Album Review: Shadow Of Intent – “Elegy” (Melodeath)

Written by Zax

  • Shadow Of IntentElegy
  • Melodic Death Metal from the United States
  • Released independently on January 14th

In 2019, Shadow Of Intent dropped their 3rd record Melancholy and absolutely rocked the extreme metal scene, though I’ve been a fan of them since early 2017, just months before they released their second album Recreant.

For a while, defending Shadow Of Intent wasn’t the easiest thing, as their first two records were straight up deathcore, and no matter how great they were, there are always people chomping at the bit to shit on deathcore. I’ll never forget the quasi-validation I felt when Melancholy thoroughly blew everyone away, finally everyone saw what I had been seeing, and as the band seemed to get better with each passing album, they appeared untouchable as far as anyone could tell.

I won’t beat around the bush any further, last week they released their newest album Elegy, and I believe it’s their worst to date. It feels kind of unfair to say that, because this is not a bad album. I never review records that I don’t fully enjoy, but when juxtaposed with the rest of their catalog, it’s hard to ignore that this feels like a step back. There’s such an abundance of memorable moments and intense emotional performances on Melancholy that really make the album unique, and Elegy just doesn’t have those to nearly the same extent. Melancholy was unique because of it’s striking fusion of symphonic deathcore and melodic death metal, meanwhile Elegy has seen the band do away with all of their deathcore influence and a lot of the symphonics.

Artwork by Pär Olofsson

I do recognize how unfair it is to only compare this record to their former work, so let’s remove it from that context for a bit and talk about where this record does actually work. Put simply, it’s just a rock solid, meat and potatoes melodic death metal album. The production is pretty fucking stellar. The riffs are thick, meaty and fairly catchy as well. Of course Ben Duerr does a fantastic job with the vocals, dude’s a beast. The mixing is also pretty top tier. It’s a quality album, just not a wholly distinctive one. I feel like a ton of different bands could’ve made this, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I’ve just come to expect more from these guys.

So here’s the deal, I can absolutely recommend this album to anyone. I do believe it’s a generally agreeable and substantially brutal listen, but if you are a Shadow Of Intent fan as I am, I urge you to temper your expectations accordingly.