Switzerland’s SHAKRA have once again put out a superior album of modernized Classic Hard Rock. The band’s consistency over the past 25 years or so is quite remarkable. If you were going to introduce someone to a “Hard Rock” band that exemplifies the past 40 years of rock, SHAKRA should be near the top of that list.
They could please the Nickelback fans just as easy at the KISS and AC/DC rockers. They’ve put enough modern elements to keep this style sounding fresh. They do sound closer to Hinder than Poison, but once again, both fan bases can get into SHAKRA.
Comparing this to their previous work, I hear a little more 80’s influence, a bit more melody and some more Krokus and AC/DC influence on a few songs. For me personally this is just fine, they seem to have worked a little harder on the choruses than before. Not that they have neglected them in the past, I just hear more big hooks on “Invincible”.
It would be easier to say which songs I didn’t care for as much, it’s a very short list as this album is simply loaded from beginning to end. The opener “The Way It Is” is one of their better efforts in their entire library. “The Matrix Unfolds” is closer to a Power Metal song with very timely lyrics.
“On The Wild Side” is one of the Krokus tracks I mentioned. Big power chords and a great party song to crank up in the car or play live. “House Of Rock” is in that vein too. Yeah, I know that the titles and subject matter aren’t exactly fresh, but they are timeless for all of us who truly love hard rock.
“Tell Her That I’m Sorry” is a single written more for radio. It’s a nice song, not my favorite, but it’s geared more towards the female demo of the band. It’s very well constructed and the gritty emotional vocals of Mark Fox really sell the tune. “Old Irish Tune” had a bit of a Bon Jovi vibe to it, one of the sleepers on the record, I think it will be a fan favorite .
The band is super super tight and the production top notch. It’s nice when you have your guitarists a such accomplished producers. Thomas Blunier and Thomas Muster are exceptional. They don’t overpower their instruments, but instead blend everything together into one cohesive wall of sound.
Overall I have to give this one a 9 out of 10 “Flaming Fists” and call this the a contender for Best Hard Rock album of the year. There’s 12 strong songs, great diversity in the sound, memorable hooks and an overall great feel. It’s time… time to put these guys on top of the mountain and get them the attention they deserve.
Mark Fox (Vocals), Thom Blunier (Guitar), Thomas Muster (Guitar), Dominik Pfister (Bass), Roger Tanner (Drums)
Produced by: Thomas Blunier / Thomas Muster – Recorded at: PowerRide Recording Studios