Aftershok - Unfinished Business
Classic Heavy Metal
10 songs (59:54)
Release year: 2002
Reviewed by Mike
Surprise of the month

Thirteen years after Shok Paris' final release Concrete Killers, frontman Vic Hix returns to the metal scene with the debut album of his new band, Aftershok. Shok Paris released 3 albums during the 80's (Go For The Throat: '84, Steel & Starlight: '87, Concrete Killers: '89). If you like classic metal in the vein of Dio and Judas Priest, I highly recommend that you check Shok Paris out as they were tragically overlooked during their time. Like Shok Paris, Aftershok deliver melodic riff based classic heavy metal with plenty of shredding and solos to spruce up each of the tracks.

Vic Hix has retained his vocal abilities through the years. He still possesses the range and melodic quality that made the Shok Paris albums special. He also reminds me quite a bit of Ronnie James Dio as far as vocal delivery, style, and range. I have always enjoyed Vic's ability to give each song an emotional charge with his dynamic voice and certainly thought he was a big reason the music of Shok Paris was so memorable for me.

The music itself is very much on par with that of Shok Paris. No, Aftershok don't bring anything new to the metal scene, but they what they do bring is damn good riff based classic metal that is much needed particularly in the American music scene. As stated in the liner notes, "Despite what today's pop culture trends and corporate marketing strategies try to tell us, many people still believe that music can and should be done for its own sake. This CD was created by four musicians with a passion to rock their way, with no compromises and no regrets; just a little Unfinished Business." Amen to that. Clearly, this CD is an album for classic metal fans created by fans of the genre themselves. This is no frills guitar bases heavy metal complete with catchy chorus lines and countless instances of guitar shredding and soloing. However, Aftershok uses only one guitar player as opposed to the dual axe attack used by Shok Paris. I do miss that dual lead guitar work and the dual solos (although there is a kick ass dual solo featured in Yesterday's Gone), but like I said before, George Mihalovich is more than able to hold his own on this album. If the next Aftershok album were to feature two guitarists, I believe their sound would go from great to phenomenal with that additional depth.

While each of the songs is catchy and displays excellent musicianship, I would have liked to hear a couple of faster tracks thrown into the mix. The last half of the album sees the band maintain a very consistent mid tempo pace (the drum beat especially remains very constant). They are certainly strong tracks, but balance is an important element to consider when making an album. No matter how good the mid tempo tracks are, they will be overshadowed when placed consecutively behind the album's faster songs. Of course, this is a self financed debut album for the band, so their song structures are bound to improve as the guys continue to work and write together and hopefully gain the backing a record label. Details such as properly balancing the album and creating the optimum track sequence will surely come with time as well. There is no arguing that Aftershok possess plenty of musical abilities and certainly the heart and desire to make great music. They have established an excellent foundation with Unfinished Business and I certainly think they have the potential to crank out a masterpiece caliber album in the future. George Mihalovich mentioned in an email that they are currently shopping for a record label and I am certain that they will draw significant interest. With the backing of a record label, I suspect Aftershok will make a big splash in the metal scene that for whatever reason Shok Paris did not do some fifteen years ago. Excellent job guys!!

Killing Songs :
War Machine, Beware Of The Night, Yesterday's Gone
Mike quoted 83 / 100
Other albums by Aftershok that we have reviewed:
Aftershok - Burning Chrome reviewed by Mike and quoted 85 / 100
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