Review Summary: 5 years for the new album is well worth the wait for these metalcore pioneers.
5 years we waited for Shai Hulud's new album, amok the mess of constant line up changes and a brief hiatus and name change. They come back with Misanthropy Pure, something that I personally believe is right up there with their past two albums, That Withing Blood Ill-Tempered
and Hearts Once Nourished With Hope and Compassion
. These metalcore pioneers still refuse to disappoint, with a cd just as fast as previous efforts, but also some songs that are heavier then previous.
Venomspreader- After a few dissonant notes, the beginning of the album starts with kicking your teeth in, this song just reminds you who Shai Hulud are in case you forgotten. Fantastic drumming and spectacular riffing. I can't think of a better opening song for this cd. Great guitar work, screaming, just a fantastic song altogether. 5/5
The Creation Ruin- This song starts off slower then you'd think for Shai Hulud, and after a Venomspreader type opening guitar with some vocals, the song kicks into fast paced work that you are used to. Although it slows down again, this is definitely one of the heavier tracks on the whole album. During the last 45 seconds of the song, Mazelli repeatedly yells "You Ruined Creation" and it's quite powerful to hear. The song then finishes off in the heavier tone. 4/5
Misanthropy Pure- Ah, the title track. This track is completely amazing. Spectacular lyrics, fantastic guitar work yet again from Matt Fox (although it's expected from him) and the rhythm section also does a fantastic job with the switching tempos. This track is also a little bit slower then you'd expect, and sports their (probably) most commercial friendly riff. The bass is also more prominent in this song as you can hear it being brought out during the verses. This song is just nothing short of fantastic, especially hearing Mazelli shout "Man will maintain his hostility/Keep this faith." Also the only song by Shai Hulud to have a video made out of it.5/5
We Who Finish Last- This song starts out quick and fast yet again, before slowing down a little bit. Still another great track with great guitar work and some tempo changes.3.5/5
Chorus of the Dissimilar- This song starts off at a slower but heavier pace then comes out to a fantastic guitar part. Probably the heaviest track on the entire album. I find that this song seems to focus on the rhythm section a lot more then Matt Fox's guitar playing. Quite a few stop go sequences in this song where Matt Mazelli will scream something, and then the rest of the band will come in behind a line played by the lead guitar. This song is probably also the slowest song on the album. 4/5
In the Mind and Marrow- Another song that seems to put a lot more focus on the rhythm section then most. Although you can hear a line in the background played by Matt Fox in the back, it seems to be almost drowned out by the rhythm. After a slower verse, the song kicks into a fast paced chorus that gets your heart pumping, although it slows down a lot after that, then picks back up. The only small complaint I have with this song is that they seemed to drag out a wee bit too long past to what I would like to hear, before I get bored with the track. 3.5/5
To Bear the Brunt of Many Blades- Fan-fan-fantastic song. Probably my favorite of the whole album. Talk about fantastic riffing, fantastic drumming, and a great job by the rhythm section laying down a deep, heavy riff. I think this is where you hear the Mazelli sound the best with the rest of Shai Hulud. The song also ends in a huge climax with a spectacular breakdown. 5/5
Four Earths- A slower track altogether. Not much else to say about this song. Just some more great work from the rhythm section, while Matt Fox shows off some more technical riffing. The song goes into this strange limbo (or the drumming does drives it into a strange limbo) at around 1:40 for about 15 seconds, and it sounds fantastic, but may be a little strange for people when they first hear it. This song also goes into a fantastic climax when it gets closer to the end. 4/5
Set Your Body Ablaze- I think this was the surprise for all their older fans. A re-recording from a split done in the past with Another Victim. This song sounds just as good, if not even better (due to a crisper production) then the original. Starts off fast and heavy, with fantastic guitar work done throughout the whole song. Matt Fox shines through this song with his, as usual, great guitar work. The drummer also does some fantastic work in this song, showing a little bit of chops I believe. This is definitely a treat for older fans and an exceptional track on the album. 5/5
Be Winged- A track that starts off with another great Matt Fox riff and continues on at a quicker pace then as been shown for most of the cd. It slows down for about 5 seconds, speeds up at a fast tempo for 5 seconds, and the repeat that for a little, then stick with the faster tempo. I feel that with the guitar work on previous tracks, the rhythm section could've done better here in my opinion after hearing what they could do earlier in the album(except for the drummer, he continues to do a fantastic job.) Fast, short, and great. 3.5/5
Cold Lord Quietus- This song starts different then any song on the album, and I think differently then any song they've ever done. It starts out with a creepy violin (correct me if I'm wrong, I believe that's what it is) intro for about 35 seconds, then it kicks in hard with the whole band coming in at once. A slower riff is displayed here by the whole band, and Matt Fox, yet again, to reiterate, does fantastic guitar. At times it sounds strange and as if it doesn't fit, but Matt Fox takes charge and leads this song. This song also showcases Matt Fox a lot more then a focus on the rhythm section. Mazelli also does a fantastic job on this track. This is a superb track to close a superb album with. Definitely in the running for the best track on the album. 5/5
The biggest change between this and their last effort That Within Blood Ill-Tempered
is their new singer, Matt Mazelli, has replaced Geert Van Der Velde (which is also one bad ass name). I believe that Mazelli is right up to par with Geert and does a good job filling in his shoes. It should also be noted that the production of this album is quite fantastic. The only metalcore album coming out this year that I can see coming even close to competing with this is Misery Signals
, but even that seems like a longshot.
Shai Hulud definitely throws the metalcore genre back into place. They stick to their roots and pull out a fantastic album that I don't see myself ever putting down for a while.
-To Bear the Brunt of Many Blades
-Set Your Body Ablaze
-Cold Lord Quietus