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Fox
2012

Company: Sony Music Switzerland
Release: 2012
Genre: Hard Rock
Reviewer: EC

  • Sappy light hearted affair



  • I've recently become a huge fan of Swiss rockers Shakra and their well calculated brand of driving hard rock. So it was with great despair to see Mark Fox is no longer singing for the band, the vocalist left after a decade with the band to pursue a solo venture. Shakra got "Back On Track" last year with one of their best albums to date with a new singer intact. Fox went into the studio to begin work on his first album simply called "2012".

    First, I really hate the name and even more I despise the album title "2012". Try to Google information about the release...good luck with that. This is Fox's attempt to push the envelope a little further by stepping back from Shakra's "heavier" side and toying with the idea of keyboards and more melodic AOR offerings. Fox teams with Franky Fersino (ex-Gotthard guitarist), Tony Castell (ex-Krokus bassist) and pairs with Chris von Rohr (Krokus guitarist) to produce his new vision. In other words...this ain't Shakra.

    You really hate to dismiss a man's solo work just because it doesn't compare well to his previous outing but I can't help but compare here. If you play stout numbers from Shakra like "Fight The Fire" or "Let'em Have It" you get that driving force, that really groove driven track that just envelopes the listener. "2012" doesn't do that. Instead this is more heavy on the keys, extremely processed with layered vocals and guitars and at times it just lacks any real identity. Sure you get the heavy handed approach on "Down Down", "Anytime" and "Sell It To Me" as good Swiss hard rock numbers, introduced well by stormy opener "Problem Child". But the fault lies in the weak songs, clearly evident on two sappy power ballads in "Home Again" and "Nothing Without You". Look at the oddly placed Southern rock cut "We Are All" or the big hair 80s track "Beds Are Burning" (sounds like Steelheart). I just can't seem to find any real substance here...as if the band doesn't gel well together and lacks chemistry to really make this special.

    Maybe somewhere, some place there are fans out there that really want a diverse slice of AOR. I like my hard rock to have some backbone and really get down and gritty with the delivery. This sort of sappy light hearted affair will appeal to some...Hell it's number 2 on the Swiss charts and its being pushed by Sony. What do I know?


    About this Writer:
    Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

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    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: FOX
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    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    2012Fox
    2012
    Eric Compton6/20/2012


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