Reach Beyond the Sun, the fourth entry in Shai Hulud's storied catalog, was produced by current NEW FOUND Glory guitarist, Chad Gilbert, and notably, vocalist on Hulud's debut LP Hearts Once Nourished With Hope And Compassion. In addition to producing, Gilbert also returned to sing on the album - his first offering of recorded vocals with the band in over a decade.
Not unlike Shai Hulud's previous releases, Reach Beyond The Sun was born of several years of toiling before ever entering a studio. The band's previous effort, Misanthropy Pure, a polished, metallic and frenzied piece of masterwork, is contrasted by the much more visceral, instinctively compositional songs found on Reach Beyond The Sun, an embracement of the raw hardcore/punk elements that sit at the cornerstone of the band's influences. Longtime bass player Mad Matt Fletcher asserts, "Anyone who really knows the band will agree this album is our definitive sound, encompassing all of our different influences and styles." He conclusively reiterates, "Yep, this sounds like Shai Hulud."
Lyrically, Shai Hulud continues to evoke deeper thought, and a range of true human emotions practically unique to the band as the modern underground often shies away from depth for fear of the vulnerability of inner exposure. Shai Hulud affirms "True strength is inviolate" in the song 'Monumental Graves', and introspectively queries "Is ours, indeed, a sunless path to waiting graves we prepare for ourselves?" and "Will we bring our hearts back to life?" in the songs 'I, Saturnine' and 'A Human Failing', respectively, boldly turning their insides out.
Regarding 'A Human Failing', a song about a generation willing to turn numb in lieu of a life of pain and feeling, guitar player Matt Fox comments "It's become 'cool' to be cold. No pun intended." In the interest of challenging misinterpreted notions of pessimism, the song 'Think The Adder Benign' professes "No, I do not believe roses only bloom just to conceal the thorns. I merely accept the thorn pricked finger bleeds" while 'To Suffer Fools' maintains the band's active frustration and misanthropy, a trait by which Shai Hulud are notorious: "Pour the salts of acumen straight into the eyes to recondition the mind."
Touring plans are already beginning to unfold for 2013, beginning with Shai Hulud's trek to Australia for the first time as part of Soundwave 2013, which also features METALLICA, BLINK 182, THE OFFSPRING, SLAYER, and many more.