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Montresor - Entelechy CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.00 | 1 ratings

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Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Back in 2011, eclectic Australian proggers Montresor released an energetic instrumental album that flirted with reaching Post Rock sounds and heavier outbursts. It was a hugely promising debut, and the few years since (in addition to the replacement of one of their guitar players and a drummer) has increased the scope of the group on the evidence on their follow-up `Entelechy' in 2015, with a wider range of influences, a confident honing of skills and more ambitious, challenging arrangements maturing the group nicely. Comprised of everything from the quirkiness of Frank Zappa, the epic hard-rocking of Rush and the icy Mellotron flights and gutsy guitar rages of the `Red' and `Thrak'-eras of King Crimson, it's a big step up for the group that shows that potential of the debut really starting to pay off.

Fully composed by Cameron Pikó, an immensely talented musician, not to mention genuinely nice guy with an inspiring knowledge of a wide range of prog-related music for such a young fella, Montresor's music on `Entelechy' is more varied than before, painting a bigger and more extravagant aural canvas this time around that is equally more intense and fascinatingly subtle. That's no easy task for a two guitar/bass/drum band setup, but the band are talented and inventive enough to drive home the constantly twisting time-changes and genre jumping material.

The unpredictable opener `Antarctica' weaves in and out of driving heavier passages with Dan Nathanson's silken bass grumbles and electric guitars from both Cameron and Bzen Byanjankar that move between ethereal chimes and fiery runs. Mournful guitars reach through `Daedelus', and the mighty beast that is `Belewga Whale' rattles with `Red'-era jangling noisiness and sludgy grooving riffs that sound like Robert Fripp bringing sexy back (mental image - Robert Fripp should NEVER try to bring sexy back!), and just listen out for the playful and infectious little jazzy run in the middle - bravo, gentlemen!

`Supersonic' is a catchy foot-tapping fuzzy groover powered by relentless bass, Jack Osbourne's driving beat and bluesy guitar smoulders (plus some choice angry spasms and a flighty jazz-fusion finale work great), the brooding `The Madman' is all echoing distortion and icy Mellotron veils that recall some of their Post Rock flavours before spiralling into chaos and out again, and the brilliantly titled middle-eastern tinged `Funkminster Bullarene' is lively with moments of bashing heavy grooves and angular cutting Crimson serrations. A Tool-like maddening atmosphere permeates the sitar drones, infernal Mellotron choirs and mantra-like guitar ruminations of `Paracelsus', and closer `The Nolan' is the most ambitious piece from the group to date at over eleven minutes. It stalks with Rush-like metallic rolling grooves, reflective droning guitar ambience, dusty blues and out-and-out proudly epic prog-rock guitar soloing grandness, all energetically married together with an expert control of build and emotion, and the fade-out works beautifully here.

With Pikó relocating to the U.K late in 2015, it's unsure what the future of the Montresor project will be, but hopefully all the spontaneity, propulsive energy and even sly sense of humour of the group will find a way to collaborate again in the future. There's too much musical skill and imagination within the band to let things fall away, and with Australia hardly a hotbed of much in the way of progressive music activity (not counting the plentiful `adventurous metal' bands that piggyback on the `prog' tag, no shortage of them!), a band like this needs to be appreciated and supported. Montresor should be immensely proud of their work here, such an addictive and diverse hard-rocking instrumental progressive album, and we can only imagine the sort of efforts they can go on to from here.

Four stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |


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