Shai Hulud

Misanthropy Pure

Written by: PP on 11/06/2008 16:15:01

Metalcore pioneers Shai Hulud have been gone for a long time, more than five years to be precise. Most fans started fearing the worst, especially after the band lost yet another vocalist (Geert Van Der Velde), and nobody was announced as his replacement. Last year, there was finally light at the end of the tunnel, when Shai Hulud announced it was touring again for the first time in years. These tours were huge successes with both new and old fans (including the undersigned) turning up and tearing the venues apart on both sides of the pond. Fast-forward til today, to the release of the band\'s highly anticipated third album \"Misanthropy Pure\", a monster of a hybrid metal record, combining the best of hardcore and metalcore together to show the new bands how it used to be done.

By this point you are probably itching to know who the new Shai Hulud vocalist is? No? Anyway, it\'s Matt Mazzali, a close friend of the band from back home. And as the band\'s mastermind and guitarist Matt Fox stated in an interview to us last year, it doesn\'t really matter who fronts Shai Hulud as long as he can scream his lungs off. And that\'s precisely what Mr Mazzali is capable of. His voice is full of hardcore energy, his thick, voluminous scream penetrates even the heaviest doubts that anyone could\'ve had for him being the new Shai Hulud vocalist. He might not be Chad Gilbert, but his voice fits the band\'s sound well. Just see the full blast album opener \"Venomspreader\" as a great example: the speed, power and aggressiveness of his angry scream makes me wanna duck for cover every time I hear it. Thought it must be noted here that for the untrained ear, his delivery might come across as monotonous throughout the album, as there is very little deviation from start to finish. It\'s from the top of his lungs on every song of the album, making it clear that this is exactly what he wants to be doing - screaming the misanthropic message of the band at live audiences.

As for the instruments, they\'re classic Shai Hulud at their best. The guitars are angular and curvy, circling around the listener like a hungry shark waiting for its dinner to be dropped in the water. The speed variations are big, from the destructiveness of \"Venomspreader\" to the painstakingly slow, though still relentlessly aggressive \"In The Mind And Marrow\". To some extent, the songs fit somewhere between \"Hearts Once Nourished\" and \"That Within Ill-Tempered\", combining the hardcore energy of the former with the melodic metal delivery of the latter.

But lets make one thing clear. Although \"Misanthropy Pure\" is metalcore by definition, it isn\'t about clean vocal choruses or huge breakdowns; you\'ll be hard pressed to find a single breakdown or a clean vocal on the record. A Shai Hulud album isn\'t about those elements in metalcore. A Shai Hulud album is about taking the fist-pumping energy of hardcore music and combining it with the melodic delivery and structure of melodic metal. In other words, metalcore without the modern denotation attached to it. This can be heard all around the album, because it\'s just so damn consistent. Though the opener and the title track are among the highlights, every track rocks like a motherfucker and has the signature Shai Hulud guitar sound attached to it, making \"Misanthropy Pure\" another milestone in the band\'s highly influential career. Lets not forget the band\'s previous albums have helped shape and kick start the metalcore scene from its beginning, so lets hope that \"Misanthropy Pure\" shoves the genre in the right direction again. If you ask me, it\'s got all the necessary qualities of doing so. Now push this band, Metal Blade!


Download: Venomspreader, Misanthropy Pure
For the fans of: Poison The Well, The Banner, Dead Hearts, With Honor
Listen: Myspace

Release date 27.05.2008
Metal Blade

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