AlbumsNovember 29, 201121,684 views

Shai Hulud That Within Blood Ill-Tempered

That Within Blood Ill-Tempered
01. Scornful Of The Motives And Virtue Of Others 02. Let Us At Last Praise The Colonizers Of Dreams 03. The Consummate Dragon 04. Willing Oneself To Forget What Cannot Otherwise Be Forgiven 05. Two And Twenty Misfortunes 06. Being Exemplary 07. Given Flight By Demon's Wings 08. Whether To Cry Or Destroy 09. This Song: For The True And Passionate Lovers Of Music 10. Ending The Perpetual Tragedy
2003 Revelation Records
Our score 7

by Alex

Ultimately, Shai Hulud did themselves few favors by taking several years to release this record. Sure, interest was piqued amongst fans. However, nothing short of a masterpiece can appease month after month of growing expectations. So essentially, a potentially great album finds itself in "good album" territory, simply because Shai Hulud fans were expecting nothing less than amazing. And frankly, after a few listens, I was disappointed. None of the tracks really stood out (not the first time for a Hulud album). In fact, the first word that came to mind was "boring." As is my tendency though, I stuck it out. And luckily, my patience was rewarded. Each subsequent listen yielded additional returns, eventually rendering my initial assessment inaccurate. Listeners with prior Hulud experience will note that on a general level, this record differs very little from previous material. They're still playing hardcore with a metallic edge, an emotional undercurrent, and over-the-top song titles. Such a summary begs the question - what group isnt playing that style these days Point taken, but you'll have to excuse Shai Hulud, as they were doing it before 90% of today's similar artists. No, this isn't a diatribe against the current state of hardcore, simply fact. Thankfully, guitarist Matt Fox continues to drop his trademark lead-over-chord stylings, which definitely provides Shai Hulud with a nuance most bands either ignore, or aren't capable of utilizing. The effectiveness of said guitarwork is particularly evident on tracks such as "Let Us At Last Praise The Colonizers Of Dreams" and "Given Flight By Demon's Wings." Then again, one could probably accuse Shai Hulud of overusing this technique, and I wouldn't necessarily disagree, but for most of this record, it works. Lead noodling aside, there are also plenty of interesting chord combinations explored by both guitars. Clearly, they haven't been sitting around for the last few years watching CH*Ps reruns (I have, and I don't regret it). Vocalist Geert is in top-form as well. With a powerful and commanding delivery, he's really got the quintessential hardcore scream - not too high-pitched, and not too dull. Listening to him yell "Godspeed" halfway through "Being Exemplary" is evidence enough of his aptitude for hardcore vocals. Of course I must address the seriousness with which this band takes its art. With song titles such as "This Song: For The True And Passionate Lovers Of Music," it's difficult not to chuckle when one ponders the fact that these guys might not have their tongues in their cheeks. There's a fine line between sincere and cheesy, and I have a difficult time deciding where these guys stand. The fact remains though that even if one is particularly annoyed with Hulud's melodrama, it doesn't carry over into the music itself (it could have if Geert employed clean singing, etc.), and it definitely shouldn't preclude anyone from enjoying this album. If nothing else, the group's proclivity for deep-thinking has produced some very interesting and thought-provoking lyrics, which are are vaguely akin to excerpts of dark poetry. The layout is effective, though not earth-shattering. As one might expect, the black and red color-scheme plays host to creative artwork revolving around blood, the body, and the heart. The production is slightly less satisfactory, though certainly adequate. The mix is good, but the overall dynamic range of the rhythm section is lacking, and the entire album needs just a bit more punch. Yes, I'm being petty, but again, when you take this long to release a record, you need to nail this stuff. Bottom Line: If I was to compare this album to a baseball game, I'd chalk this one up as a fairly decisive victory. And while "That Within Blood Ill-Tempered" is not homerun after homerun, there aren't any strike-outs either. Maybe a foul or two and a seventy year-old batboy... ok, fuck baseball. Essentially, this is a very good album, with a few brilliant moments (eg. "Let Us At Last Praise The Colonizers Of Dreams"), and a few mediocre ones as well (eg. "Ending The Perpetual Tragedy"). Be patient though; the more you listen, the more you'll enjoy.


Post Comment
anonymous 11/13/2006 6:25:15 PM

"nothing short of a masterpiece can appease month after month of growing expectations. So essentially, a potentially great album finds itself in "good album" territory, simply because Shai Hulud fans were expecting nothing less than amazing." okay, i'm pretty sure that this should have nothing to do with an unbiased, objective review of any album. the review is written and the damage is done, but for anyone that does read comments; this albums is not a 70% effort. Shai Hulud is a great band

anonymous 5/21/2007 7:12:48 PM

^ well agreed

alex_ 8/3/2007 10:41:01 AM

"the review is written and the damage is done" - yes, i'm sure that my review has done much damage to Shai Hulud. I really layed into em there.

Quesadilla_ 5/8/2008 1:31:02 PM

gay review. 10/10, are you kidding me? This cd will stay with me forever, frick

anonymous 9/8/2013 9:46:23 AM

love the band, but this is my least favorite release by them