Album Review: Shai Hulud - 'Misanthropy Pure'

23 June 2008 | 12:39 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

The Matt attack is back…

More Shai Hulud More Shai Hulud

Shai Hulud, a name that

is synonymous (in heavy music circles at least) with intelligent, provocative

and most importantly unique metallic hardcore. The band’s earliest

release is widely credited with influencing an entire generation of

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musicians while their follow up record showed that these (now) veterans

are still as relevant as the first day they plugged in their guitars

and came kicking and screaming out of the Floridian hardcore scene.

So, was the five-year wait for album number three worth it? That would

be a resounding FUCK YES from this corner! 

Armed with a new vocalist and

a renewed passion for the music they helped pioneer, Matt Fox

and Matt Fletcher have once again commandeered a collection of

talented musicians to assist in creating Misanthropy Pure, a

record that is as aggressive as it is melodious and one that will no

doubt cement Shai Hulud’s place in punk rock folklore.  

If you were at all concerned the

band’s signing to Metal Blade would result in an album devoid

of the traditional Shai Hulud elements then the ninety-second

kick to the balls that is “Venomspreader” will allow you to breath

easy. “The Creation Ruin” is as disjointed as anything the band

has released previously, Matt Mazzali’s deeper growl combining

with the thick and free flowing riffs to create a crushing sound that

younger groups can only hope to emulate, while the breakdown that sees

the song out is one of the heaviest you’ll hear in 2008. 

The album’s title shares some

of the more melodic fundamentals that made That Within Blood Ill

Tempered such an outstanding release, the creative fretwork being

some of Hulud’s finest work to date. Matt Fox has made

no secret of his love of bands like NOFX and Propagandhi,

their more streamlined influence being evident in songs like “We Who

Finish Last”, which makes for a fantastic contrast in Shai Hulud’s

song writing when you place it back to back with the chugging “Chorus

Of The Dissimilar”. “In The Mind And Marrow” has successfully

merged the most abrasive parts of the SH sound with the band’s

more delicate moments, a style that is carried on throughout “To Bear

The Brunt Of Many Blades”.  

The groove that is prevalent throughout

“Four Earths” is something that I cannot wait to hear in the live

setting, the use of minor chords giving the meandering song an almost

atmospheric overtone. Now, the decision to re-record the class “Set

Your Body Ablaze” was a ballsy move however I think you’ll agree

that the guys have done a fantastic job at recreating the song’s original

vibe, albeit with a higher production value. Seeing the album out are

“Be Winged” and “Cold Lord Quietus”, both songs being welcome

additions to the Shai Hulud arsenal.

If you’re a long time Hulud

fan then I have no doubt you’ll love this record. If you’re new

to the party and didn’t quite catch on the first time around then

I strongly suggest you give the band a chance. It’s not often a group

like this comes along, so let’s enjoy it while we can!

  1. Venomspreader
  2. The Creation Ruin
  3. Misanthropy Pure
  4. We Who Finish Last
  5. Chorus Of the Dissimilar
  6. In The Mind And Marrow
  7. To Bear The Brunt Of

    Many Blades