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Shakra – Snakes and Ladders [2017]

“Snakes and Ladders” is the 11th studio album by Swiss hard rock band “Shakra”, marking the return of former lead singer Mark Fox back on the microphone. The haunting melodies, the distinctive voice of Mark Fox, the striking guitar riffs from Thomas Muster, the emotional solos from lead guitarist Thom Blunier and the irresistible grooves from Drummer Roger Tanner and bass player Dominik Pfister are all typical Shakra trademarks, which can be found again on “Snakes & Ladders”.

Arguably “Shakra” were never quite the melodic metal band, mostly delivering melodic hard rock in a somewhat heavier fashion. The band’s greatest advantage as a musical outfit is that they do not make things more complicated than they should be. A thick opening guitar riff, a catchy middle passage, a melodic verse and a memorable-often singalong- chorus is the recipe of most tracks on “Snakes and Ladders”. It is also important to mention that “Snakes & Ladders” is a pretty dark album at parts, strictly speaking of the music where often the melodies take a minor/sad essence, yet the up-beat rhythm section preserves the intensity and rocking attitude at any given point.

Clearly the leading instruments are the driving lead guitars and the vocals with the rhythm section supporting the end result in the best way possible. The straightforward melodic hard rockers of “Shakra” hit the spot as always this time being, opener “Cassandra‘s Curse“, which lyrically is about the current world affairs, “Friday Nightmare”, “Medicine Man”, “I Will Rise Again” and “The End of Days”. If you are a fan of “Shakra” or Swiss hard rock in general, “Snakes & Ladders” will provide an admirable representation of that style.

Band Members
Mark Fox – Vocals
Thomas Muster – Guitar
Thom Blunier – Guitar
Dominik Pfister – Bass
Roger Tanner – Drums

01. Cassandra’s Curse
02. Friday Nightmare
03. Snakes & Ladders
04. Something You Don’t Understand
05. The Seeds
06. Rollin’
07. Medicine Man
08. I Will Rise Again
09. Open Water
10. The Race of My Life
11. Fire in My Veins
12. The End of Days

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