American heavy metal in recent times has more to do with sub genres than with no frills, loud guitars and a screaming vocalist. Rising from the ashes of the mighty Shok Paris, Vic Hix returns with Aftershok, a new band/lineup with a same straight ahead heavy metal style. “Unfinished Business” consists of 10 tracks and there is not a single mediocre track on the disc which clocks in at around 45 minutes in length.
” Armed And Dangerous” owes a nod or two to “Metal Health” by Quiet Riot. Hix’s vocals sound as distinctive and as powerful as they did over a decade ago. “War Machine” is a plodding rocker with a deliberate beat and delivery. The intro to “Beware Of The Night” recalls Fifth Angel’s “Midnight Love” and features some very serious soloing. Guitarist George Mihalovich plays lightning-charged solos and memorable licks that ingrain most of the tracks on the CD into your head after one or two listens. “Remember” is a slightly slower song in the Saxon tradition. The track “Broken Wings” will be most appealing to fans of early Savatage.
” Unfinished Business” features a very bare bones, stripped down approach and lacks any studio trickery that makes bands sound bigger than they can ever hope to be on stage. In a live setting Aftershok comes off extremely heavy yet still maintaining their keen sense of melody. The fact that Hix can deliver vocally live on a higher plane than many of his contemporaries gives Aftershok a definite edge over other bands searching for a deal on a metal label. Coupled with the fact Mihalovich is a very talented metal guitarist, I believe their next release will find a home on a major metal label in the USA or overseas.
Armed And Dangerous
Beware Of The Night
Goin’ My Way
All The Way