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Montecristo biography
MONTECRISTO, formed in early 2007, is a rock band based in Jakarta, Indonesia. The band consists of Eric Martoyo (lead vocal), Rustam Effendy (guitars), Fadhil Indra (piano, keyboards), Haposan Pangaribuan (bass guitars), Alvin Anggakusuma (guitars) and Keda Panjaitan (drums).
The story began in January 2006, when Rustam met Eric at a Dream Theater concert in Singapore. Since then, they have been friends and shared the same interests in music. They often met just to hang out at music community events and discussed many things related to music not only as a product of art but also the concept and perspective behind the words and notes produced in a particular song.
Around March 2007, Rustam asked Eric about forming a band and Eric agreed with the idea. Rustam then asked Fadhil and Posan, his long time friends from the community to join the band. With no further ado, they agreed to join. At the time, they needed a drummer and a second guitar player. Rustam remembered his friend, also from the community - Arie Indrakusuma, and asked him to join the group. Arie agreed and took his younger brother Angga to fill in the vacant position of the second guitar part. Since then, they started rehearsing and playing cover songs from Journey, Whitesnake and Queen to be performed at a radio gig.
After the show, Angga who was still in college in another town, returned his focus on his past due thesis. While Arie, due to the different in perspective with the other members, was replaced by Keda Panjaitan.
The band started to enter the studio in early 2008 to jam together. ?About Us? was the first song they wrote in the studio from a jam session, while the rest were either written individually or collectively by the band members.
?Celebration of Birth? is the band?s long overdue first studio album which was recorded around July 2008 ? July 2009. The music is a mixed of symphonic, vintage rock and heavy metal. Their music talks about many aspects such as political, economic situation, love and divinity. Most of the words in the songs are based on true stories; either from personal experience of the members or from a real situation that occurred around the globe.

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MONTECRISTO discography

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MONTECRISTO top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.19 | 14 ratings
Celebration of Birth
3.00 | 3 ratings
A Deep Sleep

MONTECRISTO Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MONTECRISTO Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Celebration of Birth by MONTECRISTO album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.19 | 14 ratings

Celebration of Birth
Montecristo Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

2 stars 2.5 really

Celebration of birth from 2010 is the debute album of this obscure band from Indonezia named Montecristo. Ok, now what I've heared here is quite mediocre most of the time with sporadicaly good moments. If the music let's say is ok like on opening track Ancestral land, good pieces, the vocals in some parts are simply almost horrible, it ruins the album big time. I forgot Montecristo offers a kind of prog rock with some edgy guitar parts in places and some neo elements throuwn in. The rest of the track are so so, not really bad but nothing really to talk about. A quite under the standards release from these indonesian guys and not polished enough to really pleases me big time . For sure I will not "celebrate the birth" of this album and for that matter I'll give 2.5 stars. Nice cover art and logo by the way.

 Celebration of Birth by MONTECRISTO album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.19 | 14 ratings

Celebration of Birth
Montecristo Neo-Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars I hate to write reviews like this ones........ ...But it has to be done.

Montecristo hails from Indonesia and they are quite popular in their homeland, I believe. They are well promoted in ProgArchives too and it was a pleasure to interview them for ProgArchives.

Montecristo could had gone down the ethno route which SimakDialogue has done. Instead, Montecristo followed the road to the west. To the middle-west of USA to be more precise. Hence, they play commercial AOR with some hints of Neo-Prog and Prog Metal. The heavy accented vocals is the only hint that this band is not from USA. The vocals is a major weakness of this album. Unfortunate, it is not the only gripe I have with this album. The lack of identity and the unimaginative songs is also a major flaws of this album. I have to confess that I am not a fan of AOR at all. But this is bad AOR too.

There are a couple of decent tracks and melodies here which saves this album from being a turkey. Montecristo is rather good when they drags themselves over towards Neo-Prog. But that is not often enough. This is their debut album though and I hope their new album will be better than this rather meek effort. I sincerely hope so. If AOR is your thing, check out this album. If not, buy a real turkey dinner instead.

