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REVIEW: Shai Hulud – A Comprehensive Retrospective

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By Temple A. Stark, Casa Grande, Arizona. RSS FEED

If I cared enough I’d try and find out what the band’s name “Shai Hulud” means. But I don’t.

They have a new album, a collection of past death metal haunts titled A Comprehensive Retrospective Or How We Learned To Stop Worrying And Release Bad And Useless Recordings.

Hey, they said it first.

I found myself waiting for gaps amid the guttural garbled babel to figure out whether there was anything left worth salvaging.

Yes.

Eventually.

On track 12, the 39 seconds — instrument tuning, conversation, room noises – that start “Bunch” and the instrumental “And” are the best moments of the disc. Need I say, they are without vocals? And “And” shows that these guys can bang and play. The 7-second, spoken-word “Plus” had its moments, as well.

It’s just not my cup of already-scabbing blood.

Anyone who thinks I should enjoy the rooting, grunt sounds of (the majority of) death metal should only blame the band Candlemass, not myself. That is, early Napalm Death and especially Candlemass’ lead singer, with his white-faced, afro-haired-atop-round-rubbery ugliness that has stayed with me as the image of all “death rattle” metal as I used to call it in the late 80s when I thought about it (and then only to say things like: “Shiya man, but that group is just stupid. How can anyone enjoy being grunted to? So man, have ya bought the new Dread Zepplin ? Brilliant stuff that, innit?)

For those who dig, this disc brings in a trio of live songs from the New York University stop of the 1997 Crucial Chaos tour, plus a 1995 demo: containing “Hardly,” “Orwell,” “Unlearned,” “Sauve Qui Peut,” “This Wake I Myself Have Stirred,” and “Favor.” The final 15 tracks seem to have no name but are listed as “Plus .. A .. Bunch .. O’ .. Extra .. Stuff .. To .. Make .. You .. Wince, .. Mosh, .. And .. Profoundly .. Hate .. Mankind.

I’m sure someone at The Metal Show Podcast thinks I’m committing heresay here. But then, I’m not the one who named my band, Candlemass.

And I’m not the one who named my band Shai Hulud. (Scroll down for an audio sample.)

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About temple

Always been a writer, always maintained an interest in politics, how people communicate and fantasy worlds within photography and books. Previously wrote for Blogcritics back in 2005 and interested in exploring the issues and topics I'm interested - the changing landscape of entertainment. all from the POV of a creator first, consumer, second.
  • sonja valentine

    Shai Hulud comes from Frank Herbert’s science fiction epic series, Dune. Shai Hulud are the giant sandworms that inhabit the planet. i’m not a fan of the band, but i’ve read the book a gazillion times.

  • SFC Ski

    More interesting than anything the band has released is the translation of the words “Shai Hulud; roughly it means “Most Revered Thing” that is, it is awe inspiring and beyond description.

  • http://www.templestark.com/blog Temple Stark

    Doh. It sounded vaguely familiar but I had no idea. Thanks Sonja. I’ve read the Dune seres only once, but usually I remember.

    The booklet that came with the disc was far more entertaining and lighthearted. And since I didn’t look at it until after I posted this review – it has a nice sketch of a big worm on the inside with someone astride it.