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A positively themed metalcore band with some straight-edge and Christian leanings, the influential Shai Hulud have maintained a strong band identity since their original formation in the mid-'90s, even though their apparent inability to stick with one lineup, label, hometown, or even band name has left them with a convoluted history.
Shai Hulud formed in Pompano Beach, Florida, taking their name from the giant desert worms central to Frank Herbert's Dune mythology. The original lineup consisted of guitarists Matt Fox and Oliver Chapoy, bassist Dave Silber, and drummer Steve Kleisath, who split his time between Shai Hulud and Strongarm. Original singer Damian Moyal left the band during sessions for their first EP, 1997's A Profound Hatred of Man, replaced by Chad Gilbert in time for the band's full-length debut, Hearts Once Nourished with Hope and Compassion.
Over the course of several split EPs — 1998's The Fall of Every Man with Indecision, 2000's A Whole New Level of Sickness (Together on One Convenient Format) with Another Victim, and Crush 'Em All, Vol. 1 with Boysetsfire — the band's lineup continued its mutations, with new member Matt Fletcher first replacing Chapoy on guitar before shifting to bass, Gilbert leaving to play guitar in New Found Glory, and Kleisath leaving to form Further Seems Forever with Dashboard Confessional's Chris Carrabba.
By the time the band recorded their second full-length album, 2003's That Within Blood Ill Tempered, the lineup had moved from Florida to Poughkeepsie, New York, and settled down to a relatively stable quartet: new recruit Geert van der Velde on vocals, Fox, Fletcher, and drummer Tony Tintari. After van der Welde departed the band in 2004, Fletcher and Fox announced that Shai Hulud was disbanding following a brief farewell tour (with Gilbert temporarily returning on vocals) and the pair was forming a new band, the Warmth of Red Blood.
Following the 2005 release of the wryly titled odds-and-sods compilation A Comprehensive Retrospective: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Release Bad and Useless Recordings, Fletcher and Fox reversed course, and in the spring of 2006 announced that Shai Hulud were re-forming with a new lineup featuring singer Eric Dellon (who is also in Fletcher and Fox's tongue-in-cheek thrash side project Zombie Apocalypse), second guitarist Ryan Burns, and drummer Brian Go. The re-formed Shai Hulud signed with Metal Blade Records and began work on a new album in the summer of 2006, while former label Revelation Records released a compilation called A Profound Hatred of Man that gathered the EP of that title along with all of the non-LP and split-EP tracks the band recorded between 1997 and 2001.