Canadian musicians Pomegranate Tiger are quite hard to pigeonhole. On the surface, they play an intensely confusing variety of proggy instrumetal that takes technicality to epic-length proportions, quite reminiscent of bands like Electro Quarterstaff or Canvas Solaris. But going a bit deeper, they also have a propensity for writing soaring, triumphal melodies that should sound familiar to fans of Scale the Summit. Mixed even deeper into all of this is a healthy appreciation for the syncopation and downtuned chugging of vocalless djent acts like Animals as Leaders or Keith Merrow. Stir well, bake at 150°C for thirty minutes, and you get their 2013 debut, Entities.
One thing that is hard to miss is how compelling the music is. The album clocks in around seventy minutes long, yet everything feels fresh and beautiful right up until the very end. It's like the band set out to make sure that no single moment of this album left you unfulfilled, making sure that every passage and individual melody is positively oozing with emotive power and pathos. The music isn't just uplifting, it makes you feel like you can take on the whole goddamned world! Arpeggios and crescendos and sweet, sweet major chords all seem to drive towards making this album as viscerally rewarding as possible.
Shorter songs like "Stars" and "Mountains in the Sky" tend to be the most gutturally effective pieces, drooling with high levels of energy and movement that are concentrated to the pure. Their longer tracks like "New Breed", "Sign of Ruin", and "Ocean" are less straightforward, tending to take their time in building up their power. But don't dismiss them up front; once they get where they are going, the reward is even greater. Even the shorter interlude tracks (like "Drifting" and especially the closer "Regenesis") betray the large amount of thought put into fitting their delicate pieces together. The result is a musically varied ride whose satisfaction cannot be understated.
I will admit, if you don't like instrumental metal (or music that is needlessly technical), then Entites won't be for you--despite the evident proficiency of the musicians and awe to be found in their music, it's not the kind of material that will convert a nonbeliever. That said, any metal fan, especially of djent, progressive, or tech, should hear this album. It's a stupefyingly fantastic debut from a band that I can only hope we hear more from.
(Oh, and before I conclude, can I just point out that the cover artwork for this album is fucking amazing? Forefathers really nailed the aesthetics on that piece.)
Recommended if you like: Scale the Summit, Animals as Leaders, Canvas Solaris
9.0 / 10
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