18 February, 2013

Shai Hulud: Reach Beyond The Sun – new album


SHAI HULUD's fourth LP, ‘Reach Beyond The Sun’, will be out everywhere tomorrow, February 19th, 2013, on Metal Blade Records. The album was produced by Chad Gilbert (NEW FOUND GLORY guitarist and once SHAI HULUD vocalist) who also contributed vocals on the album. In addition, ‘Reach Beyond The Sun’ features vocal talents of Jay Pepito (REIGN SUPREME, BLACKLISTED) on ‘A Human Failing’, John Vigil (THE GHOST INSIDE) on ‘If A Mountain Be My Obstacle’, Louis Hernandez (ALPHA & OMEGA) on ‘Man Into Demon’ as well as all officially recorded former SHAI HULUD vocalists Matt Mazalli, Damien Moyal, and Geert van der Velde on ‘Medicine To The Dead’ as well as additional vocals throughout the album from the likes of Justin Krauss (WITH LIFE IN MIND) and Martin Stewart and David Wood (both of TERROR fame). Lyrics-wise, SHAI HULUD “continues to evoke deeper thought, and a range of true human emotions practically unique to the band as the modern underground often shies away from depth for fear of the vulnerability of inner exposure.” Unafraid, shop for SHAI HULUD here (Metal Blade) or find them on iTunes:
[Regarding ‘A Human Failing’, a song about a generation willing to turn numb in lieu of a life of pain and feeling, guitar player Matt Fox comments:] “It’s become “cool” to be cold. No pun intended.” [In the interest of challenging misinterpreted notions of pessimism, the song ‘Think The Adder Benign’ [he] professes:] No, I do not believe roses only bloom just to conceal the thorns. I merely accept the thorn pricked finger bleeds.”
[Sound-wise, longtime bassist Mad Matt Fletcher asserts:] “Anyone who really knows the band will agree this album is our definitive sound, encompassing all of our different influences and styles. Yep, this sounds like SHAI HULUD.”
“Within ‘Reach Beyond The Sun’ is found the glimmer of hope emerging as a keen perception of reality on a gridlocked battleground of grim pessimism versus unthinking optimism – a conflicting array of swirling thoughts and depth of emotion, honestly illustrating and defining the beauty and tragedy of the human experience. To the backdrop of progressive, metallic hardcore/punk, SHAI HULUD is thinking and expressing in perpetual forward motion. Onward and upward. Always. Forever,” [the press release concludes optimistically]

Formed in Pompano Beach, Florida in 1995 by guitarist Matt Fox and bassist Dave Silber, SHAI HULUD are described as “a positively themed metalcore band with some straight-edge and Christian leanings” by AllMusic's Stewart Mason (more here). Naming the band after Frank Herbert's (author of “Dune”) giant sandworms, SHAI HULUD released their debut EP, ‘A Profound Hatred Of Man’, in 1997 on Crisis Records with Chad Gilbert on vocals, Oliver Chapoy on guitar and Steve Kleisath on drums. Described as “fantastic album” by Jason D. Taylor, AllMusic (more here), their debut full-length, ‘Hearts Once Nourished with Hope & Compassion’, followed soon thereafter. A couple of split EPs latter and by the time SHAI HULUD's second longplayer was released, the band had moved from Florida to New York. ‘That Within Blood Ill Tempered’ came out in 2003:
“The album title, the syntax of which is so affected and twisted as to render it meaningless, is fair warning: The guys in SHAI HULUD appear to be suffering from a terminal case of Freshman Creative Writing Seminar, and they can’t seem to tell the difference between pretentious syntax and actual intellectual content. The result is a lyrical disaster: The songs are all crawling (or perhaps “rife”? “fraught”?) with cringe-inducing and often downright nonsensical pronouncements… They seem to be sincere (or so they claim, explicitly, in both the booklet design and the opening lines of the first song), but sincerity isn’t enough: They need to be sincere about something in particular, and they need to be coherent in their expression of whatever it is they’re sincere about. That won’t happen until at least one of them figures out how to use a predicate,” [was stern in his review of the album Rick Anderson, AllMusic – more here]
Following numerous personnel shifts, SHAI HULUD answered the critics in their own way; in 2005 they released ‘A Comprehensive Retrospective: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Release Bad And Useless Recordings’ compilation album, followed by their third full-length album ‘Misanthropy Pure’, issued in 2008 through Metal Blade Records (four out of eleven tracks are available for your listening pleasure below) and a split EP with NEW FOUND GLORY in 2009, smartly titled ‘Not Without A Heart Once Nourished By Sticks And Stones Within Blood Ill-Tempered Misanthropy Pure Gold Can Stay’:

SHAI HULUD features: Matt Fox – guitar, Matt Fletcher – bass, Matt Covey – drums and Chad Gilbert – vocals

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