2 stars (barely)

 Celebration of Birth by MONTECRISTO album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.19 | 14 ratings

Celebration of Birth
Montecristo Neo-Prog

Review by idlero

5 stars Maybe I am an ignorant, but to tell you the truth, this isn't the kind of music I expected to come from Indonesia.And what a surprise! It was love at 1st hearing, my personal No 1 in 2010 for many months and is also my mostly listened to album in 2010. The only test it didn't pass was the repeated auditions test, after listening some 30 times to it, I felt I need a break.But I listened to it after a 3 months break, fell in love again and decided to write a review. Someone complained it isn't prog. Being tone deaf and also not so good in PA's sub-genres definitions, I won't try to classify it, as long as you like the music it doesn't matter to what sub-genre it belongs. The album is very melodic,with catchy songs but has enough heavy riffs to satisfy all tastes. Very good guitars, piano and keyboards work, vocals are OK, their English doesn't bother me. My favourite tracks are A Romance of Serendipity and In Touch With You. Maybe this album is not for every taste, but it's definitely worth a try. 4.5 stars rounded to 5.

 Celebration of Birth by MONTECRISTO album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.19 | 14 ratings

Celebration of Birth
Montecristo Neo-Prog

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Two things that impressed me right away when I got the limited edition of the debut album of the newly born Indonesian prog rock band, MonteCristo. First, the CD package (handmade one!) was presented professionally in a digipack booklet style with gold color nuances, hand painted line-up profiles complete with handwritten lyrics. Second, and this is the most important one, is the music. Maannn ... I have never imagined that these folks have beautifully crafted musical compositions that are "really me!" Yeah .. I could feel it the first time I spun the CD, as I felt like the entire album was totally dedicated to me, personally. Hey, music is subjective, isn't it? How can I compare my taste with others? Yes, there might be similarities but there must be major differences when it comes to musical subtleties. Some segments, typically the transition pieces and/or musical background, be it piano fills , short guitar solo and riffs, or orchestration have killed me gently. I am not exaggerating it because of I have known most members of the band for years already. I am not here to defend my friends. I am just a prog reviewer who wants to share my views about prog music. That's it. I dare to challenge you to have the CD and enjoy it yourself. I am pretty damn sure you would like it. If you are just a normal music buffs, you would definitely enjoy the ballads and might not like the interludes as it might sound too complex to your ears. But for progheads, I can assure you would, at least, appreciate the album's compositions as all of them are excellent by any standard.

As music is subjective I have successfully refrained myself for getting involved with the band during the making of 'Celebration of Birth' and in fact until I am writing this review. Why? I don't want to get influenced by their opinions and I want to clear my mind from their opinions. Yes, here I am .. This is Gatot Widayanto (to Ground Control .. Oops! It sounds like "Space Oddity"!) tells his story about the journey of musical enjoyment he experienced having listened to the CD in its entirety for fifteen (15) times already by now! Surprisingly I have never got bored with the music. It's probably I was born with the heart of prog. It's similar experience when I got the 'Script for a Jester's Tear' the first time in 1983.

It was midnight ... hmm it sounds familiar to my ears !

Whenever I listened to prog album for the first time and I got hooked with it the first 1 minute of the music, I would get myself acquainted with it and then remember the music pieces or lyrics, it will get through my mind for a long time, eternally. The opening part of 'Ancestral Land' starts with something orchestral in nature, through the wonderful keyboard work, followed nicely with musical break that brings the lyrical verse 'It was midnight .....' followed with soft piano touch. It clicked me rightaway with Marillion's Script for A Jester's Tear 'So here I am once more ?'. Nope, I am not saying that Montecristo plagiarizing Marillion, not at all. The music is different and the melody is totally different. It's just my mind that reacted wildly and brought me to Marillion's atmosphere. In fact, MonteCristo music is different from Marillion. It's clear that the opening track 'Ancestral Land' sets the overall tone of the album; a blend of neo-progressive rock with string arrangements and orchestration combined with some progmet riffs resulted from guitar work. Montecristo pushes the envelope further with its combination of nice melody through the voice of Eric, stunning orchestration, touchy piano fills and soft guitar riffs that accentuate the music. The tune moves slowly like a ballad and it then changes, with beautiful transition piece through piano fills, its style at approx. minute 3:30 which brings me to another nuance. It's an excellent opening track!

The second track 'About Us' moves faster and much more dynamic than the opening one. All instruments: guitar, keyboards, bass and drums demonstrate its part excellently. In fact, the bass guitar work by Haposan sounds really nice here at this track. What I also notice is the piano fills that work nicely throughout the song while the voice is still appearing, not just during transition pieces. The most interesting part of this track is the interlude piece ? wow! It's really nice and I do enjoy it very much. Unfortunately it does not stay long ... especially the guitar solo it actually can be extended because it's really nice.

