Shai Hulud took its name from the giant sandworms in Frank Herbert's novel Dune. With its fourth studio album, Reach Beyond the Sun, the pioneering Florida metalcore group continues with an innovative and near-futuristic take on a genre nearly 20 years old. "The Mean Spirits, Breathing" opens with the welcome return of original frontman Chad Gilbert, who'd previously been in New Found Glory. Here he screams with noticeably more texture and rasp than in preceding recordings; even during the melodic breakdowns, Gilbert sounds like a man who's been to hell and back. “I, Saturnine” follows, with a feral outburst of guitar distortion and throat-grating shouts that lean more on the band’s hardcore roots. The track comes in like a tornado, wreaking havoc for a minute and 46 seconds and then vanishing. Conversely, “Think the Adder Benign” plays like a melodic Black Flag song that’s stretched for nearly four minutes. But it’s “Medicine to the Dead” that stands out with a perfect balance of aggressive musical attack and exemplary original songwriting.
The Mean Spirits, Breathing
Reach Beyond the Sun
A Human Failing
Man into Demon: And Their Faces Are Twisted With the Pain of Living