The Shape of Colour

Written by: LF on 16/01/2016 16:09:46

Since Canadian prog-metal band Intervals last released an album, there have been some major changes in the line-up. Basically, the band has returned to its original form and is now a one-man instrumental project by guitarist and founder Aaron Marshall, just as it started out in 2011. While the sound is still unmistakably Intervals, the main difference between the debut release and this sophomore effort is the lack of vocals this time around. Marshall recorded "The Shape of Colour" with the help of Cameron McLellan (Protest The Hero) on bass guitar and Travis Orbin (Darkest Hour, Periphery, Sky Eats Airplane) on drums, as well as contributions by saxophonist Leland Whitty and fellow guitar geniuses Nick Johnson and Plini.

Like its cover art, the album is a huge creative burst of inspiration that flows forward at an absolutely dizzying speed from start to finish. It sounds remarkably vibrant and the guitar manages to sound like a wildcat that jumps at every chance to escape its hunters yet at the same time obviously controlled with an acute precision by Marshall. Considering how hard it can be to write an all-instrumental record that manages to keep the listener present and engaged throughout its duration, Marshall has indeed hit the jackpot with this release that is abounding with solos and improvisation, recalling other talented progressive metal bands as well as a jazzy virtuoso like Guthrie Govan (currently playing with Steven Wilson).

The individual songs on the album do sound very similar, though, due to the constant eclectic approach Marshall sets forth with in every song, playing notes in quick succession, but some of them manage to stand out with explicit lead riffs, not least the playful opener "I'm Awake", which has separate repetitive themes that help organise the sounds for the listener. "Fable" also makes a distinct impression through the soft vibes we get from the inclusion of Whitty's saxophone towards the end. Other songs, like "Sure Shot" and "Black Box", are very grounded in a heavier rhythm that anchors the music in the progressive metal genre. "Meridian" also deserves a mention as it starts out in a markedly slower tempo than the others, allowing the notes to linger in a nice contrast to what has gone before, only to jump into light speed later on in one of the most impressive displays of the record.

With its 34-minute duration, the album hits you like an extended, immensely enjoyable jolt of electricity and doesn't outstay its welcome. I loved the way Mike Semesky's vocals and Marshall's guitar melodies interlocked on the debut album, "A Voice Within", but with all the room Marshall now has to fill out on his own, he does an excellent job that cements Intervals as a force to be reckoned with through a release that sounds as complete, well-rounded and not least fun as ever.


Download: I'm Awake, Meridian, Fable
For The Fans Of: Skyharbor, Scale The Summit, Periphery, Plini, Guthrie Govan

Release date 04.12.2015

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