SHAKRA - Back On Track
Metal Express Rating: 8.5/10
by: FRANK JAEGER
Email: frank (at) metalexpressradio (dot) com
Eight albums in twelve years -- that reminds of those good old days when fans didn't have to wait five years before their favorite band would release a new album. These Swiss guys are positively old fashioned, and that also goes for their music too. By now, the Rock world should have noticed this band from the Alps, as their prior albums entered the charts in their home country with high scores (and the German charts as well). Their most recent release, Everest, actually made it up to #4 in the Swiss album charts.
Of course, as usual, that was cause for criticism accusing the band of being too mellow and too commercially orientated. But, that always happens when a band becomes successful, and Back On Track shows that Shakra doesn't listen to those voices and instead continues down the same road of simple, but effective Rock songs that made all their albums so enjoyable.
There is only one main difference between the new album and its predecessors. Singer Mark Fox left the band last year, and Back On Track is the first album with John Prakesh at the microphone. But, the new singer was chosen wisely, as he has a similarly rough voice as does Mark, and his performance leaves nothing hanging in the balance. In every of the twelve tracks, from up-tempo songs like "B True B You", to mid-tempo stompers like "Unspoken Truth", or slow tracks like "When I See You", John amazes and gives these otherwise good tracks just the last kick to make them great songs.
With dominant guitars, but radio-friendly melody lines, Shakra manage to place one foot solidly in each of the worlds of mainstream and heaviness. Back On Track is the strongest release of Shakra to date because there is no bad or even mediocre track on the whole album. Gotthard and Krokus, beware, this is the release to beat in 2011!