History behind Canadian metal band Shock’s never released album in 1987

History behind Canadian metal band Shock’s never released album in 1987

The story of Canadian power metal band Shock has been told by Sleaze Roxx in bits and pieces over the last few years.

Shock photoFormed in 1985, Shock were largely regarded as one of the best, if not the best, heavy metal band emanating from Canada’s capital Ottawa and surrounding regions. Shock released a number of demos from 1985 to 1990 but never released an album during that time due to not being able to land what they deemed to be a proper recording contract. In 1987, it seemed that Shock were very close to releasing an album entitled Burning A Hole Through The Heavens given that an advance sampler of the album via cassette was forwarded to a number of radio stations. With the departure of Shock‘s co-founding member John Tennant in or about late 1989, the group ended up breaking up within a year in 1990. After a 21 year hiatus, three former Shock members got back together in late 2011 and this led to Shock releasing a video for their popular song “Slashing To Live” on January 1, 2013 before more importantly finally releasing their debut album Once Denied in May 2013 to critical acclaim. Sleaze Roxx was the first to interview two of the “former” and newly reformed Shock members — Tony V (lead vocals, guitar) and Steve Monette (bass). Since then, Shock have released a sophomore album titled Forewarned in November 2015.

Ottawa Metal ’80s – ’90s is a Facebook groupShock poster 2 dedicated to covering the Ottawa metal scene history from 1980 to 1999, as viewed by former radio Meltdown hosts, Randy Chase (“RC”) and  Mike Belanger.

Ottawa Metal ’80s – ’90s posted an insightful article today (with slight edits from Sleaze Roxx) about Shock nearly releasing their album Burning A Hole Through The Heavens in 1987:

SHOCK – ‘Burning A Hole Through The Heavens’ (1987)

Dave Carlo of Razor talked about the difficulty in getting a manager for a heavy Canadian band in the 1980s: “I tried to get Bill Seip (Helix’s manager) interested, but he passed. I tried to get Andy Wigderson (Killer Dwarfs) interested, but he passed. We talked with Leiber-Krebs (who were American based, but were managing Anvil at the time), but they passed as well. Fuck… every Canadian organization we talked to passed.” [from BraveWords]

shock4But ShockSHOCK got the thumbs-up from Bill Seip in 1987. He saw commercial potential and signed them to his management roster. I imagine that Shock finally felt like they were on the cusp of getting signed. So close, in fact, that they went ahead and recorded a self-financed 6-song demo, produced by the band and engineered by Peter Burns (who’d done the same for Fist’s ‘Danger Zone’ in 1985).

But this was not meant to be just a demo. Whether motivated by promises made by their management company or just pure, cocky self-confidence, Shock‘s cassette was distributed with the tag: “ADVANCE LP SAMPLER.” The LP, it seemed, was to be called ‘Burning A Hole Through The Heavens’ (a line from “Splitting The Atom”).

When I first got a copy of the demo, I accepted this as fact: “Shock’s coming out with an actual album? Awesome!” Combined with their great shows that summer at the Gloucester Fair (June 13/87) and opening for Anthrax (July 31/87), plus a TV appearance, it seemed that all kinds of gears were turning behind the music-business curtain for Shock. I felt certain I’d be holding some Shock vinyl in my hands by 1988.

I had a copy of this tape because I was hosting Meltdown on CKCU at the time, so it was a promo copy. But I’m not sure if this Shock group phototape circulated as much as their earlier demos. Did you have a copy? Where did you get it?

Here’s an older post of audio from an April 1988 radio interview I did with Shock. At the end is the version of “Flaming Towards Earth” from ‘Burning A Hole Through The Heavens.’

Or, you can hear the version from the album when it finally came out … in 2013, as ‘Once Denied’. 1987 to 2013: now that’s what you call an “advance” copy. – RC”

You can purchase Shock‘s Once Denied (2013) and Forewarned (2015) albums at the group’s Bandcamp pages.