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Shai Hulud: Reach Beyond The Sun

Florida progressive metalcore stalwarts rise again

After 18 years and so many lineup changes it’s become a bit of a joke, Shai Hulud return with their fourth album, this time featuring the vocals of Chad Gilbert, who joined the band at the age of 14 and then quit to find pop-punk fame with New Found Glory.

At this point in their career, they’re clearly not interested in messing with the formula that’s kept this often leaky boat afloat. Reach Beyond The Sun is a blast of incredibly earnest metalcore, shot through with progressive flourishes as opener The Mean Spirits, Breathing wheels in at full pelt before slowing to a pained battle through swampy riffs.

Songs smash each other out of the way along a relentless march of pain and the kind of anger that can only come from late nights stewing over perceived slights. All engines are set to serious, as you’d expect from a band with titles such as Man Into Demon: And Their Faces Are Twisted With The Pain Of Living. It may be somewhat lacking in variety and preaching to the converted, but there’s no questioning Shai Hulud’s intensity.