Artist: Shakra 
   Title: Infected
   Label: AFM Records

Since their conception back in 1998, Swiss hard rockers Shakra have made considerable in roads in their career.  Ever since original frontman Pete Weidmer had to leave the band due to illness and young gun Mark Fox was drafted in for the bands 2003 release ‘Rising’, the band have gone from strength to strength and literally risen through the ranks of the hard rock genre, with high profile support slots of Hammerfall, Stratovarius and Guns and Roses in 2006, the band return with a storming new album ‘Infected’.

The album gets underway with a corker the hard rocker ‘Make Your Day’.  From this point onwards there's no turning back, you’ll be totally infected by the streaming guitars of Thom Blunier and Thomas Muster and the relentless back beat of both Oli Linder on bass and Roger Tanner on drums.  This tightly wrapped package is completed with the outstanding vocals of Mark Fox.

Things just get better and better as the album continues its hard edged rock n' roll with all guns blazing on the tremendous ‘Inferno’.  A true mix of hard rock guitars combined with breaks of mellow vocals courtesy of Fox.

This superb album continues with the massive full on rocker ‘The One’, another fantastic piece of guitar fuelled hard rock.  I just can't praise this album enough as it's just what the genre has been waiting for, no nonsense rock you can really get your teeth into.

The same no nonsense approach can again be found on another of my personal favourites, the thumping almost metal feel of ‘Playing With Fire’, with Fox showing the real power of his vocals on this one.  Without giving the listener time to get their breath back, the rock just keeps on coming, taking no prisoners in its wake with ‘Dance With Madness’.

The album only takes a short remission from the full on rock with the gentle orchestral backed ballad ‘ Love Will Find A Way’.  I said this was a short interlude as things start to get heavy once more with ‘Vertigo’ and the guitar rich tones of ‘The Conquest’.  Another superb track that will rock the sheer foundations of the whole hard rock genre such is the class, not only of this track, but of the whole album.

As the album comes to its close the band have put together a string of tracks that cements the bands love of a big guitar sound, a hard rocking rhythm section, and a vocalist who was made for the genre, with the likes of the hard hitting ‘Higher Love’ and the excellent ‘Cardiophobia’.  A song that will quite literally have your heart skipping a beat, then ‘Look At Me’ which reaches new heights of excellence in the hard rock field.

The band go old school with the almost AC/DC styling’s of ‘The Other Side’.  This riff laden rocker with have you grabbing your air-guitar and entering the world of the bedroom arena as you rock hard and fast to this one.

The album closes with another classy piece of hard rock, this time with the softer side of the genre with the soul searching tones of ‘Acherons Way’.  This semi acoustic track rounds of a quite superb album and one that will be up their with my top albums of the year so far and probably remain there for some time.  Great stuff!  

 

Tracklisting:

1. Infected
2. Make Your Day
3. Inferno
4. The One 
5. Playing With Fire 
6. Dance With Madness
7. Love Will Find A Way 
8. Vertigo
9. The Conquest
10. Higher Love
11. Cardiophobia
12. Look At Me
13. The Other Side
14. Acherons Way
                  

 

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