SHAI HULUD – REACH BEYOND THE SUN
More honest, more real
More righteous than most. That’s right!
Shai Hulud are back!
(Our man BadWolf is trying a new review format with these quick takes on new releases by Portal (which I reviewed at length here yesterday), Head of the Demon, and Shai Hulud. Leave a comment and let us know what you think of this idea.)
Portal – Vexovoid
By this time many of you are already familiar with Australia’s Portal. They play a technical, alienating brand of death metal, a bit like Pyrrhon but sludgier, with more blunted riffage. The band’s imagery–hooded members and vocalist wearing a clock on his head—made a big splash at Maryland Deathfest. So big an impact, in fact, that I’d wager more people are familiar with the band’s image than their music—Portal is the only death metal band I can say that about, come to think of it. I found their 2011 album, Swarth, pretty unremarkable—another substance-free death metal record that sounds like it’s coated in mucus. That Swarth came out on Profound Lore, normally the best label I can think of, irked me more.
Now Portal’s back with Vexovoid, and maybe I was wrong to dismiss them. A little clarity in the production really shows off the technical aspects of their music—my inner Deathspell Omega fanatic did a little backflip while listening. I especially liked the song “Plasm,” which opens with a flurry of hypnotic blasting, then degenerates into foghorn distortion. I still hold some qualms: the titles and vocals still sound essentially like word-vomit, and Portal are aware that HP Lovecraft wrote fiction, not prophecy, right? Still, Vexovoid impressed me enough to warrant giving Swarth a second chance.
In December, the resurgent death/thrash brawlers from Living Sacrifice uploaded two new songs from their forthcoming album The Infinite Order, plus a video of one of those songs. Yesterday, they graced us with a third new one, called “Organized Lie.” It’s another galloping beast of angry, groove-oriented metal that confirms the new album will be worth the long wait since the band’s last full-length of all-new songs more than seven years ago. You can check it out here.
And there’s more headbangery ahead: the band promises yet another new song next Monday.
The Infinite Order will hit the streets on January 26, and LS will hit the road on January 15 with War of Ages, Shai Hulud, Lionheart, and The Great Commission.
We’ve been writing about Living Sacrifice quite a lot recently, but that’s because there’s been a lot of Living Sacrifice news recently. Oh yeah, and they’re also a killer band. And we’re writing about them again today because, why? Well, because there’s more (good) news of course.
Living Sacrifice and War of Ages will be co-headlining “The Abominable Snowtour” during the month of February, with Shai Hulud, Lionheart, and The Great Commission rounding out the line-up. There will be 21 shows in 23 days. No stops in the Pacific Northwest, or West of Texas for that matter, but we will be patient. All good things come to those who wait. On the other hand, good things sometimes also come to those who push and whine and nag the shit out of everybody.
Now, where was I? Oh yeah, the “Abominable Snowtour.” You can get all the scheduled dates and places after the jump.