Sound — 8
Hearts Once Nourished With Hope And Compassion is pretty much the prime in early melodic metalcore. So many bands in both the modern metalcore and hardcore scene have drawn vast influence from them, because of how perfect they blend hardcore and metal. It doesn't sound like watered down melodic death, but it doesn't sound like brocore either. It's more of an ambient type of melodic hardcore album with metallic breaks, kind of like what you'd hear an early 2000's release, but less spazzy. The busy drums provide a motivating backbone, and the bass provides a nice backing groove.
Lyrics — 8
The vocals are perfect for the music; an angsty shout that doesn't come out as whiny, with fitting spoken portions. The lyrical content is quite eloquently written, in a well thought out, philosophical manner. It's a heartfelt expression, on a highly respectable level. "And they call me a fool as they do so well./Destroy the morality none have known for so long if ever at all/And I would lay down my life to birth a new generation of a righteous culture./To a people I could proudly love and cherish./For that's all I've ever asked for and been deprived of./Not a tear for those of flesh/Not a stayed hand for a world that prostitutes itself./Not a minute more of degeneration./Words cannot express my disappointment./Words cannot express my disapproval./So I hate."
Overall Impression — 8
I honestly rate this album so high for the classical value and Shai Hulud's impact on the genre. So many bands of so many styles of metal and hardcore list them as an influence, so many large bands these days have so many similar points. You can hear a little bit of Shai Hulud in Misery Signals, in Comeback Kid, 7 Angels 7 Plagues, and even See You Next Tuesday. It's just very powerful, and a definite must have for any fan of metallic hardcore.