Listening to the music of Shihad is like... what? Nothing you have ever heard before.
As one of New Zealand's most long-standing and outstanding alternative rock bands, Shihad are loud, hard and courageous, and have been in the local and international music scene for more than two decades.
Intense in concert, Shihad's success has been steadfast and everlasting.
Shihad started out in the capital city of Wellington, New Zealand in 1988. Now based in Melbourne, Australia, the band have developed their own style of rock over the years, and opened for major bands such as AC/DC, Faith No More, and this month, Black Sabbath.
Progressing from alternative metal to hard rock, with the odd acoustic moment thrown in between, Shihad have been around for a long time. Continuing to tour Australasia, Europe and the United States, the four members of Shihad have managed to stay together for over twenty years, making nine albums and a music documentary called Beautiful Machine, released in 2012.
The following music video clips are personal favorites, and have been chosen not only for their imagery, but for their sound and lyrics. As a fan of their songs and other alternative music groups, Shihad is one band with guts, integrity and endurance.
Top Five Shihad Music Videos
5) 'You Again' by Shihad
Shot in blue monotones, this video features Shihad in their early years. Up front is singer and guitarist, Jon Toogood, appearing very long-haired and wild, compared to his shortened haircut of today. You Again has its own raw sound, with guitar power uncomplacent. You Again comes from Killjoy, the second album released by Shihad.
4) 'Beautiful Machine' by Shihad
Beautiful Machine was filmed in Auckland, New Zealand in 2008, and is comprised of stark, dramatic visuals. With the band performing against a backdrop of black in a darkened, overgrown, grassy location, a woman in white and a man in black are instilled as central characters throughout the video.
Running across sand, emerging from watery depths and leaping up into the sky, the two figures, at last, embrace. At one point, large droplets of water come cascading down like a mass of diamonds. Beautiful Machine is not as tense and vicious as Shihad's earlier metal songs, and lends itself to a more mainstream following. The song comes from the album of the same name.
3) 'Home Again' by Shihad
The video for Home Again is a classic. Filmed at the St James Theatre on Queen Street in downtown Auckland, it captures all that Shihad are, and will ever be. Named Pacifier for just a brief time, the band are a fantastic, if not the best, New Zealand live act to see. Whether performing on stage or recording an album, Shihad have a legion of fans throughout Australia and New Zealand, and beyond. This live performance of Home Again provides enough evidence of a devoted audience.
2) 'Sleepeater' by Shihad
Filmed entirely in black and white, Sleepeater is as strong in its contrast and silhouettes, as it is in its drumming and bass lines. Bringing the natural elements of air and liquid together, seated figures are blasted with sudden wind gusts and jolts of water, as they turn in slow motion circles.
Sleepeater featured in the Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 video game created by Komani and is the lead single from the Ignite album, which was recorded in Melbourne, during 2009 and 2010. The eighth album for the band, Ignite was released in September 2010 and debuted at #1 on the NZ charts.
1) 'Wait and See' by Shihad
At number one, I've chosen Wait and See. In shades of muted sepia, the setting for this song is more dynamic and expressive beyond the usual 'perform and film it' type of scenario, that is common with all rock bands, old and new.
Edited with an artistic sense, this music video is erratic and rough, with the multi-layering of text and images building on the rhythm of the song itself. With melodies and lyrics that rock, Wait and See is a Shihad song I have listened to a lot. The song appears on Shihad's fourth album The General Electric, as well as the band's Blue Light Disco EP.
Like any of these videos? If you've got your own Shihad favorites, add yours to the comment box below.