Review Summary: Heat, upon heat, upon heat...
Disgruntled, and bereaved at the loss of hope in humanity, Shai Hulud take hardcore/metal musicianship, coupled with lyrics that Poe would appreciate, to create one of the genre's finest, if not the best. Grown out of the depths of South Florida, Shai Hulud present an honest case, for the dishonest they've come in contact with. Being one of the cornerstones of hardcore, honesty is a quality that is found throughout this record.
There has always been a floating disgust in the air for one another as our days trudge in and out. The Beatles may have been singing about love is all you need, Shai Hulud can attest to quite the opposite. Hate is the way of life. There's a certain hope within hatred found at the heart of Matt Fox (Lead Guitar/Backup Vox/Lyricist), and I'm so damn happy he shared it with us.
Each song on this record breathes foul air, coupled with the angst of the secret voice in your head wanting to kill that person who pissed you off. The young Chad Gilbert assumes that role, and fronts the band on this record with uncompromising passion. The voice of this record is one of the stand-out qualities, with Chad's desperation and angst, it's very hard to ignore the teenager. The words of this record demand to be read, and the message is one that needs to be heard.
Released in 1997, 'Hearts...' harkens back to Earth Crisis, and Deadguy as far as similarity goes, in an argumentative sense, yet there is something much more sinister than it's counterparts. Never have I been more caught off guard as when I read the title of the record. It summed up all the steps I took as a human being, on planet earth, living this life, and all the decisions I have made in order to be right here, right now. The tears gathered in my eyes as I read the title for the first time. Chills ran down my spine as the final minute of 'A Profound Hatred...' came to a close. When Shai Hulud is playing through any kind of speakers, you'll know it's Shai Hulud.
There's a paralyzing sense once the record starts, that something is wrong, in much the same way you'd feel walking into your house after your parents said they'd have dinner waiting for you and the place is trashed with no sign of any life. Nope, not even your dog. The record moves swiftly along without hesitation or remorse, and forgives no one. If you have a birth certificate, you're f***ing guilty. Never have points about humanity, friendship, loneliness, struggle, and negativity been portrayed as raw as they are on this record.
You better believe the riffs are there my friend. The drumming is fast and busy in all the right ways. The bass grooves and runs. The very sound and production of this record is something the band members disagree with, however, after repeated listens, the only way to sum it up is, "This is it. This is what it should sound like." That 'it' to me, the sound of metal infused with hardcore, this record captured it, this record represents it. 'Hearts Once Nourished...' encompasses an otherworldly quality that words cannot express, and demands your listening ears.