FVEY by Shihad.

FVEY by Shihad.

Shihad

FVEY

(Warner)

3 stars

Shihad’s ninth studio album is one pummeling guitar riff after another, buffed to an industrial throb so that the rhythm section has the same menacing, machine-like quality as the security services and business interests that loom large in Jon Toogood’s accusatory, alienated lyrics. “Corporate security, imperial desires,” he moans on The Big Lie and the songs are a paranoid news feed in ALL CAPS. The danger with such commentary is that the cathartic becomes comforting, as Muse discovered, but songs such as The Big Lie and the sci-fi metal of Grey Area stay reassuringly fierce under the production guidance of Killing Joke’s Jaz Coleman. Middle age has rarely sounded so bracing.