Published on November 25th, 2017 | by Justin G.
Shakra: Snakes & Ladders (AFM)
It hasn’t quite been two years since the last album from Swiss melodic hard rockers Shakra, but the band is back with a new album to help close out 2017. The new album, their eleventh studio effort, is called Snakes & Ladders, and it’s the second Shakra album since vocalist Mark Fox rejoined the band.
There’s a certain formula that Shakra has, and while they may occasionally step into heavy metal territory, you can usually count on them to deliver melodic rock with a strong hard rock edge and some very catchy choruses. Somewhere between Gotthard and Pink Cream 69. That’s definitely true for Snakes & Ladders. Like their previous album (2016’s High Noon), Snakes & Ladders has that classic Shakra sound that we heard on albums like Everest and Fall. It has great riffs, memorable melodies and a steady groove that pairs perfectly with Fox’s raspy, bluesy vocal delivery.
It may be predictable, but Snakes & Ladders sure is a fun album. Shakra knows their way around electrifying hard rock songs, and this album has some really good ones. Opener “Cassandra’s Curse” sets the stage, and the title track and “I Will Rise Again” (probably the best song on the album) keep that energy going. Slower numbers like “Open Water” and bluesy rockers like “Rollin’” and “Medicine Man” help keep things interesting and have a strong early Gotthard vibe.
It’s pretty impressive that nearly two decades (and eleven albums) in, Shakra has never released a disappointing album. Snakes & Ladders is another electrifying album from arguably the best band in the Swiss melodic rock scene. If you’re already a Shakra fan, you’re going to love this one. And if you’re new to the band but are a fan of Gotthard, Pink Cream 69, Pretty Maids, House of Lords and the like, you need some Shakra in your life.
Summary: No surprises, just Shakra doing what they do best.