Monday, 20 February 2012

The Intersphere - Hold On, Liberty! review

Formed in Mannheim, Germany in 2006, Hold On, Liberty! is the third release from The Intersphere. What strikes one initially on listening to the album is the multitude of influences that have gone to make up the personality of the band. Each piece is built upon multiple layers of complementary lines, and manages to be both intricate in detail and entertaining to listen to without spiralling into extended passages of technical wizardry. There are any number of melodies to please the casual listener, and there are any number of left field interjections to keep the enthusiast entertained.

“OPalinE” darts back and forth from jagged time signature changes to radio friendly passages with ease and skill. “Capitall” encompasses abrupt stop-start riffs without that technique ever distracting from the overall experience of the track. The first single from the album “Sleeping God” rides upon hectic guitar lines and raucous chord structures that are the ideal vehicle for the vocal lines. Indeed, the vocal intensity of Christoph Hessler is totally appropriate to the intensity of the music, as can so often not be the case with music of this nature. Unusually, it could be argued, one of the weaker tracks in terms of dynamism is to be found opening the album, but in a world in which album running orders are being overshadowed by “shuffle play”, criticism such as this may slowly become redundant.

Hold On, Liberty! is brimming with festival and/or stadium friendly tracks, which also manages to transfer well to personal listening and features a dazzling array of dynamics and sonic depth. There is never a sense with the album that the tracks become too impenetrable and pretentious.  There are a limited number of albums that manage to transcend both arenas successfully. The production throughout is spotless, fresh and totally apt. Allegedly the entire album was recorded live in the studio within a seven day period. Within this context one gets the sense that as a live experience The Intersphere have perfected their technique and expertise to a particularly high standard. A cursory search for information on the band inevitably yields comparisons to bands of the calibre of Incubus and Muse, but this comparison should in no way detract from the character that The Intersphere have created for themselves.

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