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The sole man left behind the progressive-metal curtain that is Intervals, is one Canadian musician by the name of Aaron Marshall. After his old band mates jumped ship (for whatever reason) last year, this has now become the Aaron Marshall Special.
For Intervals latest dive into progressive metal, the now lone guitarist has enlisted the help of bassist Cameron McLellan (Protest The Hero) and drummer Travis Orbin (Darkest Hour) to perform their own respective parts for ‘The Shape Of Colour’. It’s not all that different from the band’s prior instrumental works (which are still better than their songs with vocals), however, it’s still a beast of a record.
As far as this kind of music goes, it’s got everything you’d expect; no vocals, tight, dynamic drumming, plenty of technicality, slick grooves and sweeps, and some truly outstanding solos and shredding. As you’d expect, the mix and production is squeaky clean. So yeah, this is nothing really new for the genre but by god, that doesn’t mean that it’s not good. Because this is a pretty fucking good record, and it’s made better by the fact that we’re not quite at the level where this music is over saturated and clogging up the Interwebs just yet.
A great moment of the record, one of many, is the damn fine and soothing sax solo on ‘Fable’, by Leland Whitty, really helps bring the song to life. There’s a few guests spots later on as well, like on ‘Slight of Hand’, which features fellow Canadian virtuoso, Nick Johnston. It is a…slight case of “Oh, my riffs are bigger than yours!” “No, mine are bigger than yours” moment, but it’s still a cool song nonetheless.
Much like Polyphia’s debut album, or anything by Animals As Leaders (who are basically the undisputed kings of this style right now) the biggest achievement of ‘The Shape of Colour’ is that with just the music – the instrumentals – and with no vocals or any other source material to consume, these songs still stick with you for so long even after you’ve pressed stop.
Instrumental music is definitely on the up right now, and as it becomes more and more popular, we’re going to be getting a lot more artists like Intervals delivering the goods before the inevitable plunge off the cliff into the shitty, saturated abyss. And if that’s the case, then we have some damn fine records ahead of us. Before the plunge, that is.
1. I’m Awake
2. Sure Shot
3. Fable (feat. Leland Whitty)
4. Sweet Tooth
5. Black Box
6. Slight Of Hand