Shihad – FVEY

album by:
Audio CD

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On 23 August 2015
Last modified:23 August 2015


New Zealanders Shihad return with their ninth studio album FVEY to open eyes and screw with the system.

When people think of heavy music from the continent of Oceania, the first three names on their lips will (more often than not) be AC/DC, Airbourne and Parkway Drive. It’s actually a shame, because New Zealand’s Shihad should be in with a shout every single time. Formed almost thirty years ago in 1988, they hold the record for the most Top 40 NZ chart singles by a homegrown band with 25 and three of those are in a special collection of their country’s Top 100 songs of all time. To boot, ninth studio album FVEY (released just over a year ago in New Zealand) debuted at number one in the native charts, making them the only New Zealand band to have had five No.1 albums. Now, FVEY (an abbreviation of ‘Five Eyes’ which is an intelligence alliance comprising New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the USA and the UK) is hitting Britain at the end of this month, released via Pledge Music and produced by none other than Killing Joke’s Jaz Coleman.

Despite their success overseas, it does stand to reason that, over the past few years, Shihad have not been at their peak – 2010’s Ignite didn’t possess the bite of previous releases and the issuing of a compilation in 2012 along with a few ventures into film in the forms of 2011’s ‘Beautiful Machine’ and a documentary about the band suggested that the foursome were beginning to hit the twilight of their career. Opening track and lead single ‘Think You’re So Free’ does much to dispel that with a superb driving riff and Jon Toogood’s grating, politically-charged vocals that ask ‘When d’you think we’ll wake up?’. The sprawling title track continues the revival and the lyrical nature of the record, taking full aim at the aforementioned alliance and Toogood singing ‘Taking everything you said/The days of privacy are already dead’. From then on, it’s a high-quality thump and drive through the gears of the Rob Zombie-esque ‘Grey Area’ and frenetic ‘The Living Dead’ to the pub rock tinge of ‘The Great Divide’ and stomp of ‘Love’s Long Shadow’, culminating with the brilliant ‘Cheap As’, with Toogood’s voice turning menacing and foreboding before the song doubles in speeds and crashes headlong over the finish line in a cacophony of drums and guitars. Credit must also go to Jaz Coleman for a crisp, well layered production that allows the songs to breathe and run riot through the listener’s head.

For long-time fans of Shihad, this album is a welcome return to form for a band with a longstanding legacy. It’s also going to pick them up a host of new followers 10,000 miles away across the world when it drops on Friday. Definitely worth a listen.

Band lineup

Jon Toogood – Vocals/Guitar
Phil Knight – Guitar
Karl Kippenberger – Bass
Tom Larkin – Drums

Track Listing

Think You’re So Free
The Big Lie
Grey Area
The Living Dead
Song For No One
The Great Divide
Model Citizen
Wasted in the West
Love’s Long Shadow
Cheap As


New Zealanders Shihad return with their ninth studio album FVEY to open eyes and screw with the system.

About Elliot Leaver

PlanetMosh's resident Iron Maiden fanboy and Mr. Babymetal. Also appreciates the music of Pink Floyd, Rammstein, Nightwish, Avenged Sevenfold, Slipknot and many others. Writing to continue to enjoy life away from the stresses of full-time employment.