.
- She Digs That Hole
- Watch Me Fade
- Mastermind ‘69
- Hallucination Bomb
- Gods and Punks
- The Titan
- When The Planes Fall From the Sky
- Ball of Confusion
- Time Machine
- I Live Behind the Paradise Machine Evil Joe Barresi’s Magnet Mash Vol.1
Playing time: 63:50
Release date: 2 October, 2015
Label: Napalm Records
Website: Monster Magnet (Facebook)