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Shakra – Snakes & Ladders

Snakes & Ladders
by Erik Akos at 30 December 2017, 10:39 PM

SHAKRA are a Swiss Heavy Metal band from Bern, and today we take a look at their latest LP ”Snakes & Ladders” (released via AFM Records).

The record kicks off with it’s longest track, ”Cassandra’s Curse”. I love the dual guitars and the beginning groove of its headbang-positive riffs. I must say that Max Fox’s vocals are a bit Poppier than I expected them to be, but by the end of the opening track, I was able to get into it. We also have an awesome guitar solo; Thomas Muster and Tom Blunier really outshine everyone else and the solos along with the riffing are the strongest part of the record, but more on that later, for now, let’s move on to ”Friday Nightmare”. This song is 2 minutes shorter than the preceding track and is more focused on singing rather than riffing and grooving like ”Cassandra’s Curse”, and while that one had a soulful feel, the following track has a lot of Glam elements and is – even though not as good musically – a lot more ”fun”, I guess. It is still a solid 8/10 song, offering some variety and making the record sound really good so far.

Next off we have the title track, which is also a bit Glammy, but not as much as track No. 2. It’s basically a mix of the first two tracks’ styles. There are some grooves and tasty riffs, and yet it still has that vocal charisma and coolness factor. The solo is nowhere near as good as the opener’s, but I still wouldn’t call it unnecessary.

”Something You Don’t Understand” starts off with quieter instrumentals, and then jumps into a song that I think resembles ”Snakes & Ladders” too much, both atmospherically and compositionally. It still provides more than enough enjoyment, but I must say, I was slightly disappointed, and I also couldn’t help but notice the predictable song structure.

”The Seeds” thankfully did exceeded my expectations. This is probably the catchiest song off the album. The percussive verses here perfectly counterweigh the melodic and anthemic chorus. Sadly, the rest of the album doesn’t offer much variety, so I don’t see much sense in continuing with the track-by-track stuff.

I’ll say this: the record is solid in itself, and if they left the typical, boring Pop song structure and experimented some more, they would easily be a top-tier Heavy Metal/Hard Rock band.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

3 Star Rating

1. Cassandra’s Curse
2. Friday Nightmare
3. Snakes & Ladders
4. Something You Don’t Understand
5. The Seeds
6. Rollin’
7. Medicine Man
8. I Will Rise Again
9. Open Water
10. The Race of My Life
11. Fire In My Veins
12. The End Of Days
Mark Fox – Vocals
Thomas Muster - Guitars
Tom Blunier – Guitars
Dominik Pfister – Bass
Roger Tanner – Drums
Record Label: AFM Records


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