Nima : In less than two years after the release of their tenth album, ‘High Noon’, Swiss power-quintet Shakra already delivers the successor. This band has been one of my favourites for years and I hold the hardrock/heavy metal the gentlemen have been guaranteeing for decades dear to heart. Besides that, Shakra is one of those band from which you always know what to expect, there they never deviated (much) from their sound and style. Therefore we don’t need much words for this second release since the return of vocalist Mark Fox, because this is another typical Shakra record and exactly that what we like and wish to hear from them.
Already from the opening riff of ‘Cassandra’s Curse’ the whole thing is instantly recognizable, and Fox’s distinctive vocals and style complete the picture. This band has always had a mesmerizing effect on me, and also with this album they manage to make me forget about everything around me, and for fifty minutes slip away and fully enjoy those sturdy riffs, beautiful melodies and catchy vocals. The gentlemen have again delivered a dozen of solid and versatile songs, varying from sturdy and bluesy rockers, to up-tempo pounders and beautiful (semi-)ballads that have an old-school charm but don’t sound dated whatsoever. With songs such as ‘Friday Nightmare’, ‘Medicine Man’, ‘I Will Rise Again’, ‘The Race Of My Life’ and ‘The End Of Days’ the album contains some of the stronger Shakra-tracks that will also be live favourites, for sure. That however does not mean that the rest of the tracks are of a lesser quality, because the twelve songs are all individual diamonds, full of highlights.
And finally I believe it is redundant to mention that the production also leaves little to be desired. Even more so, in my opinion this is the band’s best-produced album so far, and thanks to that comes across even stronger. To put it shortly; this is a must for the fans, and an absolute recommend for fans of sturdy, yet melodic hardrock.