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Spotlight Album: ‘Autopoiesis’ – Montresor

jtpao 06/12/2024

Folk N Rock
Spotlight Album: ‘Autopoiesis’ – Montresor

They say good things come to those who wait, and the wait has been worth it. Eight long years have passed since guitarist and composer Cameron Pikó graced us with his debut album, “Entelechy.” Now, he has returned with the highly anticipated follow-up, “Autopoiesis,” released in late May. As a devoted progressive rock fan, I can confidently say that this album is nothing short of amazing. It’s a masterpiece that showcases Cameron Pikó exceptional artistic vision. So with that said, it’s been 8 long years, now lets take a look!

“Vanishing Fog,” the album’s opener, unfolds with a mysterious allure. A low clarinet pattern sets a somber tone, soon joined by a steady bassline that anchors the track. But the real magic lies in the subtle introduction of a sound that seems to materialize from the ether—a faint harpsichord melody that gradually emerges from the background, growing in prominence until it claims center stage. It’s a cool moment, as if a hidden treasure is slowly being unveiled.

As the harpsichord takes the lead, the arrangement expands to include a playful, almost circus-like horn motif and a persistent percussive rhythm that adds a touch of flair. At the two-minute mark, a dynamic guitar riff comes in, infusing the track with energy. This pattern weaves in and out, creating a cool dynamic between the different elements.

The latter half of the song takes a turn, as the energy seems to dissipate, replaced by a sense of quiet contemplation. The harpsichord melody, now even more pronounced, guides the track into uncharted territory, while deep, flute-like tones add a touch of ethereal beauty. The song ultimately fades out, giving this sense of wonder and a deep appreciation for its intricate and nuanced arrangement. It’s a truly brilliant opening track, and I loved it.

“Farmland” begins with a gentle, elegant piano melody that strikes a perfect balance between allusion and allurement. It’s a melody that invites you to relax, but don’t get too comfortable—the percussion enters on an entirely different rhythm, a swinging, jazz-infused beat that contrasts beautifully with the piano’s more subdued tone.

The addition of subtle guitar riffs and clarinet-like tones further enriches the mix. The clarinet, in particular, benefits from well-placed pauses in the mix, allowing its unique timbre to shine through. The overall effect is a sense of depth and complexity, as if the music is unfolding in layers, revealing new details with each listen.

The track’s dynamic nature is truly its defining feature. It’s a constantly evolving soundscape, with shifting instrumentations and rhythms that keep you guessing at every turn. The bassline, which arrives fashionably late to the party, is a groovy part, perfectly complementing the playful percussion.

This is progressive rock at its finest, with a touch of jazz and a whole lot of soul. The clarinet sections are particularly memorable, adding a touch of melancholy beauty to the otherwise upbeat atmosphere.

“Antinomies” opens with a striking combination of sounds that really caught my attention. The guitar work is a gritty, reverb-laden affair, a nod to a bygone era of television themes, conjuring up images of smoky back alleys and shadowy figures. But then, the clarinet section enters, offering a counterpoint that’s both mysterious and darkly enticing.

This contrast between the two elements is nothing short of awesome. It’s as if two distinct melodies are vying for dominance, each with its own story to tell. Yet, somehow, it all works together harmoniously, creating a cohesive whole that’s greater than the sum of its parts.

As the track progresses, a playful guitar riff emerges midway through, and it’s here that I couldn’t help but draw a comparison to the iconic “Nana Nana Nana” theme from the 1966 Batman series. Ultimately, “Antinomies” is a beautifully crafted piece of work that defies easy categorization.

“Bildungsroman,” the album’s epic centerpiece, clocks in at just under eight minutes, and every second of it is great. The track opens with a smoky, bluesy guitar riff that feels like it was plucked straight from the heart of New Orleans.

The percussion and bass kick in together, their timing so tight it’s almost telepathic, laying down a solid rhythmic foundation. That opening riff keeps on rolling, giving you plenty of time to groove along, while the drums have a field day in the background, adding their own flavor to the mix.

Just past the minute mark, the song shifts gears, ramping up the intensity and subtly changing the pattern. The percussion remains a standout, seemingly on a mission to steal the show with its intricate rhythms and fills.

Two minutes in, and the track explodes into a full-on bop. This section is pure energy, a celebration of rhythm and melody that’ll have you nodding your head and tapping your feet. Towards the end, an atmospheric sound enters the fray, adding a rough, gritty texture that complements the song’s overall vibe.

The album concludes with “Autopoiesis,” a fitting bookend to the opener, showcasing more of that awesome harpsichord-like sound that I just can’t get enough of. This track, along with the opener, is destined to be on heavy rotation in my background music playlist—it’s the kind of music that I can get lost in while going about my day.

The combination of harpsichord like sound and clarinet creates a truly beautiful piece of music. The piano work, with its fun, playful riff, adds a really fun layer of enjoyment. This is one of the most serene tracks on the album, perfect for those moments when you just want to unwind and let the music take control.

Of course, being a progressive album, there’s bound to be some twists and turns along the way. Around the two-minute mark, the percussion shifts into a more upbeat, rhythmic pattern. It’s a welcome change of pace that adds a bit of energy without sacrificing the overall serene atmosphere.

As the song progresses, the intensity builds slightly, and the peacefulness subsides a bit, but not enough to completely disrupt the mood. It’s a gradual transition that kept me engaged without jarring you out of the experience. Finally, the track winds down with somber clarinet notes and that beautiful harpsichord sound, bringing the album to a satisfying close.

Montresor has truly outdone themselves with this one. It’s a record that’s both fun and complex, with each composition offering something unique and enjoyable. There are tracks that are perfect for even an exercise playlist, and others that are ideal for quiet contemplation. Every piece of music on this album has earned a spot on my playlists, and I’m sure it will find its way onto yours as well.

As a fellow progressive rock enthusiast, I appreciate how Montresor has managed to put their own spin on the genre. The influence of Jethro Tull is evident, and it’s exciting to hear how those classic sounds have been reimagined and blended with other elements to create something fresh and new. This record was an absolute pleasure to listen to, and I highly recommend it to anyone who appreciates well-crafted, adventurous music.

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