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Three Monks

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Three Monks Neogothic Progressive Toccatas album cover
3.89 | 46 ratings | 9 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Progressive Magdeburg (8:22)
2. Toccata Neogotica # 1 (11:25)
3. Neogothic Pedal Solo (5:03)
4. Herr Jann (6:33)
5. Deep Red (profondo Rosso) (4:22)
6. Profondo Gotico (4:07)
7. Toccata Neogotica # 7 (10:14)

Total time 50:06

Line-up / Musicians

- Paolo "Julius" Lazzeri / pipe organ, synth (?)
- Maurizio "Bozorius" Bozzi / electric basses
- Roberto "Placidus" Bichi / drums (2-6)
- Claudio "Ursinius" Cuseri / drums (1,7)

Releases information

CD Drycastle Records ‎- DR-036 (2010, Italy)
CD Black Widow Records ‎- BWRCD 132-2 (2011, Italy) New cover

LP Black Widow Records ‎- BWR 132 (2011, Italy)

Thanks to finnforest for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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THREE MONKS Neogothic Progressive Toccatas ratings distribution

(46 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

THREE MONKS Neogothic Progressive Toccatas reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A new project, and a pipe-organ lover's dream come true

Three Monks are a unique pipe-organ focused RPI band from Arezzo, consisting of organist/composer Paolo Lazzeri, bassist/engineer Maurizio Bozzi, and drummers Roberto Bichi and Claudio Cuseri. Lazzeri was a prog-rock organist in the early 1970s until public attention shifted, at which time he began the study of romantic classical music, both symphonic and for solo organ. His prime influences came from in-depth study of the music of composer Julius Reubke (1824-1858) and his enjoyment of the progressive rock of King Crimson and Van der Graaf Generator. He and Bozzi decided to form a rock trio which would attempt to combine their love of classical music (neo-Gothic style, German Romanticism of the nineteenth century) and progressive rock. Bozzi has been a professional bassist/composer/arranger since the 1970s and has collaborated in countless studio projects and live tours. They joined with drummers Bichi and Cuseri to form Three Monks and in 2010 released their first work on Drycastle Records, "Neogothic Progressive Toccatas." It was skilfully mixed and mastered by Torben Lysholm at Tune Town studio in Denmark. This is only the beginning; the band says there will be future works.

"Neogothic Progressive Toccatas" will truly be a one of a kind in your progressive rock collection. The project is centered around the incredible pipe organ playing of Paolo Lazzeri supported by a thundering bass/drums rhythm sections and little else. This album is a church organ purist's dream. The various tracks are inspired by baroque composers and stories of cathedrals and their huge, historic pipe organs: the liner notes give specific historical information into each track's inspiration, some human, some cathedrals and instruments. The music is incredibly heavy, vast, formal, and tinged with centuries of age. You feel as if you are walking into one of those centuries old European cathedrals and hearing the bombast of the ancient organ, yet it is swirled into often dizzying progressive rock pieces. There are no vocals other than mysterious monk choirs at the beginning of "Neogothic Pedal Solo." It truly has a "power-trio" feel to it because of the focus of the sound vision, but certainly it is not your everyday power-trio. The substitution of the ancient organs where the electric guitar would typically be assures us of that. Reviewing the composition properly requires much more knowledge of classical music than I possess, as the influences and homages to many great classical composers are found throughout the album, and require someone who can spot Lazzeri's references to comment on them informatively.

The early buzz on the band was that the coming project was going to be something like Jacula, but this is really not the case. Yes the organs do recall the marvelous Charles Tiring, but Three Monks is musically much more disciplined, and lack the more obvious occult undertones of Jacula. Nor does it have the Jacula wailing guitars or distinctive vocals. This is not "dark" music in the occult sense, it is simply heavy gothic grandiosity. It is better compared to the bombast of ELP, Areknames, VDGG, and Il Balletto di Bronzo, but with 100% pipe organ rather than varying kinds of keys or synths, vocals, or guitar. Most of the music is in the heavy vein with eccentric and baroque aesthetics. There are a few moments where the rhythm section gets a bit jazzy, quite fetching with the organ. The opening track "Progressive Magdeburg" is dedicated to the rebuilding of the Magdeburg Cathedral and its fantastic organ, destroyed by bombing in World War 2. What is immediately clear is the color and personality which can issue forth from an instrument so often characterized as only dry. Also remarkable is how well the tones of the organ are beautified further and catalyzed by the warm bass guitar, you can really hear this in the final 90 seconds of Magdeburg.

