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Wall Of Silence – Shock To The System [1992]

PhotobucketIs this good? Well, actually this is fantastic. Not really known to the “big public” I fear. Canada always had a great tradition in melodic rock, Loverboy, Honeymoon Suite, Coney Hatch, etc. and Wall Of Silence are also one of the representatives, which joined the record labels in the late 80s/early 90s, in this case the major A & M.

1992’S Shock To The System was the debut (and sadly, the only) release from Canadian melodic rock band Wall Of Silence. The band, which features members of the Works and Mannequin, played the kind of melodic rock arena rock that bands like Nelosn, Bad English, Alias and Giant made popular as the decade was getting started.

Shock to the system, which was produced by Streets/Steelhouse Lane/City Boy guitarist Mike Slamer, is one of the genre’s better albums, in the tradition of hard FM, with a substantial degree to layers of keyboards, impressive choruses while Brian Malone’s vocals soar with great intensity, that will leave you positively breathless.

Let’s talk straight to the songs started from the midtempo opener “Shock to the System” that perfectly matches what is expected of a good group of hard FM. Know-playing musicians, big performance singer and a huge chorus, give us a first indication of what will follow. Next track the thrilling “Edge of a Heartbreak”, sees the guitars get back on the verses to help resurface the refrain, monstrous and backbone (it must be heard to be believed). “Last Nite” is simple but effective with its hooky choruses and happy go lucky presence while “Blood Is Thicker Than Water” is a midtempo rock ballad quite worked mid-on which there are a lot of refined melodies. Special mention must be given to the awesome rocker “Addicted”, an album stand-out for me. Ultra catchy as it is not allowed.

On this one point, the Canadian band has surpassed the level of inspiration and as such, that really all of a hymn in power, should have been a big board if there was global even a little justice in the world of music. “Prove Your Love” is quite atmospheric, followed by the high
energy big rock “Skin and Bones” on which the keyboards sound veru bluesy and “Nobody’s Hero” is a moment of hard rock, is one of them and the warm voice of Brian Malone wonders. In the last two tracks especially they push the accelerator pedal into high gear.

Every AOR album has a ballad or two. Wall of silence don’t let us down in this department with the poignant “It’s Only Love”, co-writen by Phil Naro and “Stop the Rain”, a power ballad with an impressive touchy melody. This is the kind of melodic rock that seemed to be everywhere in 1990-1992 and that labels like Frontiers, NTM and AOR/Metal Heaven have spent the last decade trying to recreate. “Shock To The System” is the only album of Wall Of Silence, and is very pleasant surprise in the field of hard FM, even if it seems straight out of the late 80s the songs are inspired, as he worked needs and production of Mike Slamer put them to their advantage.

It’s ridiculously hard to find, but I’d absolutely recommend “Shock To The System”, to just about any fan of the classic late 80s/early 90s AOR and melodic rock sound. If you’re a fan of bands like Alias, Blue Tears, Drive She Said and Valentine, you’re gonna’ love this one!

Band Members
Brian Malone – Lead vocals
Jim Huff – Guitar
Stuart Zaltz – Keyboards
Scott Lucas Drums
Tim Harrington – Bass

Additional Musicians
Mike Slamer – Guitars
Sascha Red Sky – Backing vocals
Mike Shotten – Backing vocals
Al Van Wart – Backing vocals
Matthew Gerrard – Bass

1. Shock to the System
2. Edge of a Heartbreak
3. It’s Only Love
4. Last Nite
5. Blood Is Thicker Than Water
6. Addicted
7. Prove Your Love
8. Skin and Bones
9. Stop the Rain
10. Nobody’s Hero

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Rating: 8.6/10 (10 votes cast)
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Wall Of Silence - Shock To The System [1992], 8.6 out of 10 based on 10 ratings
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