After changing things up for a number of years, Intervals seem to have landed on a set roster: Aaron Marshall. Having initially started out as a one-man project, Intervals experimented with different members and sounds over the years, even dropping debut album A Voice Within as the only release to feature a vocalist. In 2014, Intervals released The Shape of Colour with Marshall serving as the band's only member — a role Aaron has elected to reprise with The Way Forward.
Having one member at least eliminates any creative conflict, an advantage made very apparent on The Way Forward, as the album never has any misconceptions about what it is; the direction is straight as an arrow, and consistent throughout. Marshall's brand of progressive metal is upbeat, feel-good, technical and groovy. It was on The Shape of Colour and it is on The Way Forward. Such an advantage has the potential of becoming a crutch, however. The Way Forward often sounds like a B-side to its predecessor and offers little progression in a genre predicated on just that. Within the album itself, little variation exists between the eight tracks.
The Way Forward sits contentedly in one spot for its half-hour runtime — a runtime that works to the advantage of Intervals, though, as the experience is short, sweet, and comfortable. The tones are well-crafted, the technicality is impressive without seeming self-indulgent, the mix is pleasant to the ear, and the guitars sparkle and sing… but we already knew that. (Independent)