MONTECRISTO addresses two extreme ends of mankind's journey in their two albums. The first album “Celebration of Birth” was about birth, while “A Deep Sleep” pertains to death. The series of songs in both albums narrate the story of the phases between the two points, a process that is never simple, but is often represented only by one word: life.
Eric Martoyo recalled, “We started to record this album in mid-2013 at several studios in Jakarta and managed to complete it three plus years later. Usually we went into the studio after sunset and returned home at sunrise. Early morning is the apex of creative ideas in the process of recording this particular album. Like the first album, Steve Smart did the mastering process for “A Deep Sleep” at Studios 301 in Sydney, Australia.
“We have maintained our formula of a ‘narrating rock music,’ if you will. Through the lyrics that paint a story, we tell stories, underline the message and ask the listening audience to contemplate. We believe that music is the right vehicle for it,” said Eric.
“Musically, we are completely satisfied with this album. Songwriting wise and the execution are very much in accordance with the character of MONTECRISTO,” Fadhil Indra chimed in.
“We dedicate this album to our dear friend, Andy Julias, who passed away in February 2016, in honor of his many contributions in the advancement of progressive rock music in Indonesia through the community of Indonesian Progressive Society (IPS),” said Rustam Effendy.
The Track Listing of A Deep Sleep:
MONTECRISTO followed the trail of Alexander the Great from Cairo heading to Alexandria. Despite living in a period of 350 BC, the greatest war commander in human history has provided us much enlightenment. The man always led his soldiers on the battlefield from the front row, and not take refuge in the middle. He memorized all the names of his soldiers. He did not burn the cities down that were conquered, but to build it instead. He did not kill the royal family who he defeated, but embraced them. Are not these values still relevant today?
2. Mother Nature
The song tells of Ketapang, a small town in West Kalimantan. There stretches the river Pawan that runs a crystal clear water and the untouched little forests were surrounding the suburbs. When the sun rose, there was an explosion of bird songs and calls. Shoreline just a few kilometres away from the city. Every morning, fish market was filled with fresh fish caught by local fishermen. But that was then in the '70s. Over time, the lumber industry has dramatically changed the small town, and progress has transformed the look of it. The modernization and globalization are bound to have an enormous crushing impact on the development of the once-serene area.
3. The Man In A Wheelchair
Everybody knows Stephen Hawking, the scientist who has devoted all his life to unravel the mystery of the universe. His ideological struggle with the Big Bang Theory, black hole and the Theory of Everything have made him level with prominent scientific celebrity like Albert Einstein. In addition to the intelligence and the power of imagination, Hawking, who has been suffering from Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and sitting in a wheelchair since the age of 27, has inspired us all that physical limitations can be defeated by spirit and determination. MONTECRISTO dedicates this song to Hawking: The man in a wheelchair, we salute you!
4. Simple Truth
A scholar must be able to distinguish between good and bad (a simple truth). In an increasingly materialistic world, an expression of love is often measured by material opulence. Truth was obscured by the lies or hidden behind the veil of deception. Yet, true love will be etched in the sky and smile like a rainbow. A simple truth is just like a rainbow, it shows up in front of your naked eyes…
A man once entered a domed building just to take shelter from the pouring rain. It turned out that the building was showcasing a ballet performance, forcing him to watch the show to kill time. Unwittingly, the ballerina dance intrigued him as she strolled, turned and floated in the air, then stood upright like a candle. Her lean figure was light as a feather yet as strong as steel, rock-solid but smooth like a silken gown. She appeared graceful and poise like a majestic swan. At the time the show was almost over, the man realized that the only way to ‘slow down’ the hands of time is to be fully present and focused on what he was facing at the time. Conversely, if you find your mind wandering elsewhere, then the time will run faster. Bring all of you into the present and time will be on your side.
6. A Deep Sleep
A school friend named Alex was lying on his deathbed, and the following dialogue ensued during a visit by one of his school mates: Alex: “Are you afraid to die?” Me: “Yes, I am afraid, but maybe death is just like a deep sleep where your ego will melt and be absorbed by the existence of the universe, by then you will not remember anything, just like a childhood.” He asked me if I was afraid of dying I said “Yes, I am”, I wasn’t lying “But it may be like a deep sleep state of mind” “Egos are dissolved and existence is absorbed by the universe" “You won't remember anything just like when you’re a little child” As he stepped out the door where Alex was in, he was reminded of a note written a few years earlier: A birth is a big bang that creates small particles of apocalyptic doomsdays called life that lead to the nothingness of a vacuum. Shortly after the dialogue, Alex passed away.
7. A Blessing Or A Curse?
A contemplation of life that begins with a memory of a childhood, free from any judgment and prejudice. Then, knowledge comes and it leads to great responsibility. Slowly but surely, life becomes increasingly complex and, at one point, the complexity of life makes it feel like sailing alone in the middle of a deep ocean and there is no turning back. Is this life a blessing or a curse?
8. Point Zero
The story of this song was inspired by the novel "Woman at Point Zero" by Nawal El Saadawi. It is the story of a female inmate on death row who refused to live. She had been abused since she was very young. When she was a teenager, she was forced by her father to marry an old rich man in order to pay off debts. Eventually she escaped and became a top-class prostitute. By the time she wanted to get out of the business and live a better life, the hands of oppression clutched her and tried to silence her with a weapon which she managed to seize and blasted into the owner, followed by a number of loud bangs. Every truth has a price to pay.
This is a story about a break-up of a band. Usually when a new band formed, all personnel can suppress his ego like a hero. When success comes, differences will surface. The straps are becoming loose and everyone goes their separate ways. Eventually, the music would come calling. It resonates in their hearts that sets aside all the differences and brings them all together like a rendezvous. A unity in diversity!
This song is dedicated to the victims of the tsunami that struck Aceh in December 2004. Not to lament the disaster, but rather to give encouragement to the region to remain standing for a thousand years to come.