As a bonus there is a Goblin cover of "Profondo Rosso," the main theme being quite faithful to the original but heavier. This is followed by a tribute variation of the same, the band calling the original "one of the most significant rock compositions for the pipe organ." Some of my favourite moments are the quieter ones, particularly on "Toccata Neogotica #1." The nature of the traditional organ can be a little overbearingly heavy at times (though I love it), and these more serene sections offer a very eerie, sublime shift to moments of contemplative mood. The final 10 minute piece "Toccata Neogotica #7" honors Austrian composer Anton Bruckner, the organist at the St. Florian Abbey (who was buried beneath his beloved organ, according to the notes.) The furiously detailed and building organ runs occasionally stand alone, the rest of the time Bozzi and Cuseri are right there, note for note, pushing the piece as far and as hard as can be. Filled with theatrical drama I keep waiting for Ian Gillan to pop in with some high-pitched wailing as he did with Jon Lord. Instead the piece builds and builds, finally slowing to half speed to set up a spectacular ending with the class and earnest quality that embody the entire work.

Three Monks is a band who should be heard by Heavy Prog fans and fans of serious organ RPI and classically influenced prog. It's an excellent debut and it will be interesting to see where they take this next. The album or download can be obtained from CDBABY.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Three Monks is an Italian trio based in Arezzo put assembled by veteran keyboardist Paolo Lazzeri, a musician active in the early 70's prog scene making his return with this new band. Bassist Bozzi is another player who started his musical career when art rock was in fashion first time around, while the slightly younger drummers Bichi and Cuseri take turns in being the third monk in the monastery. "Neogothic Progressive Toccatas" is the initial effort by these cloister inspired musicians, and was released on bassist Bozzi's own label Drycastle Records in 2010.

If you like the organ and love the pipe organ - or vice versa - Three Monks have crafted a CD you have to investigate. If not for any other reason than for it's rather unique nature, to my knowledge the number of progressive rock albums with a pipe organ as the main instrument makes for a very limited selection. In this case bass, drums and the pipe organ combine neatly to create majestic, dramatic and dark musical landscapes of an impressive nature, with a vast array of subtle and finer details to discover as one gets more familiar with this creation.

Review by ozzy_tom
5 stars Three Monks is a new Italian band which dares to push the limits of mixing progressive rock & classical music further than anybody before. For sure we can find few examples of using pipe organ in rock in 70s, but these were mainly only experiments, not an idea for the whole sound of a band. Of course there was also a band called Jacula (which later re-formed as Antonius Rex) where church organ sound occupied dominant role, but Jacula never really sound like real progressive rock, mainly because of lack of a real rhythm section (but don't get me wrong, despite these flaws and awful "evil seed" context, I really like Jacula's music!). Anyway Three Monks is the only band I know which uses this very original idea: symphonic prog-rock trio with only pipe organ, bass guitar and drums. To be honest I always dreamed about such project and my dream came true!

Let's check their compositions from their debut album "Neogothic Progressive Toccatas":

1. "Progressive Magdeburg" - great track with thundering drums, deep bass lines and - the most important - glorious pipe organ layers. Extremely energetic & furious performance. If you can image ELP with cathedral organ instead of Hammond...this is exactly such staff.

2. "Toccata Neogotica # 1" - the longest compositions begins very calm with only pipe organ sound, something you can easily hear in your local church (if they have good organ of course), but after a while Roberto Bichi & Maurizio Bozzi join to add splendid rhythm section. Just like the whole album: magnificent music full of overwhelming church organ waves. Half-way between Keith Emerson and J.S. Bach. That's what I like in my music!

3. "Neogothic Pedal Solo" - surprisingly this track begins with monk chants (rather artificial than real thing here, but still sounds OK). After that we can witness very long but not very dragging bass guitar solo. In the middle of the track Paolo Lazzeri starts to "attack" as again with dark organ chops. From this moment the rest of "Neogothic Pedal Solo" sounds more like real church music or horror soundtrack. I can also say that it's the most Jacula-like composition becasue of lack of drums.

