Germany's THE INTERSPHERE are being heavily marketed to the metal and hard rock markets, which might not be the best strategy considering they're better aligned with the alt scene. Then again, that doesn't necessarily cover their sound either. SPV/Steamhammer is normally as metal as it gets, so this is a curious backing on their part. There are punctuated, slamming guitar sections to be found in pocks on THE INTERSPHERE's fourth full-length album, "Relations in the Unseen". By and large, though, this is a pop-flavored, light prog rock album that makes for a cool diversion from headbanging mania, assuming you're up for it.Following the breakout success of their previous album, "Hold On, Liberty!", THE INTERSPHERE reportedly opted for a scaling back of their primary instrumentation on "Relations in the Unseen" in exchange for decorative backgrounds filled with synth and string arrangements. MUSE and holds a subliminal influence over THE INTERSPHERE (most evident on the steady tapper "Joker"), but perhaps the best way to describe this band is they are a logical (and thankful) leap away from emo punk. In the case of this band, melodic doesn't translate into wussy and whiny, albeit if you're looking to thrash, you're well-advised to move on from this album. If, on the other hand, you're a supporter of pop proggers 3, then you'll cozy up to it. "Origin Unknown" and "Out of Phase" are the heaviest songs to be found on "Relations in the Unseen" and that's mostly because of the plunking static strums from Thomas Zipner. However, as with most of the other tracks, expect a gradual straying from density to lifted, yet hazy key and string arcs that dramatically alter these songs' dynamics. Later, "The Ghost of a Chance" launches with a thick swirl of guitar and bass from Zipner and Sebastian Wagner, respectively, throwing out bare hints of RUSH. The song immediately takes a sweeping, harmonic stance with thin traces of angst planted beneath the whirligig choruses. Somewhat of a surprise, "The Ghost of a Chance" bolts away for a loud and banging finish. Afterwards, Zipner and Wagner whip up a few slow and meaty bars to "…like it is", a song that rolls along on the steady hum of Wagner's bass as Zipner and vocalist Christoph Hessler plead in their own manners overhead. The correlation is subconscious, but "Walk On Broken Glass" rings transparently of COLDPLAY's "Clocks" on the verses before swerving into a higher key and turning out an entirely different melody on the choruses. Thomas Zipner's grinding solo presents a brief yet smart interjection from the yummy feel of the tune. Still, yummy, nimble and mellow is the leitmotif to songs like "The Ones We Never Knew", "Out of Phase" and "Golden Mean", even if "Out of Phase" comes off at first moody with its chunky chords. The layered synths, strings and whoo-oohing from Christoph Hessler (who is a terrific singer) undermine the plodding heft of the guitars to avoid letting the song turn depressive. By contrast, the uppity tempo of "Thanks for Nothing" unapologetically turns pop punk into a straightforward alt march with sharp hooks climbing between the bridge and choruses. THE INTERSPHERE may capture a fair chunk of listeners from the core demographic SPV caters to, but those numbers will come from the more open-minded and contemporary prog connoisseurs. Hessler, Zipner, Wagner and drummer Moritz Muller are all superb musicians and "Relations in the Unseen" feels like pure escapism. Their approach of pulling back their front line and allowing for extracurricular instruments to build their album's strength is sagacious and it creates a pleasurable listening experience for those who choose to embrace it.
To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).