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Alberto Rigoni - Three Wise Monkeys CD (album) cover

THREE WISE MONKEYS

Alberto Rigoni

Heavy Prog


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4 stars I listened to this album and it is totally great. With a fair price you can listen to such interesting music and that's really cool.

"Mizaru" and "Iwazaru" are the most complicated tracks. "Mizaru" features the legendary Kevin Moore on keyboards and he's just provided the extraordinary floating ambience underneath, suitable for such solid structure over it. Iwazaru is a 7/8 music and I believe it is a unique track. 7/8 riffs pretty much take me to the music of the Middle East and I love it. Also the keyboards on this t rack are simply excellent. "Mizaru" and "Iwazaru" are two of my favorites.

Overall the album you can enjoy powerful bass lines along with heavy drumming on some of the songs. For instance I like the drumming on the song "Blackened Tornado".

The guitar solo in the song "Free Falling" is just awesome and contributes a whole new level to the song. You would probably enjoy the ending solos for the song "Three Wise Monkeys" too.

"Between Space and Time" is a mellow instrumental song powerful enough to calm you down and take you to a state of contemplation.

"Coming Home" is a sweet song featuring Jonas Erixon on vocals. It poses a positive vibe and can entice warm emotions.

The three ending songs will take you to simple level after listening to the heavy and complicated songs that come before them. The album can fill a wide variety of interests.

You can enjoy this album and listen to your favorite songs many times as there are songs that will grab your attention and become your favorite.

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Send comments to AmirAbbass (BETA) | Report this review (#835275)
Posted Tuesday, October 09, 2012 | Review Permalink
ProgShine
COLLABORATOR
Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team
3 stars This is the first time I listen to ALBERTO RIGONI, he is a bass player from Italy and he is basically into Progressive Metal and that's what we have in 'Mizaru', the second track, with some help from KEVIN MOORE (ex-DREAM THEATER) in the keyboards.

Being a bass player, of course that the music in Three Wise Monkeys (2012), third solo album from ALBERTO RIGONI, is pretty much based on the bass. Sometimes his music is a bit more focused on songwriting like in the third track 'Three Wise Monkeys' that is a great track and has the always good GÖRAN EDMAN (from KARMAKANIC) as vocalist. And sometimes is essentially based on the bass and in what he can do as a instrumentist like in the fourth track 'Kikazaru'.

Three Wise Monkeys (2012) is pretty much based on Progressive Metal but not full time, we can hear some other influences as well, especially in the technical part of the compositions, that tries to evoke other sounds with his bass. But yeah, pretty much Progressive Metal in general, but with some personality. I, personally, don't like the overall sound of the drums, too much echo going on most of the time.

On most of the tracks the swedish singer JONAS ERIXON appears, he's specially good on 'Free Falling' and 'Coming Home'. But the final track, the cheesy 'Believe' don't please me not a tiny bit.

Three Wise Monkeys (2012) is a good record, shows a musician trying to present people the best of two worlds, instrumental/technical music and something more 'singable'. It would be a 3.5 stars if ProgArchives allow it.

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Send comments to ProgShine (BETA) | Report this review (#835649)
Posted Tuesday, October 09, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars THREE WISE MONKEYS is the third album of ALBERTO RIGONI-the talented bass player of the excellent Italian prog metal band-TWINSPIRITS!Having in the pocket 2 excellent solo albums already released -Mr Rigoni managed to offer to his fans,and not only,a third discographic effort-THREE WISE MONKEYS-and,definitelly,this album is his best so far! Third time is the lucky charm-isn't it?Well,the first good impression starts with the excellent cover-beautifully coloured and with a smart image on it-the 3 wise monkeys-also the presentation of the cd is stunning-a beautiful digipack!But,what's inside is more important- great music,vocal tracks cleverly combined with spectacular instrumental ones-well balanced and smartly arranged,in a very catchy order!Of course,the bass guitar of Mr Rigoni is in the center of attention-but what we have here is not at all an egocentric or demonstrative album,au contraire-a very solid group effort,perfectly composed,performed and mixed-a killer sound where each instrument is so clear-like crystal!The albums starts with class-with a very spectacular instrumental track-MIZARU-because the first track- TOSHOGU SHRINE- is an atmospheric one!MIZARU is a very strong composition- technically speaking-it's breathtakikg-a furious jazz metal track,with plenty of interventions of the excellent musicians involved in this ambuitious project!No need to mention again the impressive number of the guests-you can read it above-it's a bunch of great musicians here,and they deliver at maximum their creative instrumental skills at 100 %!!Stylistically speaking-the album is very diverse-from solid fusion tracks-to prog metal and rock tracks- and wonderfulinstrumental solo interludes from Mr Rigoni,where his bass guitar gives unbelieveble effects and sounds from his master!The vocal tracks have a slightly ressemblance with TWINSPIRITS-but that's only a fugitive impression,because the album is very diverse and combine many styles-as I've mentioned before!BLACKENED TORNADO is a very impressive composition too-the longest track on the album-amazing from the first to the last note!The last 2 tracks on the album-COMING HOME and BELIEVE show a more introspective and quiet side of Mr Rigoni-very sensitive and beautiful compositions,which close the album in a beautiful way!The general impression,after a first audition is that THREE WISE MONKEYS is a very complete and complex album,which needs many auditions to be fully understood!Hat off to Mr Rigoni for such an excellent album,definitelly a very mature and elaborated one!ALBERTO RIGONI has a huge componistic potential and his amazing technical skills are endless !4.75 is my note for a wonderful album-it's close to perfection indeed-and my sincere reccomandations for all good music lovers!

