Intent – Sins of the Past EP

Arizona warriors, Intent, released one of the heaviest thrash albums of recent years in 2022, thanks in no small part to their drummer, Garrett Loper. Sadly, he passed away in May this year, leaving the band with a huge void to fill. For all its muscle and bustle, 2022’s Exile LP came close to overwhelming the listener. Scream Blast Repeat called it ‘a record that will devastate you with its formidable might, but its duration can be exhaustive unless you pace yourself.’ We observed that ‘a few anxious glances at your watch towards the end prevent you from getting the most out of it, despite its high pedigree.’ This year the band decided to revisit material from their 2018 Vox Populi debut album with a view to giving their favourite cuts the proper studio attention they deserved. The result is Sins of the Past – a new three-track EP of old songs.

Intent are thrash metal in the mould of Enforced and High Command but with less of the crossover zeal. Opener, ‘Number 12 (Looks Just Like You)’, starts with a volume swell straight from the Persistence of Time era of Anthrax and works through eleven riffs and two extravagant solos in four minutes. Your limbs will find it hard to settle when all four musicians lock into a head-banging frenzy of stop-start contortions. Loper’s drums are thunderous in the mix. Jeremy Lambert’s voice reckonings pierce through the distortion like Riley Gale (RIP) of Power Trip. Somehow, he finds the right balance between screaming and sermonising before leading the band into their final march with a flurry of open-string triplets.

‘Insight’ follows like a mop-up operation. Half-accented riffs make way for a crunchy gallop, working through five different parts before the vocals enter. The guitarists waste no time digging into the fretboard for the flamboyant lead action, but Garett Loper is the star of the show here with a heroic performance behind the kit. Listen how he navigates from a vintage Metallica flex of the bicep to a darker Slayer expedition reminiscent of their iconic ‘Season in the Abyss’ mood piece. His hand and foot techniques resemble a hungry artillery gun devouring ammunition. See if you can stop your hands and legs fidgeting throughout the pulverising action.

The band’s debut single, ‘Network Failure’, receives the re-recording treatment for the closing track. It’s unusual for a thrash band to devote fifty seconds of the intro to a bass guitar trying to shred like its higher-register cousin of the six-string family, and it feels a bit flat when the drums establish their beat. Nonetheless, the devastating assault that emerges from this is worthy of the recent EP from California’s Dead Heat. Lambert reaches for a higher semitone of screaming once they test their arsenal with a succession of sharp riffs and frantic drum fills. There’s no doubt that Garett Loper will be difficult to replace when they come to write their third album. 

All signs in the Intent camp point towards a determination to continue despite the heartbreaking death of their drummer. As skilled self-producers of their music, it would make sense to regroup and start again. Sins of the Past is the sound of a band in flux but still in control of their destiny.



Release Date: 25/08/2023

Record Label: Self-released

Standout track: Number 12 (Looks Just like You)

Suggested Further Listening: Dead Heat – Endless Torment EP (2023), Death Angel – Frolic Through the Park (1988), Must Kill – Cause and Effect EP (2023)