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Shakra - "Powerplay" (CD)

Shakra - "Powerplay" CD cover image

"Powerplay" track listing:

1. Life Is Now
2. Higher
3. The Mask
4. Wonderful Life
5. Dear Enemy
6. Save You From Yourself
7. Don't Keep Me Hanging
8. Stevie
9. Dream Of Mankind
10. Because Of You
11. Secret Hideaway
12. Too Good To Be True

Reviewed by on April 3, 2013

"Shakra continues its successful stimulation of the rock center of your brain on 'PowerPlay,' the band's ninth studio album."

Shakra continues its successful stimulation of the rock center of your brain on "PowerPlay," the band's ninth studio album. Playing an aggressive classic metal style loaded up with roaring riffs and squealing solos, the band proves the timelessness of old-school sounds.

Given that there's been a lineup change since the band's last disc, with new singer John Prakesh behind the mic and and a new bassist, Dominik Pfister manning the fat strings, it's a little surprising how much this album gels.

Then again, you've still got Thom Blunier and Thomas Muster on guitars, providing the muscular riffs that give tracks like "Stevie" and "Save You From Yourself" their fist-pumping fury. The solos are also quite excellent, with real barn-burners lighting up "Dream Of Mankind" and "The Mask."

Drummer Roger Tanner's groove is merciless on "Don't Keep Me Hanging" and "Because Of You," the two tracks which are perhaps most evocative of the classic rock of the 1980s. His work is never all that flashy, but it works well.

Singer John Prakesh's work is quite good on the opener, "Life Is Now" and the bitter "Dear Enemy." That said, he and the rest of the band falter quite a bit on the ballads. "Wonderful Life" is saccharine-sweet, while the closer, the piano power ballad, "Too Good To Be True," feels really anticlimactic. It would've been much better to end the album with the aggressive "Secret Hideaway," but hey, that's what the skip button is for.

All in all, Shakra delivers an electrifying performance on "PowerPlay." Minus the ballads, it's an album that fans of classic metal sounds will find eminently enjoyable.

Highs: "Dear Enemy," "Because Of You" and "Dream Of Mankind."

Lows: The two ballads, "Wonderful Life" and "Too Good To Be True."

Bottom line: An excellent album full of muscular classic metal riffs and solos.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

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)