4. "Herr Jann" - furious drums come back in "Herr Jann" to provide phenomenal support for powerful church organ layers. Simply: another mind-blowing, ear-shattering piece of art.

5. "Deep Red (Profondo Rosso)" - it's just an amazing adaptation of Goblin's classic theme from Italian giallo movie - "Profondo Rosso"(great movie anyway!). Goblin's original was also mainly played on pipe organ, but I have to admit that this pipe-organ only (+ drums & bass) version is equally fantastic, and maybe even better! My favorite tune on the album.

6. "Profondo Gotico" - superb continuation of previous theme with many classical variations. Heavy organ floods rule as always!

7. "Toccata Neogotica # 7" - last piece is a bombastic culmination of all rock & classical influences. Storming drums & grandious cathedral organ which will cause a goose bumps on your shoulders. Tremendously thrilling experience. Like crazy Bach after big dozen of LSD or hallucinogen mushrooms, who listened too many ELP's albums (or something like that :-).

Conclusion? You really ned this album, I have no doubt about it. If you always liked church organ sound and you wondered how it could sound together with powerful drums & bass guitar, you have your answer here. The only two artists I can compare with Three Monks are Jacula/Antonius Rex & Marco Lo Muscio. But addition of rhythm section gives completely new dimension to Three Monks' music, much more "rock" here (and lack of Jacula's "evil seed", sinister occult lyrics is also a plus for me).

"Neogothic Progressive Toccatas" is surely one of the best and for sure the most innovative prog-rock album of 2010. If music critics won't notice it, it means that music critics are deaf or plain stupid.

(In fact I can only find one flaw on this release. After listening to this album couple of time I read interview with Three Monks keyboardist and he said that the whole album was recorded using...synthesizer not real pipe organ. Unfortunately this info took some "magic" away... I used to think that there was some vampire-style, bent organist raging on cathedral-style organ, but now I see that there was only a guy pushing plastic keys and staring at computer monitor. Doesn't sound too "atmospheric" for me...)

Best tracks: "Deep Red (Profondo Rosso)" & "Toccata Neogotica # 7"

Fully deserved 5 stars from ozzy_tom.

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Organ based goth prog!

You may ask yourself why am I talking about goth prog, and it is a reasonable question, but well, it does actually exist, and it is enough to listen to this album by Three Monks to understand what I mean. They are an Italian band based in Arezzo, whose debut album entitled "Neogothic Progressive Toccatas" was released in 2010. Here, we will find seven compositions that make a total time of 50 minutes in which we will listen to purely instrumental music, based and lead by Paolo Lazzeri and his pipe organ.

The album opens with "Progressive Magdeburg" which since the very first seconds show its clear tendency to the organ, which at the same time, creates a scary, and obvious gothic tune. And though the leadership goes to the same organ without a doubt, the best is that it is wonderfully accompanied and complemented by drums and bass. The three of them make a very strong body that will produce unique music that we will not easily find anywhere. If you ask me, the music here could perfectly fit in any horror movie scene. It is an organ extravaganza!

"Toccata Neogotica no. 1" is the longest composition here. The first minute is soft, an introduction to the upcoming explosion, and then they attack us once again with a feast of organ , terrific drums and wonderful bass lines that together produce a dark atmosphere, that produces images, dark colors and nervous feelings. What I love from this music is that it makes your imagination fly, I mean, one can close the eyes and create a fictional world in which the music work as background, but in which there are characters, places, flavors and colors. The music itself is introducing us to its world, now our work is to create our own story.

"Neogothic Pedal Solo" is a shorter track with a very dark atmosphere, like being cloistered in the most remote part of a church. After a minute and a half the organ vanishes and then Maurizo Bozzi begins to play some bass notes, soft at first, nervous later. After one minute more the organ reappears and continues until the song finishes. When drums enter is what tells us a new track has begun. It is entitled "Herr Jan" and it is an intense but in some way friendlier song; the first three minutes have practically the same structure, but later there is a significant change for half a minute in which the music slows down, the organ becomes more delicate and drums put different figures; but it was brief, because later the music returns as it began. At minute five there is a passage I like a lot, where the bass lines are repetitive and nervous.