The third track 'A Romance of Serendipity' starts wonderfully with a string chamber work that accentuates the piano fills. The vocal enters with tom drum work in a catchy melody. Eric's voice works really clear especially when it's combined with string and piano fills by Fadhil. The chorus line that follows is also nice. Again, I do enjoy the interlude part where the piano starts it excellently. There are guitar riffs and short solo by Rustam and Angga that bring the progmet flavor. The following track 'Garden of Hope' is by nature a ballad that would favor the listeners. It's actually not my taste because it's quite straightforward to my ears. But I enjoy the stunning guitar solo that reminds me to Mike Holmes of IQ fame.

The fifth track 'Celebration of Birth' is an excellent rocker. It starts beautifully with simple riffs followed with transparent voice of Eric with his first lyrical verse 'Welcome my little baby ?' which sounds peacefully to my ears. I love how Eric changes his tone of voice in '..see the sky' lyrical piece. The song runs in relatively fast tempo with more guitar solo. There are nice breaks with great acoustic guitar fills. The interlude is filled with stunning guitar solo. This one is probably not a clear cut prog tune as it's quite straight forward in structure and style. Never mind, it's to me a great track. I love it as I love IQ's "The Wake" (quite straight forward too).

'In Touch With You" is truly a catchy ballad with an ambient intro followed with soft piano touch enriched with violin work. The vocal enters accompanied with piano touch that serves as rhythm as well as innovative fills. String section of violin work accentuates the song beautifully. Man ... I don't care what kind of music you like, but for sure you would definitely love this tune. It's really beautiful in two dimensions: melody-wise and arrangement-wise. The interlude part is led by stunning guitar solo in "Sugar Mice" style. The piano fills enter the scene gently in a smart way. But that's not the end man .. you would find a very wonderful'n'catchy keyboard solo by Fadhil. Even though the interlude is quite long enough ? longer than "Sugar Mice" or "Chelsea Monday" but I really don't mind if the band is willing to extend another five minutes duration! It's pretty nice folks! Unfortunately the song ends in fade-out fashion which I don't like .. but it's OK, I have been compensated brilliantly with beautifully with catchy interlude.

'Crash' is another excellent rocker and again .. I love it. How come I always talk about 'love it' or 'like it' all the time? Because these folks from Montecristo have made me mad man! I texted them that I am totally nggeblak (my mind is temporarily paralyzed) listening to their music including this track. There is musical piece that demonstrates ELP-influenced keyboard work. The melody is catchy, the arrangement is excellent. Well, I like all tracks, really. And this one is close to the kind of Dream Theater music, a progressive metal sub-genre. I think 'Crash' is suitable to open the live concert for the band.

'Forbidden Song' brings us back to the neo-prog nuance through its mellow style and catchy melody through the voice of Eric accentuated by nice violin work. The interlude demonstrates stunning guitar solo that moves the music in faster tempo until Eric voice returns to the song. There are guitar riffs as well and I don't blame you if you may consider this as progmet influenced composition.

The album concludes with another rocker 'Clean' with relatively fast tempo and energetic style. The short interlude with string arrangement is quite interesting and enjoyable. The structure is quite straightforward.


I have always made a judgment using five components of composition: melody, harmony, complexity, change of style and structural integrity. On melody MC has proven themselves this is their competence in crafting it nicely ... almost all of the tracks have catchy melodies. The harmony is really excellent because this is the strength point of MC music: the arrangement is excellent so that all instruments demonstrate good contribution to the music. As far as my personal taste, I want to hear some more guitar solo like Mike Holmes has done it wonderfully with IQ music. I am sure Rustam and Angga can do the job on this. Special attention is on the piano work by Fadhil because the piano fills flow through brilliantly as the music flows from on e segment to another even during the vocal line. Wonderful! There is relatively moderate complexity offered by MC but it is still presented not in a 'boring' way. Throughout the album I have seen many changes of style that perpetuates an excellent picture of a progressive music. On a final component, i.e. structural integrity, I can assure that the album has a solid structural integrity in every single song as well as the album in its entirety. To me the album is cohesive so that I always enjoy it in its entirety. This is an excellent 'plus' or 9/10 rating to my personal taste.

Get the album! It's a highly recommended one. Keep on proggin' ....!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

(Posted @ the birthday of Eric Martoyo)

Thanks to Gatot for the artist addition.

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