Album Review: Intervals – A Voice Within
Posted by Irmelinis
Release Date: March 4th 2014, self-released
Length: 50 minutes of seducing melodies
Genre: Exceptionally good progressive/melodic tech metal
Previous releases: The Space Between EP 2011, In Time EP 2012
Recommended for fans of: Between The Buried And Me, Protest The Hero, Periphery
Description: A really good metal album with heavy music and only clean vocals seems to be almost impossible to come by these days. But never fear, Intervals is here!
This Canadian band was formed 2011 by the guitarist Aaron Marshall as an instrumental project with Lukas Guyader on guitar and Anup Sastry (Skyharbor, Jeff Loomis) on drums. After two successful EP’s the band had earned a respectable reputation and a steadily growing fan base. They decided to abandon the instrumental sound and added Mike Semesky (ex-The HAARP Machine) on vocals for their first full-length ‘A Voice Within’. This turned out very much in the band’s favour, as they managed to fuse his soulful vocals nicely into their guitar-dominated style of metal without losing any of the distinctive features in their music. Mike Semesky, with his soothing, serious tone and contemplative lyrics, adds an unexpected feeling of balance making the spacey songs sound much more down to earth. It’s beautiful.
I thoroughly enjoyed seeing this band live (on tour with Protest The Hero and company) in the beginning of this year but it still took multiple listens before all the songs on the album clicked with me. The album is pretty dense and technical, but it’s okay because the tasteful, smooth melodies and super-catchy vocal hooks constantly make you want to come back for more and soon you’ll have it all figured out. First it was the delicious, graceful guitar work and the entertaining drums combined with seducing vocal melodies in ‘Automaton’ that caught my attention. The next one to hook me was ‘Atlas Hour’. A seven minute heavy, technical piece, full of heartwarming, passionate energy that half way through slows down to transform into the most unexpected, breathtaking post rock crescendo you have ever heard. Irresistibly good!
‘Moment Marauder’ is in many ways the most remarkable tune of them all, with its confident structure, stunning vocals and jazzy instrumentation; it’s quickly building up to a magnificent and inventive assembly of sounds. This album doesn’t leave you bored for a second. Listen for the perfectly placed breakdown at 2:30 in ‘The Self Surrendered’, the soft, whispered words in the middle and the violin-epic ending and try to not fall in love with these talented guys!
Fun fact: I like how there are references to their previous releases in the lyrics of the title track and how the first and the last song are connected, both including the lines “To feel, to see, to create, to dream, it is our duty to live while we can”.
Conclusion: ‘A Voice Within’ doesn’t sound like any other record. It shifts through many styles and is made with a striking sense for details and delicate arrangements; an incredibly strong debut album from a band that has the potential to go very, very far.
Members: Aaron Marshall (guitar), Lukas Guyader (guitar), Anup Sastry (drums, percussion) Mike Semesky (vocals)