SHAKRA – Back On Track (2011)
Swiss rockers Shakra are surely no strangers among fans of melodic hard rock. In a period of twelve years the band has released seven studio albums, a live album and a DVD, played countless and has grown out to be a hard value within the genre.
From the fifth studio album, ‘Rising’ (2003), vocalist/front man Mark Fox was the voice and the face of the band, and let’s be honest; he did a tremendous job.
So when he decided to leave the band after the fantastic ‘Everest’ album, I was afraid that Shakra would never be the same again.
A new vocalist was found in the yet-unknown John Prakesh and the band started working on a new album.
The eight studio cd is entitled “Back On Track” and they couldn’t have found a better-fitting title.
From the opening track, “B True B You”, onward the band makes a strong start and shows not to have strayed from their musical path. The stronger guitar sound that they revealed on ‘Everest’ is again present and the song rocks delightfully.
As soon as Prakesh opens his throat he immediately blows all doubts and questions away with his beautiful voice and strong vocal performances. His voice does show a lot of similarity with Fox’s and the somewhat hoarse sound that Fox’s voice had – and which had been his trademark on Shakra’s music – can fortunately also be heard back in Prakesh.
This new album is packed full of ’80s tinged melodic hard rockers such as the title track, “I’ll Be”, “Brand New Day”, “Stronger Than Ever” or the magnificent “Crazy” and see for yourself if it’s possible to sit still.
“MMTWGR” is maybe the more modern hard rock song of the entire disc, and last track “Stronger Than Ever” features an anthemic chorus which gets stuck in your head immediately.
These gentlemen however have also talent for ballads and fortunately we also get that with “When I See You”, “Yesterday’s Gone” and the beautiful “Lonesomeness”. And also in these songs Prakesh stands his ground and doesn’t drop any stitches.
“Back On Track” has again become a diverse album and has all the typical Shakra elements and influences: the ‘americanized’ Whitesnake, Gotthard, Pink Cream 69, Pretty Maids and many ’80s hair / glam rock bands.
The music sounds very accessible with easy to sing-a-long choruses but strong riffing and some hard edge. Production is big and tight.
Everything put together makes this Shakra’s strongest album to date without doubt.
01 – B True B You
02 – I’ll Be
03 – Crazy
04 – Back On Track
05 – When I See You
06 – MMTWGR
07 – Yesterday’s Gone
08 – Someday
09 – Lonesomeness
10 – Unspoken Truth
11 – Brand New Day
12 – Stronger Than Ever
John Prakesh : Vocals
Thom Blunier : Guitars
Dominik Pfister : Bass, Keyboards
Thomas Muster : Guitars
Roger Tanner : Drums
IF YOU LIKE IT, BUY IT!