The additional information accompanying the promo for the debut album from Canadian band Intervals, declares that the quartet is ‘set to be the most exciting new progressive metal prospects of 2014 with the release of debut album, A Voice Within’. As their offering seduces and fascinates it really is impossible to disagree, the nine track adventure a magnetic kaleidoscope of sonic colours, inciting textures, and contagious adventures. With a technical craft to match its progressive enterprise, the self-released A Voice Within, with distribution across Europe by Basick Records, is a maze of diverse and inventive flavours which captivates and absorbs from start to finish.
The Toronto hailing Intervals was formed in 2011 by guitarist Aaron Marshall and took little time in earning a well-respected and acclaimed presence with their evocative instrumental soundscapes. With a line-up completed by guitarist Lukas Guyader and drummer Anup Sastry (Jeff Loomis / Skyharbor), the band released two well-received EPs, The Space Between and In Time in 2011 and 2012 respectively, as well as playing and touring with the likes of Texas In July, Northlane, Structures, The Kindred, The Color Morale, Misery Signals and more. Last year a new direction was taken by the band, not so much in sound though that was unavoidably affected, but with the joining of vocalist Mike Semesky (formerly of The Haarp Machine). Work began on their first album last September with Jordan Valeriote (Silverstein, Structures, Counterparts) and what has emerged is a riveting triumph taking the band to new scintillating levels and you can only expect greater spotlights.
The first single taken from the album Ephemeral opens up the endeavour, the track taking no time to immerse the ears in the technical skill and inventive breath of band and release. Bass and drums instantly cast a web which entangles and excites the senses whilst the guitars flirt and dance with the imagination. It is a potent start enhanced by the melodic tones of Semesky, his expressive and fluid delivery holding hands with the melody rich flames licking from within the sinew framed opener. Sculpting an aurally scenic venture which intrigues and draws in thoughts with ease, it is only hindsight and not its company which suggests the album’s introduction is merely an appetiser to greater things ahead.
That suggestion arises straight away with the following Moment Marauder, the song a compelling temptation which enslaves and dances with the passions from its initial melodic caress and technical invention. Winding jazz bred imagination around precise and bewitching temptation, it seduces with almost mischievous glee as the vocals stroke and coaxes the emotions as irresistibly as the complicated breeze of sounds surrounding them. Dazzling bordering on disorientating , the ingenuity and sculpting of the song is a virulent lure but one which never indulges itself, each transfixing technical exploit matched by an openly accessible and infectious hook or sweeping groove aligned to the persistently persuasive vocals.
Automation and The Self Surrendered struggle just slightly to match the album’s first pinnacle, though both build their own plateaus to rigorously enthuse over. The first offers an almost pop rock swagger within its progressive and technical mesmerism, the melodies and contagious assets framed by muscular rhythms which take no prisoners but equally have a respect leaving ardour rather than wounds. It’s equally smouldering and vivacious bait is swiftly matched by the second of the two, a song which has voraciousness to its opening technical gambit which it then lends to the rest of its potently catchy and provocative body. As all the tracks, the melodic canter never settles into one gait or stance for long, the ever evolving and twisting emprise coming with flared nostrils and irrepressible passion.
After the brief elegant instrumental Breathe, the song allowing that very action before the next spiral of adventure, The Escape confronts the ears like a frantic acrobat, leaping through and wringing out its sonic narrative upon a mouthwatering canvas of inventive hues and emotion. Its beauty is replaced by the fiery landscape of Atlas Hour, technical poise and passionate energies once again offering a journey of unpredictable and persistently shifting scenic inspiration clad in formidable rhythms aligned to just as forceful riffs.
Siren Sound confronts the senses next, the song a whirl of almost carnivorous jagged riffs and rhythmic antagonism reined in by the ever impressive vocals and harmonies. As the second song on the album, the track explores and unveils that something extra, something which sparks a furnace in the imagination and passions in comparison to the fierce blazes spawned elsewhere. There is a predatory instinct to the song too which inspires everything from the skill and hunger of the band to the uncompromising sounds themselves, and all engulfed in an irresistible seduction. The track steps up to offer a real challenge to the brilliant Moment Marauder for best song accolades, the pair then tested by the closing title track. Bringing the outstanding album to a tremendous close, the song stomps and teases the passions with a weave of severe rhythms, awe inspiring technical artistry, and simply unbridled adventure.
Offering a kind of mix of Circles and Beneath the Buried and Me with TesseracT, but something different again, A Voice Within is an exceptional encounter and yes as suggested the evidence of something new and exciting emerging. The evolution to include vocals and new adventures by Intervals might just be the boldest most inspirational move from any band in recent times too.
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