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Send comments to Ovidiu (BETA) | Report this review (#836278)
Posted Thursday, October 11, 2012 | Review Permalink
andrea
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Alberto Rigoni was born in 1981 and comes from Montebelluna, a little town in the province of Treviso. Since 2003 he as been the bass player of a prog-metal band called Twinspirits but he is a sensitive composer as well and in 2008 he released a debut solo album, 'Something Different', on the Finnish label Lion Music. In 2011 Alberto Rigoni released a second album, 'Rebirth', with the help of many friends and some prestigious guests by the likes of Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree, King Crimson), John Macaluso (Ark, TNT) and Michael Manring, just to name a few. This album gained him some attention and in 2012 he self-released what can be considered his best work so far, 'Three Wise Monkeys', a concept album freely inspired by a Japanese myth evoked in an original way by the beautiful art cover by Davide Guidoni. Among the musicians that helped Alberto Rigoni this time you can find, among others, former Dream Theater's keyboardist Kevin Moore, G'ran Edman and Jonas Erikson. On this album you can find prog-metal influences, of course, but also many fine melodies and a touch of jazz. The great musicianship of all the musicians involved in this work is not ostentatious in any way and the final result is a well crafted, balanced mix of passion and competence.

The short opener 'Toshogu Shrine' sets a mystic atmosphere and takes you far away, to the far east, into a shrine in Nikko, in Japan. In fact, the Toshogu Shrine is one of the main attractions of this city and here, in the Sacred Stable, you can find a famous carving of the three wise monkeys, a traditional symbol in Japanese culture. Together they embody a principle: 'see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil'. The instrumental 'Mizaru' describes the meeting with the first monkey. Mizaru is the monkey who covers his eyes, the one who sees no evil. The music starts softly, then a more aggressive section follows, the atmosphere becomes tense, dark clouds are gathering all around you...

Next comes the title track, featuring G'ran Edman on vocals. The music is aggressive, it begins with a thundering drum roll and flows like a raging river. A day dreamer is breaking all the rules, fighting for his dreams and living day by day searching for the truth, but someone warns him... 'You should trust me, my friend / I know it's hard to live that way / I can tell you what's the plan for you... Three wise monkey's golden rule / Looking the other way / Pretending that you are a fool / Cause you don't wanna play / Wilfully turning a blind eye to all immorality...'. Then the instrumental 'Kikazaru' describes the meeting with the second wise monkey. Kikazaru is the one who covers his eyes, the one who hears no evil. The atmosphere is softer, the music features some jazzy influences and a mystic mood but the pulsing bass lines suggest that something is moving undercover, a black iron man looking for his Sabbath, ready to strike like a tornado...

'Blackened Tornado' soars like a Zeppelin in the sky with its biting electric guitar riffs. The heartfelt Jonas Erikson's vocals describe the inner conflict that is storming inside the young day dreamer. Reality seems going out of his reach while he's fighting against dark winds... 'I'm a victim of my own thoughts / My mind is sick and I can't go on / I can't see what's reality / It's like a nightmare living in a dream...'. Then the instrumental 'Iwazaru' describes the meeting with the third wise monkey. Iwazaru is the one who covers his mouth, the one who speaks no evil. The atmosphere is dark and tension rises, no need of words for that!

'Free Falling' is about the sense of impotence that comes from the awareness that mother nature is crying and you can't help her, your are not strong enough to change the way things are going on and speaking up is pointless. Fear is growing inside you, there's no time for prayers and you have the feeling that the ground is crumbling under your feet, you're falling into the void... 'Have you seen the news today? / Poisoned air is everywhere / I've seen the words before / It's hard to see the earth bleeding / Tragic times, what can we do? / In the end there's nothing new...'. The delicate, dreamy 'Between Space And Time' comes like the calm after the storm and leads to the melancholic, reflective 'Coming Home'. The day dreamer is on the way back, homeward bound, and carries on his shoulders the heavy burden of his broken dreams... 'I'm coming home love, this is my home town / I've tried my wings, I lived my dream... A few more miles and then I'm done...'. The melodic final track, 'Believe', brings back a bit of optimism encouraging you to hang on your dreams and to fight for what you think is right... 'I believe in you / I believe what we can do...'.

Well, all in all I think that this a really good work. Anyway, you can listen to the complete album in streaming on bandcamp.com, so have a try and judge by yourselves!

