01. Gift of Tongues
05. New Breed
06. Mountains in the Sky
07. Not to See the Sun
08. Ocean – I. White Ship
09. Ocean – II. Maelstrom
10. Ocean – III. The Golden Portal
11. Sign of Ruin
Writing intelligently composed instrumental music instead of a vocal-less snorefest is difficult. Whatever’s going on in the music has to be interesting or catchy in some way or another at all times, and relying on an idea for even a few measures too long can bore the life right out of your listeners. Mastering the craft is nothing short of hellishly arduous, unless of course you’re one of the fine musicians of Pomegranate Tiger.
Entities kicks off with ‘Gift of Tongues,’ which acts as a small overture for the album in that it’s representative of all the instrumentation and downright ridiculous ideas you’re about to get yourself into. ‘Gift of Tongues’ distances itself from your ears only to make room for the crushing drum fill introduction of the title track, followed up by the rest of the band. Next up is ‘Stars,’ which is equally crushing, but more in a mid-paced and adventurous kind of way. ‘Stars’ comes and goes as it were, and ‘Drifting’ elegantly floats into your head, where… is this a piano piece with some string accompaniment? You’re damn right it is.
That’s exactly what sets Pomegranate Tiger apart from all their instrumental predecessors; the music isn’t gimmicky or laden with shock value and never tries to stay in one genre if another fits equally well, if not better. ‘Stars’ might be a little confusing at first, but once you’ve gotten to songs like ‘Ocean I– White Ships’ (or the entire Ocean trilogy, for that matter) and the Jeremy Soule-esque album closer ‘Regenesis,’ it makes more sense in that the context of the record as a whole is easier to grasp. Oh, and for all you in need of at least one solid, face-melting shredfest per album, I’d suggest waiting patiently until ‘Sign of Ruin,’ which is eleven minutes of musical conversations in a language that’s both beautiful and terrifying.
The album in it’s entirety has the hallmark of any great instrumental piece; it almost tells you a story simply through the moods in the music and the song titles. Is the story you’ve got in your head the one the band imagined? Could be. Did they imagine a story in the first place? Who knows, but to even evoke such imagery of people and places without the use of words is astounding in its own right.
Let’s just get it out of the way right here and now; Entities will be one of your favorite instrumental records of the entire year without even thinking twice, because thinking twice implies there was a contender. It’s a record that needs to be listened from front to back, viewed up and down like a painting that tells a story. Sure, each song generates its own little microcosm with details and moments that are worth revisiting multiple times, but that universe as a whole is a journey worth taking.
Pomegranate Tiger – Entities gets…