HOUSE OF SHAKIRA – HoS (Comeback album)
After a 5 year hiatus, one of Sweden’s greatest exports, HOUSE OF SHAKIRA returned to the forefront of the European Melodic Rock scene early this decade. Their brand new album simply entitled “HoS” featured 13 tracks chock full of pure melodic rock bliss you need to check out, the kind of catchy tunes that have made House Of Shakira one of the biggest bands in the genre.
Since their 1997 debut, House of Shakira has put together a string of first class melodic releases, with the most recent being Retoxed in 2007. Over the past 15 years, the band have had their share of lineup changes and in 2012, things are no different.
“HoS” features former Mind’s Eye vocalist – and now also solo artist – Andreas Novak, taking over the mic duties and welcomes Basse Blyberg and Martin Larsson on bass and drums.
These new additions reshaped the band significantly and have provided a punch to the songwriting while maintaining that signature House of Shakira sound. For old school fans, vocalist Andreas Novak picks right up where former singer Andreas Eklund left off.
A transition to a new lead singer for a band that has such a highly regarded history would seem difficult to do, but House of Shakira have pulled it off magnificently with Novak and have surely set themselves up for continued success.
With a pumping opening bass riff, “HoS” immediately introduces the listener to new vocalist Novak as he sings his way through “Brick Wall Falling”. Novak brings a sharper edge to the vocals and takes the band further away from the ‘Journey Clone’ stigma that has followed them since their debut, and now sounds definitely more European.
The fantastic musicianship of Hallstensson and Lundström is on full display throughout this release with plenty of crunchy guitar work and some stellar soloing. This is what separates House of Shakira from most bands in melodic rock today. The twin axe attack and brilliant songwriting by these two remaining original members is hard to match.
Without sounding too cliché, it is hard to find anything bad about this release.
“HoS” is full of upbeat melodic rock numbers, like ‘Changes in Mind’, ‘Fractions of Love’ and ‘Carry My Load’ that should be played at full volume while rocking down the highway.
‘Zodiac Maniac’, ‘What Goes Around’ and ‘I’ll be Gone’ are all perfect mid-tempo rockers and ‘Midnight Hunger’ is a flat out smoking hot tune with some killer guitar work. The background vocals are flawless on every track and helps keep that signature House of Shakira sound intact.
With only one true ballad, the acoustic ‘Lost In Transition’, that has a great guitar solo ending, “HoS” should please any fan of the Melodic Rock genre that likes their rock a bit more on the hard side.
One of the best House Of Shakira albums.
01 – Brick Wall Falling
02 – Changes In Mind
03 – Carry My Load
04 – Zodiac Maniac
05 – Fractions Of Love
06 – Midnight Hunger
07 – Endless Night
08 – All Aboard
09 – What Goes Around
10 – I’ll Be Gone
11 – Voice In The Void
12 – Lost In Transition
13 – Out Of My Head
Andreas Novak: Lead Vocals
Mats Hallstensson: Guitars, Backing Vocals
Anders Lundström: Guitars
Basse Blyberg: Bass
Martin Larsson: Drums
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