SHOK PARIS has been one of the top bands that I came across when I first started to look deeper into the 80’s underground American metal. The Ohio pioneers are known for their three flawless albums, especially the second one “Steel and starlight”, which is a monument of classic Heavy Metal.
Their live performance at the Up the Hammers fest, years ago, was a night to remember (the first time the crowd wouldn’t leave unless they heard a song, already performed again) and the rumors of a new album had been going around since. Frankly, I never thought it was going to be released, since the delay was too long, yet here it is, from No Remorse Records.
Firstly, let me state that both the front and the back cover art reach a certain level of cheesiness that for me is unmanageable, yet I can see this as a statement: SHOK PARIS, not only return with a new album, this will be a total music throwback to the early 80’s.
Indeed as if it has not been a day since the “Steel and starlight” release, the new album continues the tradition of SHOK PARIS, with heavy American metal, played under a more melodic approach.
From the title track which kicks-off the album, it is obvious that the band is back for good. The recognizable vocals of Vic Hix combined with the classic heavy brawling riffing, are dominant in every song: “Full Metal jacket”, “Black Boots”, “Hell Day”, “Do or Die” are angry, rough, and edgy, definitely direct ascendants of classics like “Go Down Fighting” or “Run but don’t Hide” while other songs like “Nature of the Beast”, “Those Eyes” or the epic “Symphony of the Sea” are more melodic, epic, pompous while retain their heavy feeling.
There are certain highlights like the sassy mid-tempo “Metal or Metal” (a kind of favorite for me), “Those Eyes” or the almost power metal “Hell Day” which was the first single.
Vic Hix sounds as if he was in deep freeze for thirty years while the guitar work of Ken Erb and John Korzekwa is superb, however the real highlight is the overall passionate performance of the band. Although they have not been around (as SHOK PARIS) the fire still burns in them, something which is more than obvious through the album.
Overall, SHOK PARIS is back for good, with an amazing new record. Don’t miss it because it’s a real deal, an album that grows with every listen, a future classic.
SHOK PARIS featured on our radio show: