Written by: AP on 30/04/2009 16:16:11

Shakra is five-piece hard rock act from the Swiss capital of Bern with six studio albums already decorating their belt. "Everest" is the seventh notch, and from what I've been able to gather, it is the logical next step in the band's constant, if subtle progressions from album to album. Unfortunately (some might say) for Shakra, the quintet was founded a couple of decades too late, where good, honest rock n' roll has been swept aside to make room for mechanical and brainless chart music on the one hand, and increasingly extreme and boundary-stretching metal hybrids on the other. You've got to give it to Shakra for sticking it out and trying to keep the spirit of the old school alive though, and that, ladies and gentlemen, is what "Everest" tries to accomplish.

My first impression is that "Everest" sounds much like a less technical version of Avenged Sevenfold's recent endeavors ("City of Evil" and the self-titled), probably because vocalist Mark Fox has a very similar voice to M. Shadows, albeit being more faithful to Axl Rose and Joey Tempest, by whom both are obviously heavily influenced. That's no reason to shoot this disc down though, because there are no pretentious theatrics in it and unlike Shadows, Fox can actually keep a note. He sings mostly in minor tone, which gives the album a similar heartfelt, melancholic air to the music of Elliot Minor, though comparing the latter to Shakra in other aspects would be grasping at straws. Because there is nothing 'poppy' about Shakra's pure and honest hard rock. "Everest" is about simple, straightforward songs with groovy (and catchy) riffs not unlike Zakk Wylde's, dissected here and there by a soulful guitar solo (think blues and classic rock; not shredding) with a handful of radio-friendly ballads in between ("Why", "Anybody Out There" and "Hopeless" to give you the heads up on those).

"Everest" is nod at the golden age of rock music in the 1970's and 80's, and as such it should arouse some nostalgia in the Woodstock generation, their descendants and the modern, retrospective fans of rock music. In contrast, those who swear by the scene and consider metalcore the best thing to have happened to heavy music since Black Sabbath revolutionized it back in the day would probably do themselves and Shakra a favor by dismissing the words of this review as irrelevant to their interests. And if you consider yourself unfit for either of the two profiles, such as the undersigned, "Everest" will do very little to excite you but you would probably still concur that there's some seriously solid tunes on offer here. They're by no means original, but a fine substitute if for some reason you were unable to get your hands on Guns N' Roses.

Download: Let Me Lie My Life To You, Why, Anybody Out There

For the fans of: Bullet, Europe, Guns N' Roses

Listen: Myspace

Release date 17.04.2009


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