Time Off (Street Press Magazine) Scott Thompson
Ignite Review SHIHAD Ignite (Roadrunner/Warner)
2010 has been an interesting year for Shihad. On the one hand, the band is commemorating their two seminal albums Killjoy and 1999's masterpiece The General Electric, but they are also moving forward, releasing their eight album entitled Ignite. The album sticks firmly to the Shihad trent of exploring a new sound with every release which has been the cornerstone to their success and is why they are years ahead of similar peers in their genre.
The riffs have more kick, the drums have more resonance and the bass has a shattering bottom-end. Despite the slick and polish it's all Shihad. The New Zealand quartet has never been aband to stick to the one formula. Each release sees the band reinventing themselves. They have departed from their electronic sounds heard on Beautiful Machine, returning to their traditional sound found on earlier releases. Though the electronic influence is still there on tracks like Engage and lead single Sleepeater, they serve their purpose greater as backing counter-melodies to the furious modern crunch. Final Year of the Universe seems a strange choice for an opener with its drawn out and expansive length, but the earth-shattering climax proves that it works suitably. The syncopation and stop-start timing of I'm a Void shows that the band can also infuse more complicated techniques into their infectious hooks.
Though Ignite might not seem as immediate as previous releases, a few spins will reval the album's grandeur. The moe times this album is played, the more the craftmanship of Shihad truly shines. Extra guitar parts that were missed or the glitches and beeps of electronic sections which passed unbeknownst will shine through. Have Shihad outdone their earlier classics? Maybe not, but they're pretty damn close