Power metal from Argentina, Montreal has unleashed a punishing release entitled Entre el Bien y el Mal. Immediate comparisons can be drawn to Iron Maiden on the track Corte Final in terms of structure and pacing. However, this comparison does not apply thorughout the entire disc.
Vocally Claudio Vattino has a raspy delivery that can go from deep tones to the higher ranges with confidence calling to mind Zak Stevens (Circle II Circle, Savatage). As is obvious by the song titles, the songs are sung in Spanish and the Montreal is as talented and powerful as two of our favorite Spanish vocal bands in Tierra Santa and Mago de Oz.
A mighty hail has to go out to guitarist Gustavo Ruben for destroying the strings on his guitar. Just check his playing and technique on the frantic No Se Banca.
The title cut Entre el Bien y el Mal sounds like Ronnie James Dio era Black Sabbath in terms of being slow, deliberate and a touch doomy. Ruben’s guitars possessing an Iommi feel and Vattino phrasing wise heading into Dio territory. The ballad Nada es Eterno is a nice change of pace that has the vibe of Seventh Star era Black Sabbath with Vattino doing a chameleon on the vocals sounding a bit like Glenn Hughes. Amen returns to the break-neck paced metal as does Rocker, which has a more of a NWOBHM vibe to it.
Montreal also offers up a pair of Deep Purple covers in Mistreated and Soldier Of Fortune which the band performs in English.
In doing a bit of research, I was able to trace their debut release back to 1999 and it appears that the band has undergone lineup changes with Ruben being the apparent leader of the tribe. For those who are open-minded to non-English metal vocals, Montreal is stellar addition to the collection.