(In this post TheMadIsraeli reviews the latest EP by Toronto’s Intervals.)
Aaron Marshall is really quite something. A guy just sitting in his bedroom fucking around with a love for all the elements modern metal contains, including the dreaded D-word, puts up a couple YouTube videos of himself playing his songs and he takes off after showing that he’s an instrumental metal tour de force.
Last year I reviewed his last EP under the Intervals moniker, The Space Between, and that EP is still a badass listening experience. Now he’s back with a new EP, the same killer line-up from the first EP, and his sound taken to the next level. This EP is instrumental technical groove metal of the best sort. I would try to pinpoint the influences but I really think Intervals have their own sound.
Here you’re going to find lots of low-tuned riffs with a propulsive, almost funk-like groove to them, soulful solos, and syncopation out the ass. The emphasis is definitely on modern djenty/tech-metal style riffing. There is a risk this EP would have fallen flat on its face if it weren’t for the fact Marshall knows how to write some delicious, catchy, dazzling guitar parts.
After the concussively heavy bob and weave sucker punch of “Alchemy”, the album’s true opener “Mata Hari” kicks in earnest with a main riff that’s absolutely hypnotizing. This is the kind of music that you hear, and the only thing you can say about it is that it’s “right”. The main riff hooks into you like a barb through the gills, the chorus and its corresponding lead are full of soul, and the solo that outros this song reeks of passion — and a bit of swagger, dare I say. The rest of this EP is just as good, absorbing and well-composed.
And of course the performances and mix are awesome. Aaron Marshall is proving himself to be quite a guitarist, while drummer Anup Sastry is making the case that HE IS one of the best modern metal drummers out there right now, especially in a groove-oriented setting. Matt De Luca on bass and Lukas Guyader on rhythm guitar also play their parts exceptionally well, but Marshall and Sastry are definitely the stars on this recording.
The mix is very crisp and full-sounding. That’s kind of atypical of modern metal nowadays, but it’s definitely needed here to give the music suitable warmth and clarity.
Rather than do the song-by-song thing here, I suggest listening to the stream of their EP below. It’s really good music — heavy, sophisticated, and catchy. Enjoy.