Connecticut/Rhode Island band Shadow Of Intent has put their name into the deathcore community and has been getting massive popularity in the last couple of years. After creating a masterpiece from 2017’s Reclaimer which took everything from their debut Primordial and have showcased us growth, maturity and a fantastic representation that they’ve combined all of the best genres, put it inside of a blender and have created a modern day essential. Melancholy, is perhaps the best Shadow Of Intent record they’ve ever done and I was fortunate enough to have early access to hear the entirety front to back.
Right off the bat, this is extremely technical, progressive, melodic, blackened, symphonic driven release while incorporating some black metal signatures preferably to Norway’s Dimmu Borgir due to the spoken words. Lyricist Ben Duerr is perhaps one of the most versatile, understandable, recognizable and perceptive songwriters in today’s modern era and this right here proves why his talent, artistic expressions and musical layers of intelligence and originality makes him a very remarkable individual. Melancholy takes off right after Reclaimer came out but, there’s differential equations, atmosphere, and the dynamics have significantly improved majorly. Whole Reclaimer and Primordial were conceptual albums based off Microsoft’s popular video game franchise Halo, Melancholy takes different subject matters from life, death, suicide, depression, and many metaphorical themes which is essentially given or taken that this is the most diverse, complex and organic releases they’ve ever done and I was on the edge of my seat.
Both the musical, lyrical and production department is beyond magnificence without shadow of a doubt. This album also introduces some guest features including The Black Dahlia Murder’s Trevor Strnad with the song Barren and Breathless Macrocosm which both vocalists unleash fire and brimstone who’s contributions to the song became a instant favorite of mine and it truly shows how much melody, progression and executed signatures paid off. Tracks such as Melancholy, Embracing Nocturnal Damnation, The Dreaded Mystic Abyss and Gravesinger provide fantastic guitar work which is reminiscing to a neo-classical inspired melodic approach as each counterpart represents exploiting textures and momentum shifts displayed on the album is superb. There’s also traces of symphonic-esque keyboard work adding nice orchestral touches giving the album a much rather creative and diverse intake.
These young musicians not only are very passionate into their working craft but hearing such impressive skills of technique and appreciative soundscapes adding elements of symphonic, technical, melodic and even brutal death metal is surprising to see Shadow Of Intent finding their innovative sound and finding yourself into a journey alongside the expressive and associated leads is what makes Melancholy so unique compared to most deathcore albums in the last decade or so. Shadow Of Intent’s Melancholy is simply put, a massive improvement over Reclaimer and for a album knows how to respectively play their rolls keeping the disastrous sound simple and sweet. If you’re fans of As Blood Runs Black, Winds Of Plague, Make Them Suffer, Until We Die and Rings Of Saturn then I’m more than sure Melancholy will find something to satisfy old and newcomer fans from Shadow Of Intent.
Overall Score: 10/10
Review by Jake Butler