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On disc: House Of Shakira

HoS - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars


(Lion Music - 2012)

House Of Shakira don't need to be introduced to hard rock fans, but they have been through changes! In 2008 they released III + Live At Sweden Rock DVD and now they present HoS. They have a new rhythm section - bassist Basse Blyberg and drummer Martin Larsson - and a new singer! But metal fans might know Anders Novak from his days with Mind's Eye....

The opener is Brick Wall Falling which gives bassist Basse Blyberg the first chance to step into the limelight. The song soon become a catchy hard rock tune with a modern edge and a dash of prog. The keyboard-opening of Changes In Mind reminds me a bit of Savatage, and even the heavy riffing is a bit Savatage-sque... But due to Novak's vocals and the backings the song gets a hard rock feel. A catchy one is Carry My Load which you soon will sing along. Quite 80's like, but again House Of Shakira can surprise the listener with unexpected twists and turns. A real rocker is Fractions Of Love! Big backings give you an 80's feel, it's a song which back in the days would have get a lot airplay. But it doesn't feel backdated at all! Midnight Hunger is an arena rocker peppered up with some great guitar play! A great AOR track is What Goes Around! Loving it! the following I'll Be Gone also offers this AOR sound which works great with Andreas Novak's voice. For Lost In Translation they slow down - and focus on vocals and guitar. For the closer they choose Out Of My Head, a guitar-driven rocker. A good choice, coz this track has an infectious refrain as well as documenting several facets of House Of Shakira's sound.

Sure, some will miss Andreas Eklund, but you should really give them a chance to convince you! New members usually mean that things change, especially when you have a new singer. But it seems that fresh blood did them good, they sound fresh and it's fun to listen to HoS!

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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