"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Shakra - "Everest" (CD)

Shakra - "Everest" CD cover image

"Everest" track listing:

1. Ashes To Ashes (3:51)
2. Love & Pain (3:19)
3. Let Me Lie My Life To You (3:38)
4. The Illusion of Reality (4:38)
5. Why (3:45)
6. The Journey (7:54)
7. Regressive Evolution (3:51)
8. Amybody Out Thee (3:24)
9. Right Between The Eyes (5:15)
10. Dirty Money (3:24)
11. Insanity (4:48)
12. Hopeless (3:45)
13. Mystery (3:27)

Reviewed by on June 17, 2009

"'Ashes To Ashes' is an upbeat, old school, gang vocals tune reminiscent of some of the best glam tunes in history."

Every once in a while an album comes along that fans know will become a classic even before it's released. Such is the case with Swiss hard rockers' Shakra's newest release, "Everest." Not only does the album do great justice to the realm of heavy rock and old fashioned glam metal, but it is the final album to include lead vocalist Mark Fox. Due to contractual disagreements, this icon of hard rock vocals is leaving Shakra in the fall, and the band is currently running an ad for his replacement on their Myspace page. So, regardless of how talented Shakra's selection will be, "Everest" marks the end of a chapter in the band's history. Fortunately, "Everest" is a fantastic album for fans of mainstream heavy rock.

Shakra has toured the world with a lot of big names in the music world. From Iron Maiden, to Great White, Guns n Roses, and even HammerFall, it comes as no surprise that Shakra's music shares the classic style that all these bands play as well. Style wise, Shakra's sound is probably most closely related to Guns n Roses, with some fantastic dual-wielded guitars and snazzy sleaze solos, with the occasional bit of southern rock thrown in. "The Illusion of Reality" has a very Slash-like guitar part in the breakdown that will have listeners feeling like they’ve gone back in time.

Shakra replaced both of their axe grinders within the last year or so, and newbies Thom Blunier and Thomas Muster definitely don’t disappoint. Their scale climbing and shreds are like manna for fans of the style. And of course Fox has his own definition of shred, if vocals can be described as shreddy. His voice is the perfect blend of raw and screaming vocals to fit with the nearly over-the-top compositions.

Perhaps some of the tunes sound a bit dated and simplistic, but truthfully that’s part of the charm of 80's fashioned hard rock. Repetitive lyrics and vocals-driven songs are what made music of that decade popular even to this day, and Shakra's songs are no different. The opener, "Ashes To Ashes," is an upbeat, old school, gang vocals tune reminiscent of some of the best glam tunes in history. Shakra even shows off a bit of a stadium rock anthem in "Love and Pain," and an incredible, timeless ballad that is ideal for fans of monster ballads with piano in "Hopeless." Those who loved ballads like "Home Sweet Home" and "Don’t Know What You Got" are sure to also fall in love with "Hopeless."

There aren’t really any bad tracks on "Everest," though some, like "Insanity" and "Anybody Out There" aren't quite as addictive as the rest. Overall though, for mainstream fans, "Everest" is a great choice that you'll find yourself coming back to over and over again.

Highs: Fox's vocals are perfect for the musical style, and shred guitar enthusiasts will love the entire album.

Lows: "Insanity" and "Anybody Out There" are a bit repetitive.

Bottom line: A classic, possible collector's choice, for fans of mainstream heavy rock and old fashioned glam metal.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)