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Intervals

A Voice Within

Written by: LF on 03/03/2014 23:21:24

Of releases I've been looking forward to this year, the debut album by Canadian/US four-piece Intervals is certainly high on the list. Their recent addition of vocalist Mike Semesky (also the vocalist of Raunchy) has ended their time as a purely instrumental progressive metal project, and I've been curious to see just how well that transition would go.

When I saw them live in January on their European tour with Protest the Hero, TesseracT and The Safety Fire, it was evident that most of the songs played were written as instrumental tracks which had been adorned with lyrics as an afterthought, with the effect being that the vocals did not add much to the overall sound. That little problem has certainly been taken care of here. From time to time the guitars will play parts of the melody with Semesky, but mostly it's his voice alone carrying the insanely catchy melodies, freeing up the guitarists to work on their insane riffing and little innovative swirls. First track "Ephemeral" is a prime example of this. Complex and heavy with a vengeance, it still accomplishes being one of the catchiest tracks of the album in all its melodic glory, not least thanks to the way Semesky's clean vocals interact with the towering guitars. As a testament to their progressive influences, some of the songs float into very jazzy territory from time to time, not least "Moment Marauder" with its wonderfully rooted temper and jazz-fusion keyboard-parts. I could also highlight its insanely catchy chorus, but there would be no point as all the melodies of this album could stick to your brain with incredible force, they're that good.

Come the middle track we get the all-instrumental "Breathe", which serves as a calming interlude, preparing our ears for probably the most attractive song of the album: "The Escape". The melody of its bridge which is insanely catchy on its own is complemented by ecstatic little guitar tweaks, which make my mind implode every time I hear them even after a week of endless replay. The progressive metal opus that is to end the album is the title-track "A Voice Within". It's in some ways a tour de force in all the excellent elements that have been heard throughout the album. Spanning eight and a half minutes, it slithers its way into your brain with intricate jazzy instrumentation only to blast off into a pumping chorus that really builds up some tension. After a while it breaks down and finds its way into a seamless slow guitar piece with airy vocals that end on a refrain of one of the most beautiful and most memorable vocal lines of the recording.

As such this is a really sexy record. It's catchy, complex and heavy and achieves this brilliant mix without compromising any of those three qualities at any time. This is not an achievement to overlook and "A Voice Within" is a spectacular debut album that cements Intervals as a name to be reckoned with in the domain of brilliantly melodic technical metal.

Download: The Escape, Ephemeral
For The Fans Of: Periphery, Between The Buried And Me, Sikth, TesseracT, Circles
Listen: facebook.com/intervalsmusic

Release Date 04.03.2014
Self-released

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