Let’s build a house of rock,” sings Shakra on a track in the second half of “Invincible,” and there’s every reason to think the Swiss band might mean it more than most. One of the unlucky bands who released albums in March 2020 and might as well not have, this one feels like a reaction to being allowed to do what they love again.

“The Way It Is” kicks off the album with a huge groove and a slide guitar, then there’s a distinct metal tinge to “The Matrix Unfolds,” that’s sort of it. The album is between the two.

Despite the setback caused by COVID scuppering their plans with the last album, Shakra bounces back with determination in “Invincible.” The title track serves as a reminder that they are here to stay and won’t let anything keep them down, it’s inferred, anyway.

“Devil Left Hell” stands out as the absolute standout on the album. It exudes a rebellious spirit, serving as a middle finger to all the sacks of shit that kept us locked down, while they were anything but. It captures the essence of Bonafide at their best. Fans of New Roses should immediately jump on “On The Wild Side”.

“Old Irish Song” may not be “Whiskey in the Jar,” but it offers a nostalgic charm reminiscent of the sort of thing we loved on the much-missed Raw Power of about 1989. “Tell Her I’m Sorry” follows a recent trend in hard rock, but Shakra executes it exceptionally well. The song is well-crafted and delivers the emotional punch it intends to.

Likewise, the ballad “As I Lay Down To Sleep” demonstrates Shakra’s versatility. It showcases their ability to deliver heartfelt and poignant moments amidst the hard-hitting rock sound – or to be more accurate, a record like this was always having a power ballad, and this is that, as it were.

“Walls Of Hate” has a certain class reminiscent of FM’s work. The combination of Marc Fox and Thom Blunier’s vocals creates a harmonious blend akin to Overland and Kirkpatrick. The rhythm guitar of Thomas Muster adds a heavier edge to “Between the Lines,” giving it an extra punch, though.

“As Long As I’m Alive” brings forth blues rock elements, but more importantly, serves as a reminder that as long as bands like Shakra exist, the spirit of hard rock will never fade away.

“Invincible” is a testament to their resilience and love for hard rock. It’s an album that encapsulates the band’s signature sound while exploring new territories. Mostly, though, the album keeps the flame of hard rock burning bright. Let’s hope that them releasing a record this time isn’t the precursor for the end of the world…

Rating: 8.5/10

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