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Intervals - Circadian CD (album) cover



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5 stars How can music be this technically sophisticated yet so melodic, colorful, and imaginative at the same time? This is the question Aaron Marshall, the virtuoso guitar mastermind behind Intervals, has been moving listeners to ask themselves since exploding onto the instrumental modern progressive metal scene in the early 2010's. On Interval's latest record, Circadian, Aaron takes his signature blend of Steve Vai-inspired lead guitar, djenty rhythm sections, and pop-punk-inspired melodies to their greatest heights, rivaling and, in many respects, even surpassing the greatest output of his peers in the instrumental modern progressive metal scene including Plini, early Polyphia, Chimp Spanner, and David Maxim Micic.

While every single track on this record showcases brilliant skill and songwriting, three songs deserve special mention: 5-HTP, Lock & Key, and Earthing. 5-HTP kicks off the record in the same fun and explosive way we've been accustomed to on previous Intervals records. Lock & Key showcases arguably one of the best riffs ever written by Aaron. And Earthing, the record's closer, showcases an emphatically out-of-this-Earth chorus that, despite leaving you breathless, will have you begging to start the record all over again. I am simply overjoyed to make Circadian my first 5-star review of 2020.

Report this review (#2477059)
Posted Wednesday, November 18, 2020 | Review Permalink
3 stars I first want to start off by saying that this album is super cool and it was a lot of fun to listen to. I love the virtuosic guitar playing, the fast drums and the really nice bass lines. The bass solo in "Vantablack" is super sick, and I love how they put both saxophone and what sounded to me like marimbas in "D.O.S.E. I thought that the whole vibe of the album was really nice, it had fast tempo the whole way through and really nice melodies, I mean, this is about as good as instrumental progressive metal gets. That being said, my main issue with this album is the originality. Though it was super cool, most of the time it sounded what you would expect to hear from a video game soundtrack. Besides the few moments mentioned above, there was very little that made this album better than any of the other albums like it. It had the same old sweeping guitar, fast mostly kick drum percussion, and the same djenting guitar in the background. I don't really think that this album was super unique, but in spite of that I still like it a lot. I would defiantly recommend this album to anyone who likes the typical instrumental progressive metal sound, but if you are looking for something unique, this album isn't for you.
Report this review (#2581728)
Posted Tuesday, July 27, 2021 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars Some three years on from the last album, and guitarist Aaron Marshall is back with 'Circadian'. As with 'The Way Forward", drums and percussion are provided by Nathan Bulla, but there is a new bassist in Jacob Umansky, and together the three provide some incredible instrumental mathcore with elements of djent. What makes this such an enjoyable album is the way the music is light and full of space, while there is incredibly high note density, it feels right and much more about the music than someone's ego. There are times when all three musicians seem as one, all playing the same refrain, while at others they split away to provide contrast and depth. The guitars are multi-layered, and the songs structured and defined so they always have purpose and are never a meandering mess.

There is no singer, but there is simply no room for vocals to be slotted in anywhere as this music is just so frantic and dense. Bassist on the last album was Cameron McLellan, here are many times when this makes me think of his band, Protest The Hero (still can't believe they came all the way to NZ, what an act!) yet there are hints of Meshuggah here and there while fans of the likes of Animals As Leaders, Plini and Nick Johnston will also get a lot from this while it will also be appreciated by fans of Steve Vai as "Lock & Key" in particular would not seem out of place on 'Passion and Warfare'. A constant issue with instrumental albums is that they can feel either boring, or too self-indulgent, but neither is the case here where we have a trio being led by a guitarist with very firm ideas and direction and the result is something that is both massively over the top and highly enjoyable at the same time.

Report this review (#2582793)
Posted Saturday, July 31, 2021 | Review Permalink

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