Shadow Of Intent Changes Society’s View Of The Metal Genre

Shadow Of Intent’s History And Album Review

*Shadow of intent discusses things like death, suicide, war, and the afterlife.  The lyrics can be quite dark and triggering. This warning is to heavily advise before listening and reading.

Shadow of Intent formed in Connecticut 2013 or 2014 by a vocalist named Ben Duerr and guitarist Chris Wiseman. They original formed as a two man studio project. The bands name and lyrics were deprived from the games and books of the Halo franchise. The band first two albums were about Halo (a video game series at first but books came later with other elements of a lore franchise), the first was about the Forerunner and Flood war that setting was way before the games took place, the second takes place during the games. After the first two albums shadow of intent changed their music from being bonded to the lore of Halo to darker and more personal awhile maintaining their element of fantasy and wander. The band music is built off of various sub-genres of Metal—these sub-genres are Metalcore, Death Metal, black metal, progressive metal, symphonic metal, melodic metal and Deathcore. Shadow of intent discusses things like death, suicide, war, and the afterlife and the lyrics and be quite dark so trigger warning is heavily advise.

Shadow of Intent Album Cover, Image from Google Images

The first album was released in January 10th, 2016, it is known as Primordial.  The first song of the album is known as “The Prelude to Bereavement,” its about the war between a species of aliens known as the Forerunners and the flood a corrupted being that was once a species known as the primordials.  In this album they were only a two man band at the time so in this album the drums were programmed. The song is presumably from the prospective of a being known as the Ur-Didact who is the leader of the warrior servants of the Forerunner Ecumene.

The second song in the album is called “The Shaping Sickness.”  It is most likely from the perspective of the Flood either after it had turned corrupted at the end of the war he or it is imprisoned in Delta from Halo also known as Installation 05.

“The Invoking of the Execution of Worlds” is the third song in this album. Like the second song there isn’t much information. “The cosmic Inquisitor” is the fourth song in the album and unfortunately couldn’t find any information. The fifth tract is called “The Didact’s Will” and I do know it is about the Didact and his fight with the Flood.  There’s not much information on the sixth track called “The Last Bastion.”

The seventh track is called “The battle of the Maginot Sphere.” This song focus on the Forerunner-Flood war which takes place 100,000 year before the events that happen in the games. It’s a about an event that takes place in the last few years of the losing war against the ever growing Flood.  It’s the last stand in the Forerunner/Flood War.

“The Aftermath in Jat-krula” is the eighth track in the album. The song is mostly an instrumental beside the last minute or two. The lyrics in this song are quotes from the Gravemind, a character in the books and games. The Name Jat-Krula is what the forerunners called the Maginot Sphere.

from google images of shadow of intent album cover
Shadow of Intent Album Cover, Image from Google Images

The second album was released in April 28th, 2017, it is called Reclaimer which name should ring a bell to those who are Halo fans.  Shadow of Intent, at this point no longer has two members but grew to five members.  The fifth member was a guest musician—Alex “Terrible” Shikolai.

The first album, Primordial, had no programmed drums and is the first to feature a unique player on each instrument. Reclaimer is the name given to a master chief, or humans, by the monitor of Installation 04 a Halo Ring.  So there was a lot of change between the two albums within the band and programmed music to live instrumental music.

The first track of this album is called “We Descend.”  It is about the events that take place in Halo 1 combat evolved, when Master Chief lands on the first discovered and found Halo Ring.  The song is from the perspective of Guilty Spark 343 who is the monitor of the Halo Ring known as Installation 04.

The second track is called “The Return.”  The song seems to be a run down of what happen to the Forerunners and the first few levels of Halo one Combat Evolved. The song mentions the Covenant going down to the surface of the Ring looking for the Cartographer and looking for control of the Ring.

The third track is called “The Horror Within.” This song talks about the event when the United Nations Space Command (UNSC) will go down to Installation 04 (Halo Ring 4) looking for weapons stash that was sealed within a facility. But when entering the sealed site they soon discovered why it was sealed as tight as it was for it was a prison to keep the remaining Flood that managed to survive past the Forerunner/Flood war and the firing of the Rings.

“The Catacombs” the fourth track in this album. Warning: this song is about suicide and is quite dark and disturbing.  This song is a continuation of the horror within Halo; its about one of the persons who went to the facility and this person is a marine who was grabbed by an Infection Form and it started to transform him into a Combat Form but was too weak to destroy his consciousness and he is left aware of his surroundings.  Unfortunatley, when he gets infected (Infection Form) he takes back control over his body temporarily and tries to take his own life just to lose control at the last second and is forced to return to the fight against his comrades.  So it’s a narrative about survival and this marine losses his life.

“The Mad tyrants Betrayal” is the fifth track. This song is about a betrayal from one of the one of the monitors in the series.  “The Gathering of All” is next song in the album. “The Gathering of All” is about when a captain of a ship in the franchise is captured by the Flood.  He later learns after going through some of his memories, the Flood realized he was far too important to be used as cannon fodder (a sacrifical pawn) and is instead taken to become what is called a prototype Gravemind. The Flood slowly tears apart his mind and man could literally feel his personality, his ego, his emotions, his memories, his conscious, his very being being ripped from him as he slowly fades and the flood drains the remaining of his life force… pretty graphic stuff! 

“The Heretic Prevails” is the seventh track. This song is about a fight between the chief and guilty spark in Halo 1. The fight is over the Index (something that holds all of the genetic information of all lifeforms in the galaxy) so Guilty spark can fire the ring. “The Forsaken Effigy” is the eighth. It’s about the fully formed and ancient Gravemind that was beneath the Library on the Beta Halo in Halo 2.

The Great Schism” is the ninth track in the album. This song is an instrumental. The song is supposed to represent the fight between the Master chief and one of the Prophets (one of the leaders of alien alliance known as the Covenant).  “The Mausoleum of Liars” is the tenth song in the album. The song is about the Halo Rings true purpose and what they were designed to do. It is an event in the franchise when a big portion of the Elites (a species of alien) discovers the truth about the Rings. It also mentions the Flood taking over High Charity which is a space ship that was part of the Covenant fleet.

The Tartarus Impalement” is the last song in the album. This song is about several things in the franchise. Midway through the song it mentions that the humans and the Covenant has been at for going on 27 years.  The song is mainly about the ending of one of the games, it is about a fight between a brute (another species of alien) the Master chief and the Arbiter (a rank in the Elites).

google images of shadow of intent album cover
Shadow of Intent Album Cover, Image from Google Images

The third album is named Melancholy and is the album that is tied to Halo-lore. “Melancholy” was released on August 16th, 2019. This album talks about death, afterlife, and suicide so be advised before listening. The word “melancholy” means a state of sadness or depression with no obvious cause.

The first song in the album is the same as the title of the album. This song is about “Melancholy” and the fall into depression and hopelessness one can feel while in such a state of mind.

The “Gravesinger” is the second in the song. The song is about an evil goddess known as the Gravesinger that has the power to cause mass suicide of the creatures of earth. The record is about a journey through the underworld in an attempt to return to the land of the living.

Shadow of Intent’s three albums Primordial, Reclaimer, and Melancholy all cover serious topics in society and relevant content, as well as Primordial and Reclaimer relating to the Halo franchise and other game-lore, all three Metal albums relate to listeners of all genres and relatability.