SHAKRA – Infected

SHAKRA - Infected
  • 6.5/10
    SHAKRA - Infected - 6.5/10


Release date: September 11, 2007

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Infected is already the sixth studio album from one of Switzerland’s best known Heavy Rock bands. The style they play will not come as a surprise: Melodic Hard Rock. Somehow that seems to be the stuff the Swiss guys do best, just think of Gotthard, Killer, Tempesta, Cobra, and, of course, the godfathers of Swiss Rock: Krokus. Shakra squeeze into the same musical corner and because of this sound, well, very Swiss. But, that is everything except bad. The level of quality among all those bands from the midst of Europe is extraordinarily high, and before going into detail, let it be said that Shakra also deliver quality material and will not disappoint fans of this said style.

The band stated before the release that they consider this their best album to date, which is absolutely true in one regard: The production is very appropriate, powerful, yet clear and warm, while it still retains the necessary punch with heavy-sounding guitars. Whether or not the compositions are really their best will probably be in the eye of the beholder, as Infected does not stray far from the path they walked with releases since Rising in 2003, which marked the album singer Mark Fox joined the band. He is also the most striking feature of the band, as he carries the weight to make the songs work, even more than the cool guitar riffs … and guess what? He also sounds incredibly Swiss with his raw, but still melodic voice similar to Marc Storace (Krokus) or Steve Lee (Gotthard). The similarity of bands and style is sometimes striking, and one may have difficulties telling the bands apart by only listening to a song or two.

But, that cannot be a factor to judge the band by, and should only be stated as a fact, as it just seems mountains, cows, and Wilhelm Tell induce that kind of quality Hard Rock, because that is exactly what Infected is. Often uptempo, kicking tracks with foot-tapping guitar riffs and extremely catchy vocal lines dominate this album. The songs breathe of summer, and seem to scream “convertible” from start to finish. Already at first spin one can have a lot of fun with rockers like “The One,” “Vertigo,” or “The Other Side,” or slowly sway with ballads like “Love Will Find A Way” or “Acheron’s Way.”

Unfortunately, one can also sing along every song before it ends. That is the crux of the album: High Class Hard Rock played almost to perfection; so perfect that it becomes stale after a few spins. Except for the instrumental ending after 2 minutes of silence in “Acheron’s Way” (the music world had hoped these kind of misplaced jokes were gone for good, but Shakra shows they aren’t, at least not in Switzerland), there is no surprise at all on the whole album. Every single track is straight, memorably, radio worthy (wait a minute – MER.COM is radio – better add .5 points to the score for the nice material they composed for radio use!). But, every single track will probably be known well too soon … the album will get played a few times, and then gather dust on a shelf.

This is where the professional, but unoriginal approach bites the band in the tail. Not only is it really unnecessary to have more than one or two Shakra albums in your collection, even worse, they probably won’t be played much. So the recommendation would be to listen to a few tracks and then maybe get this album, but certainly see them when they enter the stage in your area as their gigs are intense and great fun, and their style is the right stuff for any festival. On occasions like that they can hardly be high enough on the billing …


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

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