In the last few years the instrumental metal scene seems to have exploded in a big way, and every year brings new groups trying their hand at bringing something fresh to our ears beyond what's already out there. Like any other musical trend or movement, only a handful of acts have furthered and expanded upon what groups such as Behold The Arctopus, Dysrhythmia, Scale The Summit, Blotted Science, and Animals As Leaders and others have done to defy the outdated notion that instrumental metal music is boring or lacking without vocals. Among the very top-tier instrumentals acts is another group from Canada called Pomegranate Tiger fit that deserves to be just as well known and beloved as the aforementioned groups.
The group came out of seemingly nowhere with an eye-popping debut in 2013 called Entities. That record really put Pomegranate Tiger on the map and was a big success for them. After gaining and losing some members, the group has been whittled back to its original core member, Martin Andres accompanied by various guests and former member Chase Bryant on bass.
I'll admit to a certain level of nervousness when it came to hearing Boundless for the first time. As Entities was such an incredible record, that it seemed possible the band might fail to match what it had to offer or also possibly stick too close to the sound of that record without evolving much. Luckily, Boundless sonically exemplifies its album title, and sees the band branching out further and further into heady prog territory. That's paired with ever more complex guitar-playing amidst the dense groove backbone the group has always favored in their sound. The addition of a string quartet and piano by Martin Andres on various tracks also adds another rich layer to Pomegranate Tiger's sound. Boundless is a soulful and dazzling record from start to finish, never ceasing to overwhelm you with a calming sense of wonder and beauty.
Pomegranate Tiger-Boundless comes out this Friday, December 11th. And you can order it at their bandcamp here.