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Intervals biography
INTERVALS are a progressive math metal band from Toronto, Canada, formed sometime in 2011 by guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Aaron MARSHALL, and drummer Anup SASTRY (solo, SKYHARBOR, JEFF LOOMIS (live)). With Lucas GUYADER on guitars and Matt DE LUCA on bass, they released their debut EP in December 2011 entitled ''The Space Between'', followed by the EP ''In Time'' in October 2012. DE LUCA was replaced in 2013 by Mike SEMESKY (ORDINANCE, RAUNCHY, ex-THE HAARP MACHINE).

Not strictly belonging to the 'djent' movement, INTERVALS show influences from acts such as MESHUGGAH but blend their instrumental math metal with mellower parts, fusion and electronic, which makes their EPs a worthy listen.

Biography by aapatsos

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INTERVALS discography

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INTERVALS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.48 | 20 ratings
A Voice Within
3.45 | 12 ratings
The Shape of Colour
4.45 | 13 ratings
The Way Forward
4.50 | 7 ratings

INTERVALS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

INTERVALS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

INTERVALS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

INTERVALS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.33 | 10 ratings
The Space Between
4.17 | 12 ratings
In Time


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Circadian by INTERVALS album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.50 | 7 ratings

Intervals Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by ssmarcus

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.

 The Way Forward by INTERVALS album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.45 | 13 ratings

The Way Forward
Intervals Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Zoltanxvamos

5 stars Intervals went from a new djent band to an instrumental prog band with Allan Holdsworth inspiration. This is my favourite instrumental album, it has feeling, its warm, its well produced, it has everything a jazz inspired instrumental prog album should have. It has complex chord structures, odd times, polyrhythms, expanded instrumental passage (guitar, keyboard, drum and bass solos), and many more. I'm actually glad they moved on from the djent approach, their first album 'A Voice Within' wasn't exactly good for them, the vocals didn't work for their sound very much.

Touch and Go | The powerful opener with intricate guitar parts, great Instrumentation, yes I'm going to make these same points a bunch.

Impulsively Responsible | The second track follows the same formula but with a slower and slightly different mood. It's more of an instrumental prog rock song rather than a borderline jazz fusion bit. It's a bit slower but it hits just as hard as the opener.

A Different Light | A Different Light is definitely a more traditional jazz feel but it has the arrangement of ... well... an instrumental prog band. It's a bit of a weaker track but it's still quite the well written track.

By Far and Away | This is the best song on the album by a long shot. The instrumentation, the songwriting, and solos are all unbelievable. Owane is a great keyboard player, and his skills show on this song. I mean... Aaron Marshall is a great guitarist but his skills showed from the first 5 seconds of this album.

Belvedere | Belvedere is one hell of a track, this has a bunch of those more instrumental prog songs. It's a great track that's very well written. Is it bad that I'm very impressed by this spectacular album?

Rubicon Artist | This song kind of brings back the djent aspects. I do love this song but it has its rough edges. I find that for fans of the more jazz oriented instrumental prog, this is going to be the hardest song to get into. It has all the things we can appreciate like alternating patterns between the guitar and drums, but overall, this song is going to be harder to get into for jazz fans.

The Waterfront | I felt that this song was meant to be more of a chord based piece rather than a playing based piece. The chords have this very soft ambiance that fits the feel of this song. It has a very hard hitting emotion to it, this has Holdsworth touch in it, it sounds like Aaron was listening to Metal Fatigue when he wrote this song.

Leave No Stone | This has all the elements of all the other pieces on the album, it has the softer djent elements, it's got its slower and more melodic parts, and lastly its busy and more well played parts. It's a very cool way to end off this warm and emotional album.

I think that this album shows that you don't need a singer to be a great band. The instrumentation, the chord progressions, and feel is the what makes a band good, all three elements in unison is what makes a band great. This album has all of the above, so therefore: this album is fantastic.

 The Shape of Colour by INTERVALS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.45 | 12 ratings

The Shape of Colour
Intervals Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Immaculately played, intense instrumentals

Intervals is a well established jazz fusion metal/math/djent project from Ontario, led by Aaron Marshall. Their 2nd full length release "The Shape of Colour" was birthed after some significant turmoil in the group, including an entirely new line-up (except for Marshall) and the change to an entirely instrumental release. Reading a bit about them online the reviews of "Colours" are mixed but more positive than negative. Most the negative ones came from those who really enjoyed the previous incarnation and vocalist-since I've not heard that album I can enjoy this one on its own merits. And I did enjoy the ride.

"a delicious blend of metal, jazz, and virtuosity -- the crunchy grooves will grab you; the melodies will serenade you; and the power plays will enrapture you. Each track has its own flavor, whilst maintaining Intervals' confident sound, rhythm, and strength." -Jonathan Lin

Lin's flash assessment is good and I mostly agree. This is highly technical instrumental rock with those furious, shredding solos on every track that recall Satriani or Chris Poland in their purity and blaze. Though the players are all so technically gifted that as crazy as it sounds, it can sometimes get bit mechanized in feel. But it's a two way street and if you happen to like listening to highly proficient players shred wall to wall, floor to ceiling, this is your album. The music itself was pretty good in my book: melodic, engaging, hard hitting and consistent. The songs have moments of groove, even dreamy sections, but usually such intricacy/space to breath moments are steamrolled pretty quickly by the occasionally annoying technical rigidity and heaviness. Because of the relative uniformity of the tracks I think some listeners will find the album unmemorable. But for me there were more than enough beautiful moments of spirited interplay and melodic fusion to put this band on my radar, and I'd recommend to fans of instrumental rock without hesitation. 7/10.

