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Montage: Metamorphosis

Montage is a hard rock band from Helsinki, Finland. After forming in 2011 they released their self-titled debut in 2014 which a colleague and myself reviewed at the time. They are back with their brand new album Metamorphosis. After their first album they recruited vocalist Vesa Paavonen to replace original vocalist Mikko Heino. The rest of the band are Roni Sepp�nen (guitars, backing vocals), Jukka Parkas (keys, backing vocals), Taneli Tulkki (bass) and Kim Etel�vuori (drums, percussion, backing vocals).

The band plays melodic hard rock and metal with a progressive vibe mostly due to their intelligent use of orchestrations and the occasional complex arrangement. I wasn't totally sold after my first listen but when I returned to the album it started to click. The melodies unfolded as well as the consummate musicianship. The lead vocals of Paavonen really started to sink in as he has an excellent voice and is a key component of their sound.

The beginning acoustic guitar and gentle swells of keyboards in the first track "Age Of Innocence" is sublime and when the heavy crunch starts unexpectedly it is quite the eye opener. The tune winds through catchy riff progressions back to mellower territory where ethereal keyboards and other symphonic touches make for a well-balanced arrangement. Catchy keyboard embellishments and edgy guitar riffs highlight the title track where again the music travels between heavy and lighter sounds. Melodic keyboards, dramatic changes and an overall '70s vibe makes "Nature's Child" another strong track. The moody "Black Magic" is one of the album's best tracks and the haunting keyboard melody is one of the finest moments on the disc. The hooky chorus in "Haunted" is another high point.

I am really impressed with this Finnish band. Although they are not reinventing the wheel as the saying goes, they make intelligent and hook laden hard rock music that should appeal to a wide range of rock fans. Looking forward to hearing more in the future.

Track Listing:
1. Age Of Innocence
2. Metamorphosis
3. Nature's Child
4. Black Magic
5. Haunted
6. Invisible World
7. Death Valley
8. Reptiles
9. Carved In Stone

Added: July 2nd 2018
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 1682
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Montage: Metamorphosis
Posted by Michael Popke, SoT Staff Writer on 2018-07-02 21:47:58
My Score:

I love the beautiful acoustic guitar that opens Metamorphosis, the slightly underproduced second album from Finland’s Montage. Before too long, the simple melody gives way to power chords that introduce “Age of Innocence,” one of the most appealing cuts on an album full of songs that pack a greater punch the more you listen.

Unlike other Finnish rock and metal bands (such as Stratovarius, Sonata Arctica, Insomnium, Children of Bodom and even Apocalyptica) this five-piece band takes a subtler approach to their craft, weaving in elements of hard rock, metal, AOR and prog. New vocalist Vesa Paavonen’s dusty vocals fit this material well, and his voice takes on echoes of the late Kevin Gilbert’s 1990 Toy Matinee project on the title track and “Nature’s Child.” “Black Magic” sounds like an early Asia outtake, and "Reptile" reminds me of when Jethro Tull got feisty. If it's starting to seem as though Metamorphosis might be an album from another time, that’s only because Montage so deftly straddles the sonic boundaries between classic and contemporary; “Haunted” and “Death Valley” emerge as near-perfect examples of that dichotomy.

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