WORDS: Jim Forsyth
Progressive metal hasn’t exactly been thin on the ground with releases this year, instrumentals however is another story – enter INTERVALS, an already well established Prog Metal/Djent hailing from Canada.
INTERVALS have actually released an album earlier this year, and once again it is an instrumental piece. The album in question is a AVW, released on the band’s Bandcamp page is a lyricless version of their 2014 release A Voice Within. This release, The Shape of Colour, demonstrates the complexities that are INTERVALS.
AVW still felt refreshing and it was really nice to see this sort of content coming from the band, it was a nice angle on the music and showed how much work went onto the music behind the lyrics. The Shape of Colour makes for a marvelous listen, the technical aspects of all instrumental that Intervals are known for are very much there – but this time around the whole feel of the album of is super Jazzy.
I’m Awake is a very energetic, very sporadic opening track – it’s got a nice classic vibe too it. Both Aaron Marshall and Cameron McLellan (of Protest the Hero) are on top form for the song with lots of toing and froing between them and the drums of Travis Orbin (of Darkest Hour) follow the track incredibly. Sure Shot and Fable follow, these songs seem a touch tamer than I’m Awake, very easy listening but if you want to hear a beautiful saxophone solo then Fable is the track for you. These tracks aren’t exactly out of place, not in any way actually, they just show the writers versatility.
Track 4 is Sweet Tooth, a return to the super Jazzy-ness (?), McLellan’s bass lines are incredible – not doing its own thing, but following or leading for a few bars then handing over to Marshall whilst Orbin does crazy fills. It’s cracking, honestly. Black Box is probably the heaviest song all round, this is the only track that almost seems like it should have lyrics based on the songs structure, it feels like there is room for a vocalist in this track. The tracks heaviness doesn’t feel misplaced at all and sits very well amongst the rest of the album – it makes for a nice shake up in the albums roster.
Slight of Hand is the album’s longest and again a heavier track initially, as the song goes on it has a very nice mix between the heavy and the overarching Jazzy theme the whole album seems to ooze. Iconic songs such as Hotel California and Parisian Walkways come to mind when hearing this, not a bad thing at all really, this is a beautiful track.
The penultimate track on The Shape of Colour is Meridian, this is an incredibly traditional sounding song, with a bit of everything; a bit heavy, a bit of an anthem, a bit smooth. Almost as if this is several different songs wrapped up into one track, it’s really nice to hear this level of diversity going into a single song.
Libra draws the album to a close, very catchy riffs and rolling drum beats – given the experience of the previous 7 songs nothing about Libra is particularly dominant and stands out a whole lot. It is still masterfully written, expertly played and a dream to listen too, but again nothing particularly seems special about it.
The Shape of Colour is definitely one of 2015’s better releases and the better out of INTERVALS releases this year too, fresh content like this is awesome to hear out of a band that has a near constantly cycling roster. Highly recommended to all fans of Djent and Prog Metal, INTERVALS are a really nice project that produce some insane music. The market for Instrumental is wide but still feels very much untapped, The Shape of Colour shatters that mould entirely.
The Shape of Colour is set for release on December 4th.