Shadow of Intent - Melancholy

Band : Shadow of Intent

Album/EP : Melancholy

Genre: Symphonic Deathcore

Label : N/A

Location : Connecticut

FFO : Enterprise Earth, Signs of The Swarm, Lorna Shore

The production on this record is outstanding. They recorded everything except the drums themselves. The drums were tracked at The Grid in Montreal. Record was also mixed and mastered there. They have kept SOI pretty much DIY. I think branching out and having someone else do the mixing has made this album a step in the right direction. Which is what makes their success even better. Each track is different, but also collectively impressive. I personally think their shining element, is each members ability to write and continually improve. Granted Anthony Barone and Andrew Monias are new members, they still bring impressive writing to the table. What Chris Wiseman does on the guitar in mind blowing. Bens vocals seemed to have gotten lower, but he’s gotten better at annunciation. Which is sometimes hard to do in this line of music.

Each track flows insanely well. This collection of tracks rent entirely fast, but they are at a nice sped up pace. Since there are no sudden changes in timing, it makes it really easy to listen to. Im not entirely sure of a theme. I do know they are straying away from the usual Halo aspect most bands have come to enjoy. But thats okay, not every band needs to do the same shit over and over. In face, im a fan of bands that change it up a bit. You can’t grow as a musician if you only write to please your fans.

This album has replay value written all over it. I find myself listening to “Gravesinger” multiple times. The intro on it reminds me of Dimmu Borgir and I find it absolutely beautiful. The way SOI combined the background symphonic elements and Ben’s guttural onslaught is just gorgeous. 

Now there are a couple things different compared to their last album, Reclaimer. 

First, the symphonic elements in Melancholy aren’t as prominent. I feel they blend a little better in the background. Now in Reclaimer, they were still amazing. But I feel during some parts they were a focus. Either way im not complaining, both albums are fantastic. 

Second, in Reclaimer, I feel like every other song had some super sick breakdowns. Melancholy still has a couple, but its not the main focus. Chris/Ben/Anthony/Andrew stepped away from what Reclaimer was. They expanded on the symphonic element, and wrote something sonically different but equally impressive. Personally, they’ve achieved it. Melancholy is a beautiful blend of Symphonic Metal, while still keeping a couple key Deathcore elements. 

Third, lets talk about Trevor Strnad’s guest spot on the song. I remember Ben sending me a picture of Trevor recording his spot at their pad. I could not for the life of me figure out who it was. When he finally told me, I was so proud. They are big Black Dahlia Murder fans, and the fact Trevor was willing to do it, means they are definitely moving up in the industry. Lastly, they wrote a fucking instrumental song. At just over 10 minutes, The Dreaded Mystic Abyss is longer than any Metallica song. We all know Metallica writes some of the longest songs we’ve ever heard. It definitely goes through some groovy metal riffs, and some slow ambient parts. I feel this track definitely show cases the instrumental ability of the band. 

Overall, I love this record. Its a FANTASTIC listen from front to back. Its got some of the usual deathcore elements we have all come to know and love. But this record showcases the bands ability to expand their writing styles. If this is the direction that Shadow of Intent keeps heading in, they will be in route to become a national headlining act. 

Now I chose Gravesinger as one of the stronger songs for a couple simple reasons. It showcases the bands ability to write something massive sounding. Between Ben’s gutturals, Chris’s backing vocals, and the groove that Anthony and Andrew created, its just a perfect song. Also, as I just stated, it just sounds BIG. like, it will easily translate well into a live performance.

Star Rating: 10/10

Strongest Song: Gravesinger