[4th March 2014]
02. Moment Marauder
04. The Self Surrendered
06. The Escape
07. Atlas Hour
08. Siren Sound
09. A Voice Within
Intervals came into this world as an instrumental outfit, with their first two EP’s The Space Between and In Time demonstrating an impressive example of modern tech metal through the use of palm-muted guitar work and intricate drum patterns. Although not entirely unique in the djent forum, this “bedroom band” were able to set themselves apart from the masses with their futuristic and spatially themed explorations into their own soundscapes which earned them a solid online fanbase. Last year Intervals were joined by Ex-The Haarp Machine’s Mike Semesky and are now about to unleash their debut album A Voice Within, a piece of work that will challenge the support of their loyalist followers as it is the first time their music features vocals.
Immediately setting the tone from the outset, album opener “Ephemeral” leaps into a boosted guitar solo that makes shapes over the energetic and groove-based rhythm section. Mike’s vocals make a perfect introduction; lyrically asserting the change the band has gone through - “say goodbye to the world we knew” - he is able to establish powerful resonance in this new perspective the band have created as he glides over the instruments in an uplifting way. He comes into his own as the album progresses and his voice becomes an instrument in itself, and akin to their tech metal peers TesseracT, Circles and Shattered Skies, the vocals stay clean during the entire record.
It’s no doubt the band have a remarkable sense of arrangement, as heard in “Moment Marauder“. they seamlessly flow from a heavy rhythmic tone that sustains a melodic intensity before diving into an almost jazzy interlude, it’s a surprising change but it works perfectly. Further expanding in this context, the track “Atlas Hour” builds pace in its technical riffery and breaks into an instrumental section that mixes the experimental ambience of Isis with the playfulness of Sigur Rós. Unafraid of experimenting with arrangements this is a perfect example of true progression, with an appreciation for melody and hooks.
With excellent production work, all involved are able to prove their worth as a gifted set of individuals; the layered approach creates mountains of depth conveying a consistently rich listening experience. Melody and heaviness are both equally matched, all without hindering it’s overall beauty.
Their previous efforts visualise soundscapes that meandered into astral explorations, separating from the material state, yet it is elsewhere that A Voice Within plants itself. The songs stand on their own and uncommon with this genre, they disregard any transitional flow, reigning the listener back to reality, it forces us to focus on the one. The lyrics are a reflective collection of self-betterment statements that evoke an introspective approach allowing for an altogether more relational experience. Intervals sound more down to earth than ever and It is clear they’ve manage to do this all without compromising the integrity of their original sound.
It seems then that in leaving a remarkable imprint this debut album has delivered, Intervals can now step forward onto new ground having found their voice.