Shai Hulud/Another Victim - A Whole New Level of Sickness (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Shai Hulud / Another Victim

A Whole New Level of Sickness (2000)


Shai Hulud is probably one of the best hardcore bands out there right now. I guess that's a pretty bold statement to start a review with, but I guess I'm just bold that way. Few bands really manage to mix the composite sounds that make up Shai Hulud. You've got this guy, just fully screaming his head off, and you've got this achingly sad melody in the background. Throw in some insightful, and genuinely pained lyrics, and you're looking at Shai Hulud.

The sad thing is that Shai Hulud hasn't put out a new record in awhile, which sucks, but they've been busy putting out splits, and auditioning singers. Their last split, three powerful tracks with the infamous Indecision was staggeringly good. After I heard it, I had to go dig up their other stuff. And suffice to say, I've got just about everything. Check out the Shai Hulud page at Trustkill or the Unofficial Shai Hulud Page here for more about the old releases.

But on to the new. The newest recording, A Whole New Level of Sickness is a split with the ever popular, and underrated Another Victim. I suppose they should get equal billing in this review, but sadly, I'm a die hard Shai Hulud fan, so the Shai gets their name in lights. There is one new track, which is, like much of their past material, truly anguished, and truly brilliant. But the next two, are quite a departure for any hardcore band. Covers of classics by both Bad Religion and NOFX. Like a lot of your who got into hardcore, I started out listening to Bad Religion and NOFX, so they always have a special place in my heart, and hearing one of my new favourites covering an old favourite is always a treat. The first, is the track Anesthesia, from Bad Religion's Epitaph days. Out of all the Bad Religion songs, it probably fits Shai Hulud best. Though, I'm still not completely sure what it's about.

Linoleum, is probably one of the most uplifting NOFX songs, and is undoubtedly my favourite in ages. Shai Hulud throws their new vocalist at it, and doubles the speed (which, if you know NOFX at all is quite an accomplishment), and somehow manages to keep the cynical optimism of the original.

Another Victim contributes 3 tracks of their own, and show more lyrical intelligence than most of the bands they're lumped in with. Don't confuse them with the fundamentalist drivel of No Innocent Victim, as I almost did when I saw the name, this is a forward thinking band with intelligent ideas of their own. In spite of the lyrical maturity, they were still a letdown after the three track onslaught of Shai Hulud.

All in all, a great split, though more than 50% of the greatness comes from half of the disc.