Zax Record Review: Shadow Of Intent – Melancholy 8.5

zax

  • Shadow Of Intent
  • Melancholy
  • Deathcore, death metal
  • Connecticut, USA
  • August 16, 2019
  • 8.5/10

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After reviewing a few black metal records on this site I figured i’d change it up a bit, after all I enjoy all types of extreme metal, including deathcore. Deathcore is easily one of the most controversial extreme metal genres, because everyone has very strong opinions about it. I enjoy a great deal of deathcore myself, despite some of the more boring and generic bands and records in the genre. One of the biggest bands in the genre right now is Shadow Of Intent. Much like the genre they play, opinions on them are very divided.

I’ve been a fan for quite some time now, so naturally I was very excited to hear they were dropping their 3rd LP titled, Melancholy. They combine styles so seamlessly, from the most cutthroat downtempo deathcore to the most beautiful atmospheric deathcore. Vocalist Ben Duerr is easily one of the most talented vocalists in the deathcore scene. He’s up there with guys like Dickie Allen and Luke Griffin. His delivery is impeccable, and the way he switches from the deepest gutturals growls to evil sounding black metal-esque high screams is really something to behold. He also does these melodic shouts that aren’t quite clean or dirty vocals, the closest thing I can equate it to is Travis Ryan of Cattle Decapitation‘s weird yet amazing “cleans.” These vocals make for a great chorus on the track “Oudenophobia” which is a big favorite of mine on the album.

Now, to every death metal fan out there whose skin instantly crawls at the thought of the word core, you might still wanna give this one a chance. There are far less breakdowns than there have been on their last two albums, and the ones that are still here are very well placed and do nothing but add to the songs. It actually takes risks a lot of deathcore bands wouldn’t dream of. A 10 minute long juggernaut of an instrumental track that actually delivers is something very few deathcore bands could accomplish. That song is titled “The Dreaded Mystic Abyss” and is also the track where the bassist flexes his skills the most. The bass is thick and groovy throughout the whole album but it’s especially prevalent on that track. The guitar work, as per usual with this band, is absolutely amazing. Some of the most technical and crazy guitar work I’ve heard on a deathcore album in ages right here.

Artwork by swedish metal cover artist Par Olofsson who has also worked on covers for bands such as Aborted and Cannibal Corpse. I’m sure most of us are familiar with the cover for last year’s Terrorvision by now.Carcassbomb

All of this is accentuated by absolutely stellar production. It isn’t squeaky clean, but it makes this album sound larger than life. There are also some keys and synths thrown in the mix, and they sound phenomenal. Those small elements really add to the atmosphere of the project. The run length on this album is 52 minutes and it doesn’t overstay it’s welcome in the least, if anything the long run length makes the album feel like even more of an experience.

This band gets a lot of hate and I feel like a great portion of it comes from a place of elitism rather than any real criticism of their work. If you do dislike them, I’d still recommend giving this a listen, they might just surprise you. This album is definitely proof that deathcore is still very much alive and well.

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