Shai Hulud haven’t reinvented the wheel with Misanthropy Pure, but that’s okay, because they invented the proverbial wheel of spacey metalcore awhile back. Ah, the days when songwriting mattered more than production value and anger wasn’t conveyed solely through open-D chugging.

Shai Hulud returns with a respectably similar product to that found on That Within Blood Ill Tempered, which to be honest, is exactly what fans were likely hoping for. The record’s title track is a great example of how the band is able to capture the same magic that made Ill Tempered shine, yet also take advantage of a more flattering mix for a contemporary sound that’s both polished and passionate.

It really speaks to Matthew Fox’s ability as a songwriter and ringleader, as I noticed about halfway through the record, that Misanthropy Pure can proudly and justifiably compete in the same arena as previous Shai Hulud releases despite a seemingly rotating cast of musicians. Tracks like “We Who Finish Last” and “Four Earths” could be easily mistaken as cuts from the turn of the century were it not for the aforementioned sonic presentation of the record and Matt Mazzali’s slightly deeper growl.

The reworking of “Set Your Body Ablaze” might have purists cringing, but frankly, it would take a lot of work to tarnish such an epic track, and the band has done little in the past to make me believe they’d release anything they weren’t completely behind. Really, the facelift treats the song well, adding a little more ferocity to those double-kick blasts and tightening up the instrumentals to really let some of the spacey guitar leads protrude a bit further.

In fact, the reworking of “Set Your Body Ablaze” nicely embodies Misanthropy Pure as a whole. A few elements of the band have changed, and while some may miss the attitude that came with a more stripped-down production, it’s hard to deny that not only is the songwriting here is as exciting as it’s ever been, but it’s been pretty much giftwrapped for you.  [ END ]

Track Listing:

01. Venomspreader
02. The Creation Ruin
03. Misanthropy Pure
04. We Who Finish Last
05. Chorus Of The Dissimilar
06. In The Mind And Marrow
07. To Bear The Brunt Of Many Blades
08. Four Earths
09. Set Your Body Ablaze
10. Be Winged
11. Cold Lord Quietus

Run Time: 41:53
Release Date: May 27, 2008

Check out the song: “Misanthropy Pure”