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House Of Shakira - HoS

House Of Shakira
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 22 March 2012, 12:49 PM

Old school oriented Hard Rock from Sweden usually takes many to the utterly famous EUROPE, once a glorious band in the 80s that also partially survived the test of the unsettling 90s Rock era, at the least in the first few years, nonetheless they are still around. In that same period of time, meaning the early 90s, HOUSE OF SHAKIRA, with no connection whatsoever to the too much overrated Pop artist Shakira, began its journey through one of the toughest periods for Hard Rock, AOR and Heavy Metal. I think that if they have reached 2012 while coming in with a new album, it is probably because they were strong enough, both in mind and their own signature in music to overcome the hardships that toppled so many bands of the same kind. That musical moniker that HOUSE OF SHAKIRA has been carrying throughout the years is the cause of deep thinking, innovation and an open mind. Hard Rock maybe their connecting dot but they tried to capture a little bit more in order to reach far than being ordinary. I assume that there will skepticism about this move, but it helped them reach far didn’t it?

“HoS”, via the band’s label Lion Music, continues the same line of thought that I mentioned earlier. HOUSE OF SHAKIRA once again made a good use with an intelligent mixture of AOR and 80s & 70s Hard Rock along with a few modern additions as enhancements. If you thought about simplicity within their songs, I wouldn’t say that you wouldn’t hit upon it, yet even with the catchiness of their choruses and some sweet riffing, they had other things to offer while showing amazing musical prowess. Just so you know, and I have to bring this up before I carry on, while I was listening to the album for the first time I wasn’t that thrilled as now, while I am writing this review. I don’t know but something didn’t click between me and most of the album’s outputs. Other than “Midnight Hunger”, “What Goes Around” and “Brick Wall Falling”, most of the tracks presented were rather regular, even with dips into different sequences, and felt like fillers for several moments.

However, everything began to change for the better just as track number 10, “I’ll Be Gone” began sounding its captivating main riff. When Andreas Novak began singing with his sensual classic AOR fit of a voice, I knew that I was touched by a divine stimulation. When the 80s oriented “Voice In The Void” kicked in right afterwards it was another blast from the past slamming me in the face, boy that felt good. The cosmic emotiveness of “Lost In Transition” is a different level entirely, it took Novak’s voice along with the lead guitars of Hallstensson & Lundström to inflame my mind. “Out Of My Head” was just too much to bear; it was so good with that crude, yet catchy melodic main riff and the energy that just swarmed its progress.

“HoS” didn’t sour for a minute, yet there were instants where I wished it would have played out in a different way. However, I was proven wrong at the end, and believe me I needed something to prove me wrong because I know that this band is more than capable. This is a serious bunch of veteran musicians and I expected a show. Thankfully that I got it.  

4 Star Rating

1. Brick Wall Falling
2. Changes In Mind
3. Carry My Load
4. Zodiac Maniac
5. Fractions Of Love
6. Midnight Hunger
7. Endless Night
8. All Aboard
9. What Goes Around
10. I’ll Be Gone
11. Voice In The Void
12. Lost In Transition
13. Out Of My Head 
Andreas Novak- Vocals
Mats Hallstensson- Guitars, vocals
Anders Lundström- Guitars
Basse Blyberg- Bass, vocals
Martin Larsson- Drums
Record Label: Lion Music


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