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Intervals - The Way Forward album review

Jazz-inflected djent with more nous than narrative

From Animals As Leaders’ landmark debut and continued adventures in warping space and time signatures to Chimp Spanner’s crushing space-operatics, those with a penchant for jazz fusion-inspired, djent-tinged instrumental experimentation have had a glut of fret wankery to salivate over in recent times. Cue the release of Canadian Aaron Marshall’s third, optimistically titled Intervals record. With no vocal, Aaron’s lead playing becomes the focus, exuberant on Impulsively Responsible’s stop/ start rhythms, sci-fi incarnate on By Far And Away (which belongs on a Japanese RPG), and spiteful onRubicon Artist’s double-bass battery. Aaron’s musical abilities are supreme, but he falls short as a memorable songwriter, the best records of this ilk creating distinct narratives akin to the best movie soundtracks. There’s plenty to love in The Way Forward’s technicolour tapestries, but he’s still behind the pack leaders.