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Send comments to andrea (BETA) | Report this review (#839665)
Posted Wednesday, October 17, 2012 | Review Permalink
J-Man
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Best known for his work in Italian progressive metal act Twinspirits, bassist Alberto Rigoni has also been building an impressive body of solo material over the past few years. Three Wise Monkeys is Rigoni's third observation, and although it may be relatively uncommon to see solo releases from bassists in progressive rock and metal, he demonstrates plenty of technical prowess and compositional talent here. Showcasing a host of guest musicians, as well as plenty of slick basslines and catchy riffs, Three Wise Monkeys is a recommended purchase to fans of melodic progressive rock and metal.

While most of Three Wise Monkeys falls under the banner of melodic progressive rock/metal, Alberto Rigoni exhibits a pretty eclectic style throughout this album. Fusion-styled grooves, riffs pulled straight out of the melodic metal textbook, and odd-metered prog sections blend together into a style that's actually pretty distinct. Half of Three Wise Monkeys is instrumental, while the remaining portion features the vocal talents of Göran Edman and Jonas Erixon. This provides a nice balance between more technical-edged progressive tracks and melodic hard rock tunes, and although the flow of the album is a bit disjointed, the entire observation is well-composed and flawlessly executed. Alberto Rigoni's basslines are especially captivating; I wish more bassists would play with this kind of soloistic prominence. There are definitely plenty of solid tunes here, but I feel that Rigoni shines his brightest in an instrumental setting.

As a whole, Three Wise Monkeys is the sort of album that is objectively well-executed and solid, but doesn't quite make my blood boil. With a bit more stylistic consistency and stronger melodic choruses, I could see Three Wise Monkeys being one of the year's more memorable releases. As it stands, though, this is a very good effort that is just on the brink of greatness, and I will definitely be curious to check out some of Alberto Rigoni's other solo material. Three Wise Monkeys may not be perfect, but it's a fun listen that fans of melodic progressive and hard rock should enjoy.

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Send comments to J-Man (BETA) | Report this review (#844792)
Posted Wednesday, October 24, 2012 | Review Permalink
Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Italian composer and instrumentalist Alberto RIGONI is perhaps best known for his decade long tenure in Italian progressive metal act Twinspirits, while his side project Lady & the Bass is the one that have given him most attention outside of progressive rock circles. Besides these projects he has also found the time to kick off a solo career. "Three Wise Monkeys" is his third solo album, and was released in the fall of 2012 through US label Nightmare Records.

And it is an interesting ride Rigoni has prepared for his listeners. Kicking of with the sparse, brief instrumental Toshogu Shrine, a perfect piece of atmospheric music that showcase the very best of Rigoni's talents as a creator of captivating moods. From then on this disc is more of an uneven ride however, with versatility and variety as key elements.

It's in the following quartet of compositions I find this disc to be least interesting. A matter of personal taste more than anything else I guess, but the energetic runs through a melodic progressive metal environment we're treated to on Mizaru, Three Wise Monkeys and Blackened Tornado, as well made and performed as they are, doesn't manage to captivate anything that hasn't been done just as good by others previously. Well conceived and performed by all means, with a strong mix and production, but perhaps lacking in the subtler details department ever so slightly, perhaps a tad too repetitive to my personal taste. Songs that will find favour amongst existing fans of this kind of music but that won't convert anyone not enjoying this style already I suspect. And while the gentle, plucked guitar and bass details on Kikazaru is a welcome addition in the variety department, this more careful and reflective piece isn't of the kind that sends shivers down my spine.

Iwazaru on the other hand, now that's more like it to my mind. A stripped down arrangement that provides plenty of space for a bass and layered keyboards workout that opens in a careful, subtly jazzrock flavoured expression and gradually develops into a richly arranged, majestic creation with a distinct symphonic expression. An unexpected treat on a number of levels, and arguably the most accomplished piece on this CD too. Depending, obviously, on personal taste.

Free Falling and Between Space and Time are less intriguing compositions again to my mind and ears, the former a diverse number that moves between harder edged funky rock, melodic progressive metal and dampened elegant jazzrock in expression, the latter a tranquil bass and acoustic guitar workout that should please those with a taste for calm instrumental music with a foot wedged into the doorway of the jazz universe.

Coming Home and Believe heads into different and more intriguing directions again however, the former again a sparingly arranged effort that slowly intensifies, with bass and acoustic guitar providing a fairly nuanced foundation for the lead vocals and the electric guitar added in later on. And as far as Believe goes, we're closer to the likes of Spock's Beard or Neal Morse on this ebb and flow symphonic oriented affair, a fitting piece to conclude this album on a high and majestic note.

There's a lot to like about "Three Wise Monkeys". The 10 compositions cover a broad and diversified stylistic palette while instrumental performances, mix and production all are high quality throughout. The songs themselves are a bit more of a hit and miss affair however, some of them strong creations that will have a broad general appeal, others come across as less engaging in general, my main impression that these pieces at least to some extent have been tailor made to suit a specific audience. If your taste in music tends to be somewhat eclectic it's a disc you might want to inspect closer, at least as long as you have a particular soft spot for the most melodic varieties of progressive metal.

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Send comments to Windhawk (BETA) | Report this review (#850378)
Posted Sunday, November 04, 2012 | Review Permalink

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