Shadow of Intent Credit: Joe Flannery

New England deathcore quartet Shadow of Intent have a pretty cool gimmick I wouldn’t mind seeing more often: they like to release instrumental versions of their music. In 2017 they released The Instrumentals, a compilation of songs from their two previous full-lengths, Primordial and Reclaimer, with the vocal tracks removed. Their new full-length, Melancholy, a loose concept album about a cruel cult that follows a ghostly protagonist who’s sacrificed to a death goddess in the opening track, is available both with and without vocals. The instrumental version of Melancholy shows off Shadow of Intent’s growth over their four albums (counting the compilation) with its symphonic and technical flourishes, and it stands on its own as a solid listen rather than coming across as incomplete. Though it’s clear where the vocals are meant to be, which might tempt you to sing along, these are hardly songs for karaoke night—you’d be hard pressed to live up to multifarious front man Ben Duerr, who wrings all the gruesome nuance out of the album’s narrative with his powerhouse presence, grueling gutturals, and tortured high notes. Shadow of Intent were originally a studio-only project, but the addition of bassist Andrew Monias and drummer Anthony Barone in 2018 enabled them to tour. This show is part of their first headlining run.   v