Back On Track
4/13/2011 - Review by: Eric Compton
I think the hard rock community was shocked to see Mark Fox leave Shakra in 2010. The vocalist was firmly behind the band's most commercial success, charting high in native Switzerland and other cold countries with albums like "Fall" and "Infected". The band and Fox parted ways due to monetary differences (the worst kind of break up) and now the group get "back on track" with new singer John Prakesh and another consistent entry in their strong catalogue.
Shakra have always possessed the ability to bridge the gap of traditional hard rock and today's contemporary heavy music. One could argue that these Swiss rockers could mechanically out riff anyone in Godsmack or Disturbed with their bag-of-bolts groove, a negative in my circle due to being so sterile and clean. On the other side is the Swiss mindset of huge chorus parts and a guitar driven album that rumbles with tons of lead work. With that aspect you could place Shakra in the vein of Gotthard, Krokus, Bonfire and even chorus-addicted Bon Jovi. I really do like the cross stitching that goes on here and the wide appeal the band has to those in and out of our metal circle.
The lead in track is the perfect example of the renewal both in songwriting, personnel, energy and obviously mindset. This bag of tricks brings more longevity through liveliness and creates a bit more cause and effect. The guitars are still bone rod straight but they explore into fantastic duel leads and more change of pace. This isn't always verse-verse-chorus and then repeat...cue lead. So many Shakra songs have familiarity and a pattern and "Back On Track" is no different but it still remains fresh and alive due to the interesting song writing and Prakesh's amazing voice (similar to Fox). This is the best Shakra to date and damned if I can't stop playing it; not even as far as pushing the skip button. That is a sure sign of solidity.
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