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Too fast to live, too young to die - 95%

failsafeman, January 10th, 2012

This old dog hasn't learned any new tricks, and in this case that's a very good thing. For all intents and purposes Shok Paris and aptly-named successor Aftershok are one and the same, though singer Vic Hix is the only shared member. The bands' styles are essentially indistinguishable, taking into account the fact that Shok Paris's changed markedly over the course of their three albums. Burning Chrome could've been released in the 80s, and had it been presented to me as the followup to 1987's Steel and Starlight (instead of the inferior Concrete Killers) I would've believed it without question.

The album opens with speed metal scorcher "Sons of Thunder", easily the fastest song here, right away setting the no-nonsense tone that carries on throughout Burning Chrome. It showcases Aftershok's brand of straightforward metal, taking cues from "Fast as a Shark" and Accept's heavier cuts as well as American metalrock like early Riot and Virgin Steele. When you dress that up in a chainmail suit of US power metal, it's hard to beat. Subsequent songs slow down to a mid-paced groove and focus more on catchy rocking riffs and great choruses that were tailor-made for crowd participation (if you ever get the chance to see Aftershok or Shok Paris live, do so, they kill). Changing things up a bit are epic Highlander-themed "The Gathering" and fantastic power ballad "When Comes the Rain?", which really showcases mainman Vic Hix's vocal prowess. His voice is stellar throughout the album, and his unique style is very much intact, perhaps even better than ever; his inimitable alternation between warbly bellows and raspy roars returns in full force, carrying Burning Chrome from mere greatness into classic territory.

Without a bad track in the bunch, this is undoubtedly one of my top albums of the new millenium. There's no particularly deep reason Burning Chrome works so well; it's just very well-constructed heavy metal, one song after another. No gimmicks, no bullshit, no fillers. While Aftershok have since broken up, Vic Hix rejoined Shok Paris and has already written some new material with the band, which sounds just as amazing as ever.

If you like metal, pick this one up.

Classic Metal Lives On - 90%

Waspman, August 23rd, 2006

Let’s face it, life doesn’t offer too many second chances – and odds are even worse in the music business! So I don’t know what ‘ol Vic Hix did to deserve a second go ‘round, but he’s got that and more right now. See, after Vic’s old (new again?) band of ass-kickers Shok Paris fizzled out, he was able to hook up with fellow classic metal lover George Mihalovich and put together the equally as kickass Aftershok. Since 1996 this crew has been tearing it up, with the well-received UNFINISHED BUSINESS album, and now their long-awaited follow up, BURNING CHROME.

If Vic did just one thing to right in the time since Shok Paris’ halcyon years, it was keep his powerful vocals intact – he rips just as much on this album as he ever did on Paris debut album, GO FOR THE THROAT. The fact that Mihalovich and crew come flying out of the gate with track after track of classic metal just adds to the magic. This isn’t just some nostalgia act though – Aftershok are as viable as any other “modern” band today – more so in many cases. Just take one listen to rumbling opener “Sons of Thunder” and you’ll be headbangin’, air guitarin’, and singin’ along in no time.

It seems that now is the time for Aftershok to make their move, as more and more fans are beginning to discover there is more to 80’s metal than thrash and German power metal. Thanks to newcomers like Ignitor, quality traditional metal is on the rise, but Aftershok show that even old rock dogs still have a few classic riffs left in ‘em.

-------Originally published at Metal-Rules.com (November 2005)-------