Shai Hulud Reach Beyond the Sun

Shai HuludReach Beyond the Sun
Shai Hulud's inability to maintain a consistent line-up since their landmark debut, Hearts Once Nourished with Hope and Compassion, has been a talking point since its release in 1997. But finally, and for the first time, they're back with a returning vocalist. Chad Gilbert has resurfaced for this, their fourth album, and while best known as New Found Glory's goofy guitarist, his passionate performance on Reach Beyond the Sun is anything but campy. Instead, his throat-shredding shouts blend perfectly with the band's emotionally jarring brand of metallic hardcore, and the accompanying list of gang vocalists (including former frontmen Geert van der Velde, Matt Mazzali and Damien Moyal on "Medicine to the Dead") work wonders to keep the hooks dynamic. While numbers like the title track and "Man Into Demon..." are peppered with precise, even show-y technicality, it's the raw and relentless aggression of Reach Beyond the Sun as a whole that makes it worth the listen. Better still, it's what makes it worth the wait. (Metal Blade)