"Profondo Rosso" is obviously a tribute to Goblin, that legendary band who did a lot of soundtracks for Dario Argento's films. The cover is wonderful, great work by Three Monks. The next song is "Profondo Gotico" which is inspired by the same Goblin composition, it is actually a variation of it, maybe heavier and more powerful, and with a superb drums work! These two tracks are a great rendition, and better performance by this band.

The album finishes with "Toccata Neogotica no.7" a ten-minute well-crafted composition that sums up what the music of Three Monks is about. It is intense, scary in moments, with great bass lines, wonderful dynamic drums and of course, the mandatory gothic pipe organ. The organ never ceases, it is always putting different nuances and creating a variety of sensations. I love how the music takes me once again to its realm and don't let me escape until the very end. That's Three Monks charm.

What a great album by an unconventional band, highly recommendable for all who love progressive rock, and mostly for the pipe-organ loonies. My final grade, four stars.

Enjoy it!

Review by andrea
4 stars Three Monks come from Arezzo and were formed on the initiative of the classical trained organist and composer Paolo Lazzeri (a.k.a. Julius) and of an experienced bassist, Maurizio Bozzi (a.k.a. Bozorius). The trio line up was completed by Roberto Bichi (a.k.a. Placidus) and Claudio Cuseri (a.k.a. Ursinius) who alternate on drums. Their first album, 'Neogothic Progressive Toccatas', was released in 2010 on the independent label Drycastle Records and re-released with a different art-work one year later on Black Widow Records. The use of a pipe organ sound backed by a rock rhythm section is the trademark of the band and gives a particular Neo-Gothic flavour to the Three Monk's compositions. I'm sure that fans of Emerson Lake & Palmer, Le Orme or Quatermass will love them! Their debut album features seven instrumental tracks full of energy, seven toccatas where all the members of the band showcase a great musicianship.

The sparkling opener 'Progressive Magdeburg' is dedicated to the reconstruction of a pipe organ that was destroyed during the bombardment of the German city of Magdeburg. In fact, Magdeburg was heavily bombed by the Royal Air Force during the World War II and the RAF bombing raid on the night of 16 January 1944 destroyed much of the city, including the Cathedral with its beautiful pipe organ built by Adolf Reubke. In 2009 a brand new organ was built in the Cathedral and the band celebrated this 'rebirth' with this excellent, thundering piece.

The long, complex 'Toccata Neogotica #1 (Merseburg)' is dedicated to another famous pipe organ that lies in the Cathedral of another German city, Merseburg. It was built by Friedrich Ladegast and, according to the booklet, it was the 'inspirer and witness of the first performances of the grat comopsitions by Franz Liszt and Julius Reubke. This piece is a free prog rock influenced tribute to their style and in some passages it could recall Le Orme's 'Collage'.

'Neogothic Pedal Solo' features three sections and a mysterious, disquieting atmosphere. It begins with a particular monks choir, then a bass solo follows and finally an organ solo concludes the piece.

On 'Herr Jann' the rhythm section comes back for another musical ride. This piece is dedicated to another magnificent pipe organ, an organ built in 1989 by Georg Jann in the basilica of Waldsassen, in Germany. According to the booklet it is 'a splendid fusion of baroque and contemporary organ craft' and the music tries to evoke this perfect blending of classical and modern.

The following 'Deep Red' and 'Profondo Gotico' are two tracks linked together. The first one is beautiful cover of a famous piece by Goblin from the soundtrack of Dario Argento's film Profondo Rosso. The second one is a 'gothic' variation based on Goblin's theme and is a tribute to one of 'the most significant rock composition for pipe organ'.

The conclusive 'Toccata Neogotica #7 (St. Florian)' is another wonderful piece full of charm and dark energy. It is dedicated to the Austrian composer Anton Bruckner who was the organist of the Sankt Florian's abbey. He died in Vienna in 1896 at the age of 72 and was buried in the crypt of St. Florian monastery church, right below his favourite organ as he wished.

On the whole I think that this is a very good album, especially recommended to Keith Emerson's fans!

Review by Guldbamsen
3 stars Cathedral at night

First of all, this album has been reviewed several times by some of my fave writers for this site, even some who also happen to write decisively more fact focused than this acidic rambling Dane(Yes I am looking at you Jim!). So rather than just running through the abc's of this album, telling you about how it all revolves around the mighty pipe organ, and how it deals with the history of the cathedrals where this majestic instrument is to be found - the whole coming together of this band and how they once so long ago in the 70s acquired the love of prog rock and how each of them finally decided on making a musical venture of their own, I think it best to leave that entirely up to the preceding reviewers, as they already have covered this side of the story quite brilliantly.

