Artist: Shakra 
   Title: Everest
   Label: AFM Records

One of the highlights of 2007 was Swiss rockers Shakra’s album ‘Infected’, an album that saw the band rise to the dizzy heights of international rock stardom.  Since then the band haven’t rested on their laurels and now return in 2009 with a new album that simply put, is tremendous,  the album's name ‘Everest’.  For those who thought they would have a mountain to climb to succeed where 'Infected' left off haven’t heard this new album.

The album is as precise as a Swiss watch, great melodies blended with a power and grace I haven’t heard since fellow Swiss band Gotthard’s 'Domino Effect'.

The album get's underway with the fantastic ‘Ashes To Ashes’ with the vocals of Mark Fox sounding as fresh and powerful as ever, joined by with the twin guitars of Thom Bluier and Thomas Muster just shining through as bright as always.

This great release continues with ‘Love And Pain’, another top rank Hard Rock track that just shines from beginning to end, there's also more than just of touch of Swiss legends Krokus in this one, as the guitars sound very Von Arb and for me that’s a good thing, after all it never did Krokus any harm.

The next song is pure Shakra, ‘Let Me Lie My Life To You’ is great up tempo rocker that’s just a joy to listen to.  This is a great song to listen to in the car on a warm day with the top down and the wind gently blowing across your face.  It has that feel good factor that as soon as you put it on, you suddenly get caught up in the music, in true good driving song fashion.

One thing that stands out on this album is the superb production, as every aspect of the bands sound is brought forward without sounding to polished.  This is particularly poignant on the slower ballads and the mid tempo rocks.  Just listen to the likes of ‘Illusion Of Reality’ and the excellent ballad ‘Why’, as I said before, as precise as a Swiss watch.

Speaking of ‘Why’, what a track this is!  The sign of a good ballad is that it touches even the hardest of hearts and this one will even make those tin men out there weep, a real gem.

The band really show what they are capable of with the seven minute plus splendour of ‘The Journey’.  This is for me the track of the album.  It has it all, great guitars and a great vocal and it ebbs and flows from gentle to hard edge rock in the blink of an eye.  A great slice of Hard Rock.

The album continues to go from strength to strength as yet another great track is followed by another, with 'Regressive Evolution' being followed by ‘Anybody Out There’.  A great track that doesn’t fall in the ballad category but is sure damn close.

One track that is easily defined is the excellent hard rocker ‘Right Between The Eyes’, quickly followed by the grinding guitar rocker ‘Dirty Money’.  Two great tracks before we sadly reach the final two tracks on this superb release, ‘Insanity’ and the best ballad of the year so far ‘Hopeless’, a real melodic gem of a track. 

I can't praise this album enough, it’s hard to believe that this band aren’t a massive Worldwide phenomena.  They really do have it all, great musicians and a great singer in Fox, but this album is sure to put the band one step further on the ladder to success.

 

Tracklisting:

1. Ashes To Ashes
2. Love & Pain
3. Let Me Lie My Life To You
4. The Illusion Of Reality
5. Why
6. The Journey
7. Regressive Evolution
8. Anybody Out There
9. Right Between The Eyes
10. Dirty Money
11. Insanity
12. Hopeless 

 

                  

 

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