The audience for instrumental progressive metal grows every day. Today, technology is such that one person can create a full album in one’s bedroom. Sithu Aye, Plini, Cloudkicker, Intervals, David Maxim Micic, all roll off the brain as examples of artists who do just this.
Pomegranate Tiger, specifically multi-instrumentalist Martin Andres, presents Boundless on December 11th. Ten tracks of thoughtful, rhythmic instru-metal begin with “Manifesto,” a mid-tempo bouncer that will cause some to cry “djent!” but what I notice is the tempo; a statement of intent – a million speedy notes are unnecessary.
Andres’ guitar style and tone speak loudly to me; some phrasing of this solo remind me of John Petrucci however not in a copycat manner.
“Stomp the Haunted Crown” speeds up a little. Syncopated chugging riffs trade places with full-chord strumming ala post-metal and again the solo is something to look forward to. The guitar tone grabs me from the start of “Boundless.” Can distorted guitar sound dirty and smooth? Neck pick-up or not, the tone is brilliant. The bass tone is also something to be admired. The production of Andres and AJ Minette (The Human Abstract) is excellent. There are synths in just the right places and studio-wizardry sound effects at just the right times. Boundless is mixed and mastered by Periphery’s Adam “Nolly” Getgood (perhaps that’s why the bass sounds so crisp).
“Paper Hammers” is worth the price of admission; now I’m hearing Steve Howe here and there. This is a shorter piece but grand in scope with strings and piano that acts as a bridge from “side A” to “side B.” “Billions and Billions” is the Rube Goldberg Machine of Boundless as one section leads into another in a way most fans of instru-metal will recognize. The quantity of instrumental progressive metal is not lacking in 2015 however due to the its quality, Boundless is a worthy addition to your collection.
2. Stomp the Haunted Crown
4. The Masked Ball
5. Paper Hammers
6. Color Theory
7. Billions and Billions
8. With Knives As Teeth