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Montfaucon – ‘Renaissance’ (Album Premiere)


During the Renaissance, Europeans rediscovered Classical Greek and Roman mythology, which had been all but completely lost during the fall fo the Roman Empire. Well, in Europe at least. The works of Pythagoras, Archimedes and others were kept alive in the Middle East. Their rediscovery jump-started European civilization. One can draw many broad-stroke messages from this side of history concerning the importance of education, the value of art and science, and what can be accomplished when people aspire to escape the barbarity they may be born into.

These lessons may be why San Francisco’s Montfaucon chose to name their first album Renaissance. The band itself was nearly lost in the near east. A radio hit in their native Uzbekistan, core songwriting duo Valentin Mayamsim and Michel Cadenzar had to split up and record on separate continents in order to bring Montfaucon to a wider audience.

The band may be based out of the United States, albeit from Uzbekistan, but let’s add a third country to the mix: England. Renaissance drinks deeply from the ever-flowing stream of classic British gothic doom, ergo it instantly finds itself up yours truly’s alley. Shades of Paradise Lost’s similarly historically named Gothic creep in the corners, though that band never crawls as slowly as Montfaucon is willing to. The songs never approach pure funeral doom length, but Renaissance is as determined and cold blooded as the massive insect on their cool, boutique board game artwork.

Unlike the Peaceville Three though, Montfaucon keep a laser-bright focus on Cadenzar’s piano. At times synthy, but mostly natural sounding, piano lines form the skeleton of most of the songs on Renaissance. Many melodic doom bands experiment with synthesizers sooner or later, but, offhand, I can’t think of a band like this embracing piano in such a deep way.

Valentin Mayamsin has this to say about Renaissance:

“These tracks on Renaissance are restless ghosts of unreleased songs have been haunting us for many years. Now it’s time to release them and turn a new page in the history of Montfaucon! We’ve been waiting to release this record for many years. It’s been quite a journey, and we never thought the path would be so long and windy. We were able to overcome many barriers and are grateful for the support of friends and fans all over the globe. We put a lot of effort and thought into this piece of art. We hope you enjoy the album as much as we do!”

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Renaissance is out tomorrow. Preorder it at Bandcamp. Follow Montfaucon on Facebook.

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