New York’s Pontus starts off his latest release, the IV EP, in a very challenging way. He has front-loaded Ten, a ten-minute composition, requiring listeners to immediately strap in and experience his unique form of progressive metal. The song weaves intricate arrangements that will keep listeners on the edges of their seats; challenging popular conceptions about time signatures or complex arrays of instrumental interaction, IV’s beginning tells a tremendous story without needing vocal accompaniment.Misirlou is an extrapolation of the Dick Dale version cut for Pulp Fiction, but there is considerable clarity and additional finesse granted the track that more firmly mores it to a classical tradition. The splashy drums and assumption of the spirit of Rimsky-Korsakov makes this into a must listen. The track may end before the three-minute mark, but Pontus has included so many tricks, twists, and turns here that one can listen to the effort a number of times before hearing everything that has been presented.
El Pancho’s Last Journey begins with a delicious bass and strings dynamic that pops with a narrative quality. The crystal-clear production of this track allows each constituent element the chance to shine alone or together. The distinct sections of El Pancho’s Last Journey are incredibly eclectic, but fans will be ushered into the second half of the disc masterfully.
Red Silver and Felix represent the winding down of IV, and can be enjoyed together as a cogent thirteen-minute statement. The contemplative Red Silver is provided the perfect foil in the virtuosic Felix, a concluding statement that links together metal, alternative rock, middle eastern, and progressive styles of music. Few artists are able to tell such a deep and detailed story as Pontus does on IV. Visit his Bandcamp to purchase IV.
Top Tracks: El Pancho’s Last Journey, Red Silver