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Montresor - Daybreak CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.03 | 7 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars Montresor are an instrumental pseudo metal band from Australia that came to my attention with their debut album "Daybreak" being on offer for reviewers. I was definitely interested, coming from Australia myself, so this was a delight to discover. I am not a massive fan of instrumental prog, especially heavier prog, I would rather the likes of Jean Michel Jarre or Mike Oldfield, however the music of Montresor captivates in its rather short running time.

The album flows well opening with the distorted guitar riffing of 'Daybreak', the time sig changing inventiveness of 'Helios/ Flight To The Moon' and then the off tempo shifts of 'Bertrand Russel'. This track features some accomplished lead guitars played well by Anthony Bergantino and Cameron Piko. The rhythm machine of bassist Dan Nathanson and drummer Nick Trajanovski is an effective embellishment to all the guitar interplay. At times the band jam along to the rhythms with some extended lead breaks broken by crashes of metal distortion. There is a very gritty dirty sound in the guitars but I like that raw edge they generate. Vocals would have really helped though as the riffs are at times monotonous and scream out for a vocalist. The same applied to Visual Cliff in their first few albums, and when they acquired a vocalist they were absolutely superb.

'Medusa' has a plethora of drum workouts and a hypnotic riff that motors along with Nathanson's fast bass work. This is an excellent track and my favourite thus far on the album. There is a passage of entrancing rhythmic music and is a bit repetitive though the blasts of distorted riffs break it up. The sound is akin to King Crimson, especially Fripp's guitar on 'Lark's Tongues In Aspic Part II', or the sound on the album "Red". The pace quickens towards the end, as heavy as the band gets and it is a great way to end 'Medusa'.

Following this is a gentle guitar reverberation taking us into 'Longing'. The ambient layers of guitar delay work well, generating a tranquil atmosphere. We return to heavy distorted riffs on '?To The Cosmos' with a spacey Hawkwind feel that is welcome to my ears. The riffs are simplistic but effective ground up between percussion fills, and some quieter guitar licks. This would be a great track to hear belted out on the live stage.

Last track is 'Samuel Beckett', of which I am a fan of the surrealistic avant garde playwright, especially the theatre of the absurd in "Waiting For Godot". The band have their influences, in fact the name of the band is taken from the protagonist in Poe's "Cask of Amotillado" who entombs the unfortunate Fortunado, burying him alive in an act of revenge. The music in this last track is rather subdued feeling more like King Crimson in places. The odd time sig enhances this feel, the sporadic drumming, and the extended kanoodling of Frippian guitar interplay.

Overall, Montresor have provided a debut album of quality musicianship that could only improve on subsequent albums as the band explore more daring and inventive progressive structures in their music.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |


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