Maybe once again I’m just out of the loop (or perhaps I just have refused to recognize), but SHAI HULUD seems to be held very highly in the underground world. When my research into the band began, I was shocked to find all of these individuals that only have the best of compliments for this Floridian Metalcore band. Stated as an influence for some of the more famous Metalcore bands like AS I LAY DYING, MISERY SIGNALS, and UNEARTH, I was expecting a lot more from this latest release entitled, “Misanthropy Pure”.
But after listening to the album a handful of times now, I have found myself disappointed in the output. Maybe my expectations where too high for this highly held underground act, but this album did not blow me away like I desperately wanted. SHAI HULUD rides that fine line of Metal and Hardcore quite nicely though and even though the band seems to lean a little more Hardcore than the previously mentioned bands, there is a good deal of mixture of the two genres to keep them stable and a key definition for the term, Metalcore.
Using Hardcore song structures mixed with melodic Metal leads and some pretty heavy riffs, SHAI HULUD perpetuates the Metalcore sound without pushing any boundaries. This is part of the downfall of “Misanthropy Pure”. Much of the music just seems to be on repeat for the entire album. After the first track “Venomspreader”, the whole of the album feels a little too confined to this single style of music. The band just keeps going on and never pushes themselves to go in any new direction. This creates a very solid album for those of you that enjoy Metalcore immensely, but a relatively boring album too.
I do commend the band on their use of the melodic leads that overlay most of the ‘breakdown’ riffs in the music as this is the element that really kept my attention. While most of the album plods along with simplistic riffs, drumming, and a one way street of barking vocals, it’s the melodies that seem to pop on the album. Although you won’t be hearing the most complex of material in the leads, their ear catching vibe does help this album from completely fading away.
Despite the energy of this album and occasionally interesting guitar line, this album can’t overcome the overall urge to move in a giant circle of repetitiveness. This is shocking when considering the impact that SHAI HULUD has had on the Metalcore community. I recommend “Misanthropy Pure” to die-hard fans of Metalcore only.
Songs to check out: “Venomspreader”, “Misanthropy Pure”, “Chorus Of The Dissimilar”.
(Online June 6, 2008)