Well now what's this? A new album from Canada's Shock? It's not Christmas and my birthday's long past so what's with this gift? Not that I'm complaining or anything. Far from it friends! It's just that this album hit me from out of nowhere. Kind of like a punch in the face in the dark. Wait a second. Am I getting to far ahead of myself here? Hell bells man! Why didn't you say something? OK, let's back the car up and head towards home. In this case the home would be Ottawa, Ontario as that's where this story first unfolds. It seems like only yesterday, but in actuality it's been almost three years now since we first the news that traditional heavy metal/power metal band Shock had risen from the dead and released it's debut album. That particular recording was the critically acclaimed "Once Denied". It made my list of The 55 Best Releases Of 2013 and to this day it's still in heavy rotation at the Davis homestead. In fact the more I listen to it the more I am convinced that it is a near perfect album! By which I mean that it is a must-own CD. Especially for fans of classic metal bands such as Megadeth, Metal Church, and Anthrax. Or even for those who love N.W.O.B.H.M. music along the lines of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Grim Reaper. So yeah, "Once Denied" ended up being quite the success. Now we fast forward a few years and that brings us to the here and now. All of a sudden I'm granted the privilege of hearing the follow-up to "Once Denied" and I have to be honest here. I was scared going into this album that it would end up being a let-down. In my mind I hyped the hell out of album number two for Shock before I even attempted to open up any of the files that came along with it's promo. "What happens if it isn't any good?" I asked myself. Fearing the worst I dove straight in. Thankfully Shock (who I had the pleasure of interviewing back in 2013) avoid the dreaded sophomore slump with "Forewarned" and then some! Produced by Mike Bond ( www.producedbybond.com) and the band members themselves, "Forewarned" is everything that I loved about Shock's 2013 debut album only it's more direct in it's approach. Shock‘s sophomore effort could best be summed up like this. Picture "Rust in Peace" and "Countdown to Extinction"-era Megadeth joined at the hip by old school Armored Saint and Riot. Got that image in your head? OK, now imagine that this collaboration was a product of Canada's classic metal scene, but with more of a modern edge. In a way that's Shock's forthcoming album.....only it's better. It certainly has it's own style and means of delivery. It also has it's own distinct attitude and it's a justified one at that. Given all of that this album is appropriately titled. You should be forewarned that Shock's latest album doesn't mess around. Between "Bend or Break" and "Not If But When" there's a lot of menacing metal to behold. To that end it's no coincidence that "Forewarned" is being released on Friday, November 13th. Seeing as it slays and all! For the guys in Shock (Tony V-vox/guitars, John Tennant-guitar, Steve Monette -bass, and (new for this album) Taylor Calderone - drums ) life is all about METAL and it shows! "Forewarned" is just what fans of Shock have been waiting for and it can be pre-ordered by heading to the group's Bandcamp website. For now be sure to check out the band's first single from "Forewarned", "Sonic Assault"*. It's all or nothing wicked power/thrash metal with a mean bite and it's just one out of the eight tracks on "Forewarned" that absolutely shreds!
*"Sonic Assault" is just one of several songs on Shock's new album that can trace it's roots to the band's early demo days. The thing is you would never know that it is originally from the eighties as it sounds fresh. I'd even go so far as to say it sounds hip! Just like on "Once Denied" it is incredible how well these "older" songs hold up. Granted in some cases they have been re-worked, but even so numbers like "Sonic Assault" are just so good! These thrash-filled cuts from another time and place work eerily well in this setting and as a whole "Forewarned" is just too good of a metal release to not be scooped up and displayed proudly! While I have no idea how Shock is still unsigned (they should be on a major by now!) I can't help but think that albums like this one are the real deal self-release or not and that headbangers such as "Once Denied" and "Forewarned" are the (super) glue the holds the whole metal scene together. In other words just get this album when it comes out. If you're a real heavy metal fan you won't regret it!