Swiss rockers Shakra are new to me, for all their strong pedigree and lengthy history. Having shared the stage with the likes of Uriah Heep, Maiden and Guns n’ Roses alongside doing some pretty major world tours with Hammerfall and Stratovarius, 2013 sees the release of their tenth studio album Powerplay and their second with vocalist John Prakesh.
As a first time listener to their music and style I’m finding myself drawn to comparisons with the likes of Nickelback and UK lads Furyon although not quite as heavy. John Prakesh sounds like a cross between Jon Bon Jovi and Joe Elliott and has a great vocal style.
The album has a good fist pumping rock vibe to it, kicking off with the anthemic Life is Now before hitting an almost early days Papa Roach with The Mask, although that disappears quickly as it powers into the chorus and Prakesh’s vocals give it a far more mainstream rock feel.
Higher and Dear Enemy crank up the heavy groove riffs and are probably my two favourite tracks on the album. Both feel dirty and are just real great slabs of rock, foot stomping and fist pumping, and the remainder of the album continues in similar form.
One thing is evident from the years of experience behind this band is the ability and knack to write some great rock tunes and power ballads. Both Wonderful Life and Save You from Yourself showcase this perfectly with their differing styles while Don’t Keep Me Hanging draws comparisons to Skid Row and Seb Bach.
The album comes to a close as strongly as it started too, with the ripping and rocking Secret Hideaway and final track Too Good To Be True bringing everything together in a huge power ballad anthem.
Granted, Shakra may not bring anything new to the table, but what they can do is produce great rock music and my ears feel all the better for being party to hearing them!
Powerplay is released on 11 January 2013 via AFM Records.
1. Life Is Now
2. The Mask
4. Wonderful Life
5. Dear Enemy
6. Save You From Yourself
7. Don t Keep Me Hanging
8. Dream Of Mankind
10. Because Of You
11. Secret Hideaway
12. Too Good To Be True
John Prakesh – Vocals
Thom Blunier – Guitar
Thomas Muster – Guitar
Dominik Pfister – Bass
Roger Tanner – Drums