Shiva (UK) - Firedance

EricEric USA
edited December 2022 in Year-1982


ALBUM: Fire Dance
LABEL: Heavy Metal Records
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 1996, British Steel, Metal 8 (with bonus tracks)


LINEUP: John Hall - guitars, vocals, keyboards * Andy Skuse - bass, keyboards * Chris Logan - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 How Can I? * 02 En Cachent * 03 Wild Machine * 04 Borderline * 05 Stranger Lands * 06 Angel Of Mons * 07 Rendezvous With Death * 08 User * 09 Call Me In The Morning * 10 Shiva


If memory serves there was a lot of buzz surrounding Shiva in 'Kerrang' and 'Sounds' although it was relatively short lived.

Signed by Heavy Metal Records Paul Birch; the Avon based three piece released a well-received single in early 1982 ultimately leading to the full-blown 'Firedance' long player later in the year.

Critics loved it and so did metal hungry record buyers (myself included) even while comparisons to Rush dogged the band.

A tour with Michael Schenker Group went down well, but drummer Chris Logan had his fill and recording demo's for a proposed second long player fell flat. By late 1984, Shiva folded leaving many fans to wonder what might have been.

The Songs

Shiva lined up single file ahead of other progressive-minded UK power trios of the day such as Big Daisy, Limelight and Trilogy but Rush wannabe's they were not.

In the higher register, vocalist John Hall from time to time suggests Geddy Lee and a few of the song structures hint at 'Permanent Waves' but for the most part its mid '70s hard rock meets Yes.

Highlights include the superb 'How Can I?' and 'En Cachet' with a heavy riff bringing to mind Black Sabbath and vocal harmonies pulled the classic early Yes album 'Time And A Word'.

The band successfully removed themselves from the NWOBHM template of charging guitars and punkish attitude which partially explains their appeal and why they had so much commercial potential.

'Wild Machine' is where a Rush influence can't be denied, but it's impossible to categorize the band with a song like The Police on steroids 'Angel Of Mons' where Halls' raspy vocals are a dead ringer for Sting.

In short, years later and unlike so many of Shiva's contemporaries, 'Firedance' has endured as a diverse, melodic and compelling set that's more than stood to the test of time as a classic metal album.

In Summary

In 2004 Majestic Rock released 'Continuance'; a collection of demoes completing the Shiva puzzle. Worth picking up rather easily although I'm amazed 'Firedance' on CD has been out of print for so long and that's as good a reason as any to snatch up a copy post-haste.

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