Shakra - Mad World

Shakra Mad World cover
Mad World
AFM Records
Swiss rockers Shakra have been around since the mid-90s and have released around a dozen of albums if memory serves correctly (a google search later proving that I am not losing my marbles). They’ve largely had a steady enough lineup, other than singers, that they had changed on more than one occasions and for a variety of health related reasons.
Their style is too heavy to be considered straight hard rock and to rock to be considered metal, probably sounding like a heavier Gotthard – more than anything, at least with Fox on vocals. They’ve never managed to get to the top of the bills, but they’re still at all those years later.
Opener “Fireline” is an eager, hard hitting and high-power rocker that sounds like turbocharged Bonfire at their most rocking, but while it gets the job done, it doesn’t wow, that much… with its solo probably being flashier than its chorus, something that can’t be too good.
“Too Much is Not Enough” has a riff that’s suspect of belonging to someone else, other than Krokus and by extension to AC/DC... but again, it works, so I won’t moan any more…
“A Roll of the Dice” might reminisce riffwise of Def Leppard and Gotthard and its chorus a little of Quiet Riot’s “The Wild and the Young” but is does so, while sounding cool and cocksure.
The title track, “Mad World”, rolls around with a stomp and keeps going at it, no less enjoyable than its predecessors but not topping them either.
“When He Comes Around” has a meaner hard rock riff and a bit of an attitude, while a “Thousand Kings” is more geared towards contemporary melodic rock, with an edge.
“I Still Rock” is another stomping, rhythmical track, but other than its massively groovy and chomping chorus, it feels pretty basic. A little by the numbers, a feeling that “Fake News” doesn’t quite shake of its effort to go from a soft intro, to a big chorus and create a socially conscious, anthem, falls short of the said big chorus, that doesn’t quite materialize leaving the song to regurgitate a very average one.
“When It All Falls Down” feels like melodic rock perfection landing somewhere near Pink Cream, Roxette and Gotthard… without hitting bullseye.
“Turn the Light On” is okay, following the style and formula that the band has set out for themselves, but without scoring as high as some other tracks on offer here.
“Son of Fire” has nastier riff and again a dirtier sound and attitude, but doesn’t quite convince, maybe because of its inane lyrics.
Last but not least, “New Tomorrow” is a ballad, which is fairly good with Fox being somewhat reminiscent of a lower pitched Tom Keifer (maybe), due to his sandpaper like rasp.
Overall, probably the best Shakra have sounded in a while and a fairly decent album to sink your teeth in, if you’re getting the blues, ever since Gotthard lost their primacy in the matter, due to the unfortunate passing of their frontman.