Shihad have shared a video for their latest single, Tear Down Those Names. The track which was released last week is the first taste from iconic New Zealand rock outfit Shihad’s eagerly anticipated album Old Gods, out August 27th. The heavy anthem has received a fitting visual directed by Shae Sterling, with renowned local DJ Half Queen rocking out to the track inside a ram-packed venue – filled with genuine Shihad fans. We love this concept.
The band put a call out on their Instagram inviting fans to join the video shoot and the result is an epic warehouse party we wish we could have been a part of. The clip captures the mood of this sludgy rock number extremely well and will have you moving in your seat.
If anger is an energy, then Old Gods – Shihad’s 10th studio album since forming in Wellington in 1988 – could singlehandedly power our capital city for a year.
Old Gods is a step into fury for frontman Jon Toogood whose lyrics encapsulate our collective anger at recent world events. As a new parent and convert to Islam, recently married to a Sudanese woman, Toogood begun to see perspectives other than those he’d been raised with. Add in the soul searching that came with the COVID pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement, and the band’s collective disgust at the rise of Conservative politicians such as Donald Trump and Boris Johnson, and he took on a new understanding of his place in the world as a privileged white male.
“My whole consciousness changed. I haven’t been able to see the world like I used to. And all of this was feeding into, oh right, we’ve written the soundtrack, and this is what I’m going to talk about. I’m going to talk about the fact that I don’t want a future where white supremacy reigns supreme, especially with my bi-racial children. I don’t want to see leaders like Trump hold sway over a big portion of the population on the planet. Cos it’s not gonna end well.”
The result is Old Gods, an album that states its intent from the moment the crushing, grinding riff of opener Tear Down Those Names explodes to life, and just one song later Toogood urges for the killing of the ‘old gods’ in the title track. Elsewhere, Toogood takes aim at conservative talk radio, the legitimization of racism, and the radicalization of a generation fueled by misinformation.
There may be an unmistakable heaviness to Old Gods, but it’s offset by a dexterity and musical telepathy that comes from decades of experience playing together.
“I know it’s just rock’n’roll at the end of the day, but it’s my artform, and I’ve got a really fucking powerful band to play with, making powerful music, so I’m going to write about that shit,” Toogood says.
Tear Down Those Names is available to stream and download now here. Listen now below.
Old Gods Australian Tour Dates
Friday 1 October - Prince of Wales Bunbury
Saturday 2 October - Metropolis, Fremantle
Thursday 7 October - The Gov, Adelaide
Friday 8 October - 170 Russell, Melbourne
Thursday 14 October - The Triffid, Brisbane
Friday 15 October - Manning Bar – Sydney
Saturday 16 October – Entrance Leagues Club – Central Coast
Listen to Shihad now.