In many ways, this band reminds me of an instrumental fusion of Animals As Leaders and Between The Buried And Me. Taking neo-classical dives into the currents of an ever-changing, modern, progressive approach. All while providing a unique, experimental sound of their own. Pomegranate Tiger has the ability to take twists and turns that will catch the listener off guard and leave them wanting more. They also have a classic quality to their music as they touch on Thrash and Death Metal elements diligently. Adding all of this together, the band has successfully created an awe-inspiring musical package. This is by far one of the most mature debuts to bless my ears in awhile.
Martin Andres leads the march with virtuosic flair and technique as the lead guitarist, weaving through songs at the speed of sound. Matt Shaheen also displays incredible talent as the rhythm guitarist , keeping up with Martin while adding a spark of his own. Bassist Keith Wilkinson refuses to stay behind his fellow strings men, providing several stand out bass lines. And you can’t forget the rhythm machine Phil Gatti behind the kit, drumming out unreal complexities and laying in the groove. All four members make big time contributions, coming together as a musical force.
“Entities” provides a vast amount of content, clocking in at over an hours worth of greatness. The actual tracks can be split into one of three categories, all of which deliver amazing aural pleasures. First, you have the three epics. The phenomenal, attention grabbing single “New Breed” (aka the reason why I’m currently writing this review), the three incredible, melodically driven parts of “Ocean”, and arguably the heaviest track on the record, “Sign of Ruin”. They collectively span half of the entire album in the best way possible. Next up, you have the core tracks. All ranging over 5 minutes, they could be considered epics themselves. “Maxims”, “Stars”, “Mountains In The Sky”, and “Not To See The Sun” all deliver in various ways as stand out segments of the record. And finally there are the support tracks, complementing and lacing the package together. “Gift Of Tongues”, “Drifting”, and “Regenesis” all serve in wonderful support of the album as a whole.
I have no real criticisms of this album. Objectively, Pomegranate Tiger chug more than expected considering the immense instrumental skill driving this band, but it’s never redundant or done in poor taste. There are creative ideas fueling even the simplest segments of “Entities”. On the other hand, there’s such an abundance of intriguing ideas packed into this lengthy debut that it may lose some. But honestly, that’s their own loss. With the vast amount of content found on “Entities”, serious listeners are pretty much guaranteed to find something new every time they press play.
Pomegranate Tiger is one of the most promising instrumental acts to come out recently, if not the most promising. The music found on “Entities” backs up that statement entirely. This album is easily the best instrumental release of the year so far, serving as an absolute must listen for prog-heads and anyone who loves great music in general. If you fall into one of those categories, it’s highly recommended you blast the singles above and grab a pre-order of “Entities” right here.