Instrumental bands; they are an uncommon commodity. Sometimes you find yourself simply wanting to jam out to some metal that doesn’t have vocals. Luckily that’s where bands such as Intervals come in. Hailing from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the four piece of Aaron Marshall and Lukas Guyader on guitars, Anup Sastry on drums, and Matt De Luca on bass compose the Progressive Metal band Intervals. With an EP already under their name titled The Space Between comes their newest release ‘In Time’.
The album begins with the song “Alchemy”, a spacey futuristic sounding opening, soon after accompanied by their signature guitar, bass, and drum work. Right away you can hear a difference in guitar tone from the previous EP. The tones they’re using on guitar sounds crunchier and more gritty, a more modern ‘djenty’ tone. Fitting for the band’s sound, however it doesn’t do much too much to make the band sound unique. What they do to stand out however revolves around their instrumental work coming together.
Songs like “Mata Hari” featuring a complex rhythm and also a complimenting lead, with instances that are fast and give off that typical djent sound we’ve all known to love; then smoothly flowing into that spacey sound again. This time with the lead guitar almost bringing you on a journey. The prog-metal elements are definitely seen in the lead guitar, with beautiful riffs tying together their songs. That’s not to say that the bass doesn’t contribute to their songs. I’m happy to hear a band that has their bass guitar actually mixed to audible levels. A good bass tone always ties songs together well, and Intervals are no exception to that rule.
Intervals, thankfully aren’t the type of band to rely on repetitive chugging to hold their songs together and to fill up the space with something unnecessary. Don’t expect anything on the level of Animals as Leaders however, Intervals have gone with a different approach to the instrumental metal genre. Songs such as “Momento” actually seem to have taken inspiration from bands such as Monuments, utilizing a palm muting technique to get what sounds reminiscent of their song The Uncollective. The style in which they use it accompany that dream like flow they have with their leads. There is also a beautiful clean sounding verse on the final song of the EP “Epiphany” that I honestly would have loved to hear more of. Not necessarily in that same track, but in another track or two to extend the EP a bit. It adds character to their work.
I’m disappointed in the length of this release however. Though it is slightly longer than their previous EP, In Time at 22 minutes feels short to me. It starts, and then it ends. The other side of that coin however is that if they were to include more it would have just felt like filler, just something to extend the life of the album without adding anything significant. Now I’m sure there are many people out there wishing that the band would have a vocalist, and I believe it would be unnecessary.
The lead guitar while staying lead, already takes on the role that vocals would effectively enough. Intervals have definitely cemented their place among other instrumental metal bands, and I anticipate hearing more from them in the future, so long as they’re able to keep it fresh and change it up. Make sure to pick up their EP when it drops on October 30, 2012.