"These guys are unbelievable. They somehow manage to blend this fabulous concoction of heavy riffs, melodic metal/hardcore, gut-wrenching vocals, and raw emotion. It makes you feel angry and sad at the same time. I don't know how they do it but it is frickin' awesome! I love this album and I love Shai Hulud. Musicians and songwriters this creative, innovative, and talented should get way more recognition than they do. Check out their other work, too. You won't be disappointed."
RxxktheVote | 07/05/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This Cd is a must have. This is for anyone who likes hardhitting drumwork, powerfull vocals, and melodic hardcore that hits u like a ton of bricks. You cant get anymore emotional than Chad, and hes still so young. Theses guys are the real deal and they have certainly changed my life. Theres not many bands that I would devote my time to reviewing, but I support them all the way. I also had the pleasure of seeing them live. They tore up the stage and everyone went nuts. I also had the pleasure of speaking with them, they are as down to earth as your gonna get. I wish them the best of luck and cant wait for new material."
email@example.com | Chicago, IL | 01/09/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I went through a period of time where i was listening to this cd at least twice a day for a span of a month. At such a young age, these guys are really going to become favorites. Chad has an awesome voice and hes only 17(thats what i hear). Some may consider them emo core, maybe because of the guitar harmonics. The beats Steven puts out on the drums is radical and unpredictable. The poetry and emotion in each song is very powerful. Some how it all fits nicely into a great cd and a must for anyone who loves hardcore."
Still One Of The Most Influential Hardcore Records Ever
"To put it simply, I will say that when Shai Hulud were at the top of their game (1997 with this release) there are very, very few hardcore bands that can even get on the same level as they were. Aside from Poison The Well's "Opposite Of December" and Skycamefalling's "10.21", I still consider this to be one of the most important hardcore records to be released in the late 90's. The funny thing is modern day hardcore and metalcore bands for years now have been taking from what Shai Hulud pioneered on this record, particularly the emotionally introspective lyrics, and the heavy, anger-fueled music. Make no mistake this is not an "emocore" record in the least, or what you would initially think it to be like. When people refer to Shai Hulud as emotional hardcore, they are referring to their lyrics and their passion for their music. What is found on "Hearts Once Nourished With Hope And Compassion" is a collection of 9 of the most intense and amazing pieces of music ever created in any genre. Shai Hulud were definitely in a league of their own, and unfortunately not long after this release member changes and long droughts in between recordings (their next record after this didn't surface until 6 years later) would ultimately bring the band down. However "Hearts Once Nourished With Hope And Compassion" is a seminal record for the hardcore genre, and proves that Hardcore bands can indeed make beautiful music. The album saw the band with their strongest lineup, and their best effort musically, and is ultimately the essential recording from the band.
Most people can't believe upon first listen that the vocalist for this band at the time was Chad Gilbert, now guitar player for the highly revered pop-punk act New Found Glory. However Chad does an amazing job vocally on this cd, and he really knows how to relate the band's messages to the fans. His screams sound full of anguish and despair, and makes the extremely thought provoking messages behind Shai Hulud's songs communicate that much better. Listening to him scream "by defending those I love with my life" on the opening track "Solely Concentrating On The Negative Aspects Of Life" perfectly illustrates this point. If you are looking for a lot of melodic singing and lovely choruses, Shai Hulud is probably not the band for you.
The lyrics on this album are nothing less than amazing. This has always presented a slight problem for the band, because some people tend to think that Shai Hulud are just a bunch of angry guys yelling about how much they hate everything. However the real messages Shai Hulud are trying to communicate through their songs are how there are so many things wrong with the world and mankind, and only by understanding what is wrong with ourselves and our world, can we fix them. Like found on "A Profound Hatred Of Man" where Chad offers "this world will pass away/ and my emotions with it/ why should i strive for acceptance/ and piece of mind?" or on the fan favorite "My Heart Bleeds The Darkest Blood" where Chad simply screams "My heart is cold is stone/ I laugh at the pain". Very few bands in any genre can match up to the intellegiance and sensibility of Shai Hulud's lyrics.
Musically the band is just as amazing as they are lyrically. Matt Fox and Oliver Chapoy had such an outstanding trade off relationship when it came to guitar playing, and songs like "This Wake I Myself Have Stirred" and "Outside The Boundaries Of A Friend" show just that. The guitar playing is so intricate and excellently coordinated, that I often times find myself just saying "Wow" at the things these two pull out of the bag. Dave Sibler (who wrote one of Shai Hulud's most famous quotes in the linear notes of the cd booklet, which read "as a band, we make no claim to any one creed, deep philosophy or religion") and Jason Lederman give the band the perfect backbone, as they can devastate during the breakdowns, or elevate the hyper fast rhythms. With "For The World" and "Beliefs And Obsessions" the band is at the top of their game, and they show they are just as capable of devastating as they are of sounding sensible.
All in all this album is just as amazing today as I'm sure it was back when it was released in 1997. If you are a fan hardcore then you owe it to yourself to listen to "Hearts Once Nourished With Hope And Compassion". Unfortunately this would be the best offering Shai Hulud has ever given us. Their next album "That Within Blood Ill Tempered" would not arrive until 2003, and by then the only original member that performed on this record that was still in the band was Matt Fox. Despite the fact that Shai Hulud is now relatively inactive and some members are pursuing other projects, there's no denying the influence that "Hearts Once Nourished With Hope And Compassion" has had on the hardcore music world. Listen to any modern day hardcore or metalcore band, and especially the lyrics, and I guarantee you'll be hearing remnants of Shai Hulud. Shai Hulud truely stood out in their scene when they first appeared, and still continue to influence bands today, almost 9 years after this album was released. Hardcore and Metalcore fans alike owe it to themselves to listen to truly one of the most inspirational and original hardcore bands of their time. To sum it up, I can describe this album in two words: Absolutely Perfect."