I first stumbled across Canadian band Intervals a few years ago after seeing them in the related video column on Youtube. My initial thoughts were, these guys are super talented and have killer riffs…but I wonder if they’d be better or more accessible with a vocalist? Well it seems they have had this same idea as they recruited the pipes of ex The Human Abstract singer for their debut full length album A Voice Within.
Intervals were well received as an instrumental band and as the change hating people we are, their fan base has been divided with the dramatic inclusion of vocals. I, being the open minded sole that I am see the merits and potential pitfalls of both sides.
–Mike is a very good singer with a unique voice that defiantly adds a new dimension to the band
-Having vocals invites those who are scared of instrumental music and diminishes the risk of getting bored with a guitar overload (which I do think obviously happened on their previous EP releases In Time and The Space Between)
-Because there is vocals, there is obviously less prominence given to the guitars which as a guitar nerd is a blessing and a curse (see second pro)
-If you don’t like Mike’s vocals, you won’t like this album as much as their previous releases.
Baring these points in mind, lets move onto the meat and potatoes of their song Moment Marauder. It starts will a swelling tapped guitar passage, before the vocals and rest of the band enter quickly saying “hey, that’s right we have vocals now”. Another thing instantly noticeable is how god damn well this song (and indeed the rest of the album) is produced. Secondly some slightly jazzy passages are incorporated into the song which fit really well and differentiate the band from some others in the genre. The song writing too is top notch which is to be accepted from such a talented bunch of lads.
The riffs are still interesting yet seem so much more cohesive due to the vocals, and whilst some would argue there is a slight lack of Intervals “signature” guitar melodies there is still enough mouth watering passages to stick your teeth into.
Again depending on your disposition will praise/criticise the lack of harsh vocals during the track (and indeed the album). Personally on this track I didn’t feel any parts were begging for screaming although there was the odd passage on the remainder where I thought it would’ve sounded cool, however not to the extent that the lack of screaming will put me off listening to the album.
It cannot be ignored that this new direction Intervals have gone in will be controversial, however I’m a big fan of the change. The level of musicianship present elevates Moment Marauder to a higher level than some of their peers in the genre and offers a thoroughly enjoyable listening experience.
I rate Moment Marauder a 4.5 out of 5
A Voice Within is out now and I strongly advise you get it!