Sound — 8
Intervals are an independent, Canadian prog metal band that began as a purely instrumental outfit. Between 2011 and 2013 they released two instrumental EPs which were well received. In 2013, they recruited Mike Semesky - formerly of The HAARP Machine and the current vocalist of Raunchy amongst numerous other bands - as their bassist before he eventually switched to the role of vocalist after experimenting with demos. "A Voice Within" is their debut full-length LP, and as an album it makes for an intriguing listen.
Produced by Jordan Valeriote (who has produced for bands such as Silverstein and Counterparts in the past), the album sounds fairly good; although there are some moments in which the instruments could sound less audibly claustrophobic. It's not perfect, but it's certainly not terrible.
Vocally, "A Voice Within" solely utilises clean vocals - perhaps a breath of fresh air for some considering the arguable oversaturation of growls and screams within the genre. Semesky's vocals are beyond adequate and at times, he soars, particularly on tracks such as "The Self Surrendered."
Intervals' instrumental pedigree is what brings the record to higher ground, however. Throughout, the drums and riffs alike are excellent, and the album is littered with some astounding lead sections and the occasional intriguing solo. While the band does not currently have an official bassist, the recorded bass provided by Valeriote and guitarist Aaron Marshall shines, particularly on the track "Moment Marauder." As an album, some tracks also channel other genres such as the post-rock style outro found in "Atlas Hour" and they additionally dwell upon their former; purely instrumental sound, in the brief instrumental interlude, "Breathe."
Lyrics — 6
Lyrically, the album is not as strong. Thematically there is nothing particularly interesting or poignant about what Semesky is singing; the content is adequate yet not quite as compelling as it could be, as demonstrated by this extract from track "The Escape":
"Breathe this in and let this dose be of reality
To the world as you were truly meant to perceive it
Infinite shades of reason and truth
Of fulfillment and identity, of vices and virtues"
"A Voice Within" demonstrates that Semesky's vocals are certainly practiced and at times, admirable. It is evident that his voice fits the instrumentals well.
Overall Impression — 7
Intervals' debut LP shines in its well-crafted instrumental sections; and its variation of fast-paced and djent-imbued progressive metal is admirable overall. Tracks such as "Siren Sound" and "Moment Marauder" show the capability of the band as a whole and their potential to delve further into a perhaps stronger sophomore record in the future. Lyrically and thematically the album could be improved upon in some areas - but happily, instrumentally speaking the music does indeed measure up to the band's prior releases.