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Montresor biography
"Deriving their name from the protagonist from Edgar Allan Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado", MONTRESOR are a four piece instrumental progressive rock band hailing from Melbourne, Australia. They consist of main composer Cameron Piko and Anthony Bergantino on guitars, Dan Nathanson on bass and Nick Trajanovski on drums.

Their self-funded debut album Daybreak was released in late December 2011 and explores complex time signature changes, lengthy jamming and delayed guitars, resulting in a record as reminiscent of 70s prog giants KING CRIMSON and RUSH as it is of post-black metallers ALCEST and LES DISCRETS.

The album can be bought or streamed in it's entirety on the band's Bandcamp page.

Courtesy of the band

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3.03 | 7 ratings
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Entelechy by MONTRESOR album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.00 | 1 ratings

Montresor Heavy Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

— First review of this album —
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.

 Daybreak by MONTRESOR album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.03 | 7 ratings

Montresor Heavy Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator 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.

 Daybreak by MONTRESOR album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.03 | 7 ratings

Montresor Heavy Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

3 stars I was initially a little worried about purchasing this album from Melbourne based Australian instrumental progressive rock band Montresor. I'm more than happy to support a prog band from my home town, but they have some Post Rock elements in their music, and that's usually a genre I'm frequently underwhelmed by. Too often the Post bands I've given time to fall into the `soft-loud-soft-loud' cliched trap that I find tediously dull. However, here we have a band that merges progressive rock prowess with the more restrained and subtle elements of Post Rock, as well as harder guitars without ever actually being truly heavy metal. Think `Red' era King Crimson with the earlier aggressive Anekdoten albums, as well as Gosta Berlings Saga and just a hint of Opeth.

The opening brief title track and `Helios/Flight To The Moon' set a template for much of the album - long droning pieces that alternate between heavier passages, melodic diversions and moody ambience. Lots of walls of feedback swirling around chugging bass, technical varied drumming and chiming guitar melodies. It's full of progressive rock skill without every resorting to inane soloing and showing off, rather the talented band utilize their skills to create a careful soundtrack of brooding drama and emotional reflection.

There's a number of wonderful highlights on the album. `Medusa' has a sinister creeping bass line, unnerving repetitive guitar and schizophrenic heavy attacks. There's plenty of moody drum-work among the stalking drama, with a frantic and impossibly heavy predatory finale.

`Longing' is a subtle and emotional instrumental ballad with a sad melody eventually backed by equally gentle and harsh reverb and delay feedback.

It's not all gloom and melancholy, though! Tracks like `Bertran Russell' have a ragged jamming quality to the guitar sound, with bouncy rollicking bass that gives the piece a surprisingly upbeat sound! The second half of `...To The Cosmos' has some wonderful inventive virtuoso drum-work that wouldn't have sounded out-of-place on the early 70's Eloy albums.

The psychedelic `Samuel Beckett' closes the album in a mysterious drifting manner thanks to some tight playing by the band. Lovely fluid and melodic bass floats along in the background while gentle dreamy guitar chords and commanding drumming weave through the piece.

`Daybreak' is a highly promising first album that shows a band with so much potential, full of possibilities, ideas and the musical talent to make even more accomplished albums in the future. Everything is in the right place, and the band will surely only keep pushing themselves to create more varied and complex pieces from here on. If you were to throw the few dollars the CD costs to the band, you'll be rewarded with a very decent debut album that improves greatly on repeated listens. It's already become an easy choice for me to pull from the shelf and enjoy as an undemanding listen, full of terrific playing and clever arrangements without being faceless background music.

Onwards and upwards for a talented Australian progressive instrumental band!

Three stars....edging closer to three and a half.

 Daybreak by MONTRESOR album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.03 | 7 ratings

Montresor Heavy Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Daybreak' - Montresor (6/10)

Released three days before 2011 came to a close, Montresor's debut skirted under the radar for the first couple of weeks since coming out. Fortunately, I came across the band describing and linking their music, and I liked what I read. Apparently, this new Australian group were heavily influenced by the post-black metal stylings of Alcest and Les Discrets, a scene in black metal called 'blackgaze' with which I've become rather attached. On top of the metal sound, Montresor also promised a strong King Crimson-esque, rock sound in their music. These two elements mixed together could only come together into something I would like. 'Daybreak' is a worthy effort by all means; plenty of passion and potential can be here in the work here. All the same, Montresor's sound seems uncomfortably placed in regards to its main influences. Montresor is influenced by metal, but they're never heavy enough to be metal; influenced by prog rock, but a little too heavy to be labelled as a progressive rock band. Montresor ultimately comes off as a promising post-rock act with a slight edge to their music.

There will be some debate as to what sort of music Montresor actually makes, but the Alcest influences stand tall indeed. As the album opens, the shimmering guitar ambiance gives the music a bright shine, although there aren't the sort of gloomy melodies here that I tend to expect from 'blackgaze'. For the most part, Montresor gears their performance towards a balance between heavy riffs, and more atmospheric moments. The approach has been largely explored and exhausted over the past decade by a slew of post-rock acts, but Montresor still excels at times. The excellent introduction to the album is a great example of everything that goes right with Montresor's debut. Although the influences are easy to point out, the band are able to create great atmosphere with their sound, while maintaining an organic, even raw element to the music.

Montresor are best with the more atmospheric moments of their sound. When they attempt metal, I definitely hear the intensity of the guitar sound, but the compositions lack the sort of edge that would justify being so loud. Work in a little dissonance into the guitar tones, and you have a heavy side of the band that will undoubtedly appeal to disciples of the sludge metal school. Although Montresor have a fine grasp of atmosphere, a less basic production could have helped the performance really take flight. In short, I have the feeling that 'Daybreak' is a sure sign of a band testing the waters. There has evidently been a great deal of thought put into the music, but Montresor haven't yet found the sound they are destined for.

Thanks to bonnek for the artist addition.

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