 A Voice Within by INTERVALS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.48 | 20 ratings

A Voice Within
Intervals Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Gallifrey

3 stars Breaking Apart

Intervals have existed as an instrumental band since around 2011, releasing instrumental EPs of djent music for free through bandcamp, amongst a seemingly infinite number of bands doing the same. But aside from the fact that I could list 100 other bands who play instrumental djent, have sci-fi album covers and single word names on bandcamp, Intervals always stood out to me as a "wow, this isn't terrible" in a vast ocean of "wow, this is terrible". While neither of the EPs blew me away, they were interesting and diverse enough for me not to trash them within seconds, and I always knew Intervals had potential. So now, after a year or so of rethinking their game plan, Intervals have reemerged to the scene with a full-length debut. And a vocalist.

Now, a vocalist can split music in this scene two ways (although it really should be only one). In my humble opinion, instrumental music will never be quite as good as that with a vocalist. Just simply having something to hum along with or having a catchy hook that gets stuck in your head seems to get more of an emotional reaction out of me than plain music, even if it's identical. But there's a regular trend in this scene, and like the trends of having terribly robotic drumming or really uninspired ambience, it's a bad one. Djent bands always feel this strange need to throw some dude vomiting on the top, and call it a 'vocalist'. Fortunately, with TesseracT and Skyharbor only mostly cleans, and Periphery even moving away from the screams, it seems to be on the decline, and I am so thankful that Intervals have pulled someone who can actually sing. As in 'sing', with notes and stuff. Not vomiting.

With Mike Semesky on vocals, Intervals are starting to sound a bit like Australian djent mob Circles, although I certainly prefer Semesky to their vocalist (he even shares the slight tinge of accent on his delivery). But considering Circles' 2013 full-length album was rather a disappointment to me, and to many others, A Voice Within could almost be seen as 'what should have come next' for Circles, but with a better vocalist, and honestly, a better band overall. Mike's vocals are in the higher range, but they aren't in the post-hardcore, whiney-as- [%*!#] region that a good 95% of djent clean vocalists are in. Many of the vocal lines remind me a bit of Periphery's Spencer Sotelo, with his pop-inspired vocal hooks, making the songs as catchy as he can, but Semesky's vocals are far lower, and honestly far less irritating than Sotelo ever could handle, although I don't quite think the vocal parts are as catchy.

In terms of instrumentals, Intervals are definitely miles ahead of Periphery, and many of their contemporaries, in terms of making the instrumental parts of this music at least tolerable, but they do still fall down a whole lot of djenty clichés. For one, I have to say I'm impressed by the post-rock and ambient-inspired softer sections in the fact that they don't sound incredibly uninspired. It's become a cliché in itself for djent bands to have clean delay-ridden guitars in soft parts, but they all seem to use the same guitar tone and base preset for these sections. Intervals splice the ambience into their tracks on a few occasions, particularly evident in the outro of "Atlas Hour", and it's actually rather nice and a good break from the chugging. As for the chugging itself, although I'm still not a fan of the tone at all, Intervals try and make their riffs at least fit under the music, focusing on rhythm and groove unlike bands like Periphery who focus on making their riffs as sloppy as possible. I'm still not sold on the solos, many of them still feel vague and directionless, but they're certainly more tolerable than many of the 'look how many notes I can play' guitarists within this scene.

The vocals and atmosphere are certainly a standout for me personally, and the band really starts to shine in the longer tracks, taking influence from outside of djent in the way they develop the sound and build their songs around atmosphere, reminding me a bit of Anathema actually, albeit with a whole lot of chugging and a more alternative-styled vocalist. But although I enjoy his vocals, there are a couple of stylistic decisions in the vocal style that irk me a bit, and I can understand where many haters of the vocals are coming from in parts, because there are some rather cliché pop punk 'repeat the same line in the background with an effect on' vocal parts, and often his general tonality and vocal timbre start to irritate me. Fortunately, the melodies on there easily make up for that, especially the more atmospheric parts, where I can actually hear a bit of Matthew Bellamy in the way the vocal lines are arranged.

A Voice Within is a solid record, and is probably one of my favourite from the djent scene in a while, although I feel I enjoy it in spite of its djentiness and never because of. The reason I enjoy this is because of its aversion to the many clichés that are plaguing the djent genre, but I can't really say I love it for the same reason ? it does actually have a few rather generic parts that I can't say I'm a fan of at all. Intervals sure are talented musicians, and I feel djent is currently in that maturing state in which some bands start to make stylistic decisions that on the whole allow the genre to be taken a bit more seriously, and this is definitely evidence of that.


Originally written for my Facebook page/blog:

Thanks to aapatsos for the artist addition.

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