AFM Records [Release date 29.01.16]
Swiss hard rock band Shakra return with their tenth studio album “High Noon” and, after the departure of vocalist John Prakesh in late 2013, surprisingly also return with previous vocalist Mark Fox who quit the band back in 2009.
The driving force behind Shakra has been in place since day one back in 1997, namely Thom Blunier (guitars), Thomas Muster (guitars) and Roger Tanner (drums). Bassist Dominik Pfister returns for his second album with the band.
You think of Switzerland and maybe struggle to think of class hard rock bands…well there is Krokus (whose Chris von Ruhr actually suggested the return of Mark Fox as vocalist), Gotthard and of course Shakra. Shakra themselves plough a similar furrow to Gotthard but that is not a bad thing at all.
“High Noon” kicks off in style with lead single Hello (Mark Fox announcing his return obviously…) which is a foot tapping classic which could be off any recent Gotthard release. Title track High Noon follows which is slower and takes a few plays before again you are singing along.
Consistency is the name of the game on “High Noon”. The quality never drops…but then again there is no real standout number either. Classic hard rock follows classic hard rock on Into Your Heart, Eye To Eye, The Storm and so on…
Raise Your Hands is cheesy to the extreme but still catchy, Stand Tall is a self-motivation number and Wild & Hungry wraps things up in style.
Old fashioned hard rock…maybe…but it is of such high quality that who cares. No deep meanings on here … just foot tapping sing-along songs a la Gotthard.
Highly enjoyable. Welcome back Mr Fox. ****½
Review by Phil Berisford
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Power Plays w/c 16 September (Mon-Fri)
BLOCK BUSTER Losing Gravity (Frontiers)
WATCH ME BREATHE Don’t Think I Haven’t Thought About It (The Label Group/INGrooves)
FIRES OF FREYA Take A Bow (indie)
BLACK STAR RIDERS Underneath The Afterglow (Nuclear Blast)
STOMPIN’ HEAT Shiny Curly Red Hair (indie)
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09:00-12:00 THE DEFIANTS Zokusho (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 CORELEONI II (AFM Records)
14:00-16:00 TONY McLOUGHLIN True Native (Fuego)
Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)
BAD COMPANY Company Of Strangers (1995)
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