Swiss rockers Shakra are back, all guns blazing with their new release High Noon. They brought back vocalist Mark Fox who has been absent since just after their 2009 release Everest. Fox took over from the original vocalist Pete Wiedmer and quickly became a force in Shakra. When Fox left, John Prakesh stepped in to take over the vocals and did an awesome job with albums Back On Track and Powerplay. April 23rd, 2014 Prakesh decided to step down and left the vocalist spot open once again. October 2015 Shakra decided — let’s bring back together what belongs together — which brought Mark Fox back. In 2012, Fox had a solo album which showcases his powerful voice but it is great to see him back where he is a perfect fit. Shakra is Mark Fox – vocals, Thom Blunier – guitar, Thomas Muster – guitar, Dominik Pfister – bass and Roger Tanner – drums.
Shakra have signed with Universal Music for Switzerland while AFM Records will continue to release the album to the rest of the world. I have been a fan of Shakra since the beginning, back in 1998 with their S/T album to their now 10th studio album release, High Noon which is out January 29th and in North America on February 5th.
High Noon starts off with the first single and video release “Hello”. Thankful for social media, I got to watch this video when it came out and instantly I knew Shakra was back right where they left off with Everest. Powerful vocals and a high energy performance makes this a great rocking opener. Title track “High Noon” starts off with a great riff and slowly builds to a chorus that has the energy that has always been part of Shakra. The band plays tight and the guitar work is exceptional on the solo.
“Into Your Heart” is fast paced and calls for playing it loud. Hard rocking, lots of guitar work and overall this is exactly why I have been a fan of this band for so long.
“Eye To Eye” and “Is It Real” keep the energy high on the album with great riffs and solos that any hard rock fan would enjoy getting their fill of the new songs of Shakra.
Time to slow things down with “Life’s What You Need“. Every hard rock album has to have a ballad or two but this album only has one. It is well done. Even slowing things down, Fox‘s voice is still so powerful and sticking with his traditional sound keeps this a true rock ballad.
“Stand Tall” has some different styles with great lower key riffs but still getting that edgy hard rock sound.
“Watch Me Burn” is a little funky and catchy, with some heavy riffs — overall a rocking song with different textures thrown in making this interesting and fun.
“Wild And Hungry” brings the album to a finish with a true rocker ending.
Any fan of bands like Crystal Ball, Gotthard, or the hard rock fans of the 80’s — when you thought rock died in the 90’s all you had to do was turn to European hard rock bands to get your fix! Now we need to get more of these bands to North America or on the Monsters Of Rock Cruise.
Shawn “Animalize” Irwin