Imagine walking into an ancient Italian church. There's not a sound to be heard - nor are there any traces of life: It's dark and musky - the candles are dusty and lifeless - the colours of the mosaic windows all but faded and grey. Everything seems infested with death - as if death itself had died and this rather perverse morbid scene actually is the aftermath of the burial hereafter.

Then imagine a Tom Cruise type of vampire - here I am thinking Lestat with a couple of ruby red eyes filled with fire and brimstone, - taking seat at the towering pipe organ - laying down a cataclysmic ear- shattering swirl of sound. He propels himself into ecstasy - reaching higher and higher, with the organ climbing in intensity like a steamboat elevator relegating melodic sound. The music suddenly grows rhythm, and a bass line forms out of the shadows like a regular hooded grim reaper - here accompanied by the heavy onslaught of exploding drums.

Together all of this amounts to some endearing heavy as led organ fuelled RPI, that unlike what others here have mentioned, doesn't really mimic ELP. I certainly don't think so. The atmospheres are all too dark and heavy, and the way the organ continues to roam inside those devilish swirls of sound, like a funeral soundtrack for death, makes this listener forget about Emerson almost immediately. First and foremost, this album feels Gothic and you can quite clearly imagine those giant pipes reverberating from the insides of an empty church. That in itself gives off an uneasy and horror-like quality to the album. As most people who have ever seen a creepy bone-yard flick, also at some point will have acquainted themselves with that ever so creepy cabinet organ, which both sounds like a doomish psalm as well as something infinitely more frightening, which is something you can't really put into words. Sometimes Black Widow Records are successful in relegating this certain something onto record - that special meeting where horror and blackness coalesce with the music to become otherworldly and at times rather beautiful - instead of turning out like something of a parody.

To pinpoint that second thing I was on about in regards to the pipe organ sound, I am reminded of an experience I had a couple of years back. I was on my way home from a place here in Denmark called Christiania, having spend most of my day in the summer sun drinking beers listening to music and watching the wide spectrum of different people filing by in what seemed like an endless line of colours, languages and sizes. I ended up on a curve at the nearby church, and it must have been well over midnight by then. Me and my friend sat there for a while in the receding noise and light - smoking and chit chatting about big and small, when all of suddenly we were stopped dead in our tracks by this enormous pelting sound storming out from our backs. It felt like a melodic thunderstorm had erupted inside the church, and at the same time we were slightly frightened sitting next to this darkened structure that all too frequently performs in horror movies and such, and here it sporadically starts playing huge sky soaring toccatas in the middle of the night. We overcame our fears and calmed ourselves down to the point where we could enjoy the music. A music that felt ancient and soul searching at the same time, but still closely bonded to the building surrounding it - like some kind of strange marriage between instrument and its home. Beautiful like an old man's face. Just like this album actually... 3.5 stars.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I caught myself mesmerized by the church-organ band concept that has completely beguiled me with Resonaxis' Hymnarium , so it was obvious that turning on those damned search engines and keying in "pipe-organ" would yield some new found , hitherto unknown jewel. Three Monks from Italy offer up a more neo-classical version of ELP, with no pianos, synthesizers, celeste or harmonium, just plain old massive church organ. Add some booming bass, glorious bass pedals and some thumping drums, ba-boom! It is absolutely crucial to listen to this at the loudest volume possible, in order to parallel the friary feel. "Neo-gothic Progressive Toccatas" is right, my dear hooded friends! This is one of the most hard-core albums I have heard, as the breathing pipe monster simply engulfs the proceedings with its whirring bombast, providing a soundtrack for eternal damnation or at the very least, a spooky James Bond meets Dan Brown thriller. Everything about this album is eerie, from the otherworldly sound, to the echoed production, the bleak artwork and the look of these screwed up monk/musicians is enough to release a deep sense of malaise. I put this on the car stereo and cranked it up, smiling stupidly at others drivers waiting for the Calgary traffic lights to turn green -with envy. It was funny seeing all those cowboy jaws drop! I just love being a sonic terrorist!

Opening salvo is the 8 minute + "Progressive Magdeburg", a thoroