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4 Aug 2010
Album Review by Benny P. Kuntoro

Written by Benny P. Kuntoro

The most anticipated debut album by a group of fresh Indonesian talents, consist of individuals with absolute musicianship, rightfully delegated to their respective instruments. These are they guys who obviously has ultimate passion to the music, and has done extensive research on each of every tunes they've picked for the nine songs available in this album. This band has absolute nothing against the current commercial laden, pop lovey-dovey stuff of the local industry, but they've cleverly created an entirely new concept, handed fresh in a silver platter. To some potentially instant fans, it could be called as progressive, or even simply 'different' rock album. But agree or not, we've got these guys who ballsily penetrates the market and come up with a very prevailing delivery.

Each song on this album is humongously out-of-the-box, and like the other new things that we're about to be involved in, be sure you'll have wide perspective and open horizon. I won't be mentioning names, but some fans might regard this band similar to this band, that group, etc. Yes, it could be true, the influences are pretty clear. But good music is still a good music. Considering that these songs are written by native Indonesians, and crazily enough, decided to make a full commercial album to deliver their masterpieces, please bring the beers to the table and drink up! Yes, it's about time! As music lover, with influences such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Dave Grusin, Madonna up to Behemoth, I always look for that 'wow factor' in each of the songs. And to me, these 9 historic tunes are completely no-nonsense stuff that you need to listen since your wakeup time, breakfast, shower, on the way to the office, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and of course a great companion for before your bedtime. Montecristo, in retrospect, is a way of life.

No need to slag each song to the other, and I ain't no progmaster, but I must say "Ancestral Land" is a perfect opening with great mixture of straightforward prog tune and orchestra, and crunchy and soulful voice of Eric Martoyo. The usual pick of tunes of typical Indonesian music won't be found here, and you're about to enter the whole new world. Totally new atmosphere and yet will make you re-spin the CD over and over again. Then there is "A Romance Of Serendipity" - harmless, mysterious but beautifully crafted ballad.

The title track, "Celebration Of Birth", opens with haunting but kicking aura and somewhat gives positivity towards the meaning of life. "In Touch With You" is specially designed by Fadhil Indra - daunting but memorable, with great vocal works and piano-orchestra touch all over, completed by signature guitar combos by Rustam Effendy and Alvin Anggakusuma. Other favorite would be "Crash", which is talking about the suffocating economic crisis, belted by easy-to-remember rocker; a true proof to see the actual groove-work of Haposan 'Posan' Pangaribuan (bass) and Keda Panjaitan (drums). "Clean" is a great closing, uptempo tune, albeit its provokingly complicated arrangement, it accompanies you to the proper exit door. Feeling satisfied and ready to embrace life to the next level.

I hardly see any lowdown with this album. My guts are filled with praise and joy. Montecristo must have been calculated this album carefully and cleverly, and just wanna come up with good music. Something different is their scenario, the repertoire says it all. "Celebration Of Birth" is one promising album, even for today's market trend. So let's unfurl the red carpet. Celebrate. The next big thing is about to conquer your corners anytime soon. Light up your cigar and brew that espresso, you're about to enter the time capsule into the Montecristo World, beyond the age barriers, gender and any other differences.

Grab this great album in stores near you. Deadly recommended. Enuff said! (9.99/10).


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