Shadow of Intent – Reclaimer (Self-Released)

Friday, 5th May 2017
Rating: 8/10

Shadow of Intent first found this scribe with last year’s Primordial, an album that saw the symphonic death(core) band using progressive leads and melodic riffs to enhance their overall formula. Those who checked out the album will be quite pleased to know that the band has continued to refine (and define) themselves in a way that eschews a traditional label. As such, Reclaimer finds itself to be an album that should find a wide audience reach.

Technical riffs, progressive melodies, strong and memorable leads, breakdowns, mood-setting synths, guttural roars, and even some clean(ish) vocals make their way into Reclaimer. It may sound like a tall order to squeeze all of these components into the music, but Shadow of Intent find a way to seamlessly blend the different facets of their music into an approach that should be easily enjoyed. Part of this is by not tossing everything into every single track, and not relying on one method of attack to carry them through. Some tracks take a more progressive approach, like “The Great Schism,” some take a more direct and brutal approach (“The Catacombs”), and others lead to more epic and synth-enhanced moments (“The Tartarus Impalement”). But regardless of approach, the use of contrasting melodies amid the brutal structure keeps the album feeling uniform in tone. You’ll appreciate the alteration in tone as the album progresses but it’ll never feel disjointed.

Lots to take in and absorb over the course of Reclaimer, which should lead some fans into a more detailed dissection of its contents. That feature alone proving Shadow of Intent’s excellent use of layering and using a wide variety of approaches to accomplish their goal. Those who enjoy the more modern side of death metal are bound to be impressed.

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