Sometimes you just know you’re going to love a band’s new album even before your hear it, and Shakra is one of those bands. From about ten seconds into their latest album “Snakes & Ladders” I knew I wasn’t going to be disappointed. The eleventh studio album from the Swiss rockers was released through AFM Records on 10th November. “Snakes & Ladders” is the band’s second album since the return of lead vocalist Mark Fox in 2015. I included the single “Cassandra’s Curse” on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 10th November and “The End of Days” is on the Show this week.


This year marks the 20th anniversary of the formation of Shakra. The first three albums, released between 1998 and 2001, featured Pete Wiedmer on vocals, but he was forced to step aside for health reasons and was replaced by Mark Fox. Four albums were released with Fox between 2003 and 2009 before he left the band and was in turn replaced by John Prakesh. Two albums were released with Prakesh – “Back On Track” in 2011 and “Powerplay” in 2013 – before he decided to depart in 2014. Fox then returned ahead of the release of the band’s tenth album “High Noon” in 2016.

Three members of the band have remained at its heart since 1997 – guitarists Thom Blunier and Thomas Muster and drummer Roger Tanner. Bass player Dominik Pfister has been with the band since 2008. For more information check out the band’s website at

There are 12 tracks on “Snakes & Ladders” and there really isn’t a poor one amongst them. But then, I’d expect nothing less from Shakra!

The band have a number of European shows scheduled from February through to April, but unfortunately nothing in the UK. I have yet to see Shakra perform live but that is hopefully something that can be put right soon.


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About “NI Rocks Recommends”

The simple idea behind “NI Rocks Recommends” is to acknowledge and promote some of the great music being submitted to Rock Radio NI. I'll not be giving marks or ratings or analyzing the tracks in great detail; just telling you something about the artist and the album. It’s a personal recommendation to go check something out, not a traditional “review”!

My musical tastes cover most things rock; from the not too melodic to the not too heavy. The albums that I’ll be recommending are those that you’ll hear me playing tracks from on my shows on Rock Radio NI.


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