Nov 052012

(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.  Continue reading »

Dec 262011

(In the preceding post today, TheMadIsraeli reviewed the debut EP from Canada’s Intervals. In this post, he follows up the review with an interview of Intervals’ main man, Aaron Marshall.)

A short introduction before you read this interview.  Aaron was kind enough, and willing to take a risk, by obliging a bit of experimentation.  I interviewed him, real time, in a Facebook chat to see how it would come out, as opposed to an email interview.  In my opinion, this is one of the best interviews I’ve gotten.  Maybe I need to try this more often.

Israel: Hey man.  So about this interview, your call.  Do you want to do an emailer or are you willing to subject yourself to an experiment and do this shit right here on the spot?

Aaron: I have a few minutes before I give a guitar lesson so we can do this now if you like.

Israel: So how did this Intervals thing start? I’ve been following you since the “Still Winning” playthrough vid was posted. You’ve got a unique take on what I’m going to call the tech-djent style and I’m really impressed with The Space Between.

Aaron: Thanks dude. Glad you’re enjoying the EP! Intervals started as a sort of moniker or outlet for me to create under about 8 months ago. I was playing in a band for about 3 years at that point with my close friends and things had unfortunately appeared to have reached a ceiling. We were experiencing some creative and ethical differences, so it was time to part ways. It was the hardest decision I ever had to make, leaving a band comprised of my best friends, but music is not something I take lightly and it was make a move, or go insane. The video for “Still Winning” was literally a spontaneous decision on behalf of my good buddy Ben Dundas who is an aspiring film director. He showed up at my place with a camera, and that video is what came of that session! Continue reading »

Dec 262011

(TheMadIsraeli turns in this review of the new EP by Intervals, and in our next post, he follows it with an interview of the band’s main man, Aaron Marshall.)

Things are fucking busy at the NCS camp at the moment.  I’m busy doing my top albums of the year while also lining up and preparing some other good shit for the future (including following up on suggestions I requested, which I’ve finally got organized). So for now, it’s time for some quick reviews to fit in amongst our myriad of on-going year-end guest posts.

I’ve been following Aaron Marshall and his instrumental tech-djent experiment Intervals since he put up the first playthrough videos of his songs online.  The guy had obvious skill, catchy riffs, and bold, ambitious lead work that etched its way into my brain.  I’m not sure if he even originally planned to find a band to play this stuff with him, but sure enough he did, including YouTube djent drum-cover sensation Anup Sastry.  Now, under the Intervals name, they’ve released a debut EP by the name of The Space Between, and that’s the subject of this review.

This EP is 5 effective tracks of varying material, all utilizing elements that we’ve seen within the djent style, ranging from the syncopated, low-toned grooves to the noodily Periphery and Sikth legato styling’s, to the more fusion-based melodic elements.  “Begin” is merely an intro that sets the stage for the rest of the EP. It’s a rhythmic, chugging motif under a beautiful electronic-inspired ambient cloud hanging over the distortion and grooving drums.

The music then explodes with the manic fury of a hornet swarm that is “Still Winning”. Syncopation and juxtaposition of whirlwinds of technicality aligned with a rock solid rhythmic foundation provide a solid two-minute ride. Continue reading »

Dec 202011

Here are a few things I saw and heard last night and this morning that I thought were worth your time.

Of course, I don’t know exactly what you do with your time, or how valuable your time is, or what potentially horrible consequences might result if you spent time listening to this music instead of doing what you would be doing if you weren’t listening to this music.  So, I guess you could say I’m being presumptuous.  I prefer to believe that I’m enriching your miserable lives with the beauty and joy of good metal, compared to which most things are drab and stultifying, including your lives.


This item came my way from KevinP, who believes that I do not need erectile dysfunction drugs because I pop wood over almost every metal band on the planet. He sent me a link about a band named Nekromantheon. The fact that I like their music in no way validates his own opinion about it, because my own standards are so low. Perhaps sending me links such as this is KevinP’s subtle way of trying to raise my standards. If so, that’s a mission doomed to failure. I like what I like, and if you don’t like it, fuck you. (I’m not talking about YOU when I say that; I’m referring to that one person who stopped reading NCS because he thought my standards were too low. Of course, there’s only one such person, ever, or ever will be.)

Nekromantheon is from Norway and the style of their music is a certain kind of thrash. But it’s not let’s-get-drunk-and-fuck thrash. It’s more like let’s-find-innocent-children-and-sacrifice-them-to-Cthulhu thrash. Continue reading »