Published Dec 04, 2015Intervals, the prog metal brainchild of guitarist and composer Aaron Marshall, has gone through a few identity crises since its inception, from starting as a solo studio project to becoming a four-piece instrumental band to introducing a vocalist and then reverting back to the current incarnation with Marshall as the sole member. Not letting the revolving door of band members affect his output, and getting help from Darkest Hour's Travis Orbin and Protest the Hero bassist/engineer Cam McLellan on drums and bass respectively, Marshall's growth as a player is quite apparent on The Shape of Colour.
Continuing to eschew the rhythm-first focus of their earlier work, Marshall's compositions have become, quite simply, more colourful. These new shades of musical exploration come both in the form of collaborators (such as BADBADNOTGOOD collaborator Leland Whitty's smooth tenor saxophone on "Fable") and Marshall's own guitar work (the chord changes on the aptly named "Sweet Tooth" are decidedly accessible). That said, his compositions still maintain a high degree of technicality, with the complex leads of "Black Box" and "Slight of Hand" never quite reaching levels of obnoxious, overindulgent shred that instrumental guitar-driven music can at times fall into.
Combined with shorter song lengths, Marshall's latest approach highlights his heightened attention to phrasing and melody — one that is nearly on par with those of his more revered peers. (Independent)