Review: Shai Hulud

Shai Hulud
““That Within Blood Ill-Tempered””

Shai Hulud has been a band that I’ve grown to respect; historically, all of their songs ring true with an incredibly diverse approach to melodic, heavy music, combining intensity and anger with sheer emotion and talent. “That Within Blood Ill-Tempered” seemed to be an exception to this bias, evoking a word I’’ve never associated with Shai Hulud—… mediocrity.

The first track of the record is a promising start. Entitled “Scornful of the Motives and Virtue of Others,” the track serves as an incredible blast of melody and energy, with plays on timing, melody, dueling guitars, heavy breakdowns and emotional lyrics. The track concludes in classic punk form, attesting to the vocalist Geert Van Der Velde’s “act of defiance” and “refusal to behave.”

The album continued to draw my attention with technical stops and starts and chaotic, discordant squeals in the third track, “The Consummate Dragon,” with influences ranging from the melodic metal of In Flames to the technicality of Botch.

Though these two tracks ring loudly with both musical and lyrical brilliance, the rest of the album seems to take a steep dive downward, lacking in arrangement and innovation. It seemed as if the album’s high momentum was unable to be carried throughout the rest of the record, reducing each song to another regurgitation of melody and chug. I only wish it could live up to its promising start.