While respected highly amongst their peers and often lauded for their impact on the earlier metalcore scene as a whole, Shai Hulud generally aren't as revered as the bands they came out alongside with. "Misanthropy Pure" is not only the album that just may change that, but also the one that will have fans forgetting it took five years to materialize.
While it could be argued that Shai Hulud don't necessarily advance the metalcore genre as a whole, there is an elderly statesmen appeal and maturity to their sound that allows them to not have to. Simply put, the band are good at what they do and the delicately-balanced formula they possess mixes searing intensity, wandering progressive introspection and frenetic hardcore animosity with grace and manic delight.
The key things that drive this album though are its hunger and its breathing room. It's about as classy as a mixture of metal and hardcore can get while still staying forward-thinking and true to the spirit of both genres. Perhaps this is all a result of the band having to stay humble due to turmoil that derailed them earlier on in their career, perhaps not. The thing is Shai Hulud are able to capitalize on unhinged ferocity and tension without having to resort to thrash nostalgia, melodic death metal wankery or mascara clad metalcore.
Sure "Misanthropy Pure" retains trace influences of these current trends and more, but they are vague starting references and rhythmic cues rather than foundations and thus, the group are able to quickly make up for lost time. Admittedly the album can get bogged down a bit by some turgid density midway through and the momentum is also a bit inconsistent. But with the ample amounts of, ahem, profound hatred, and raging hostility continually guiding the band forward, the weathered purity of this bands intentions can rarely be questioned.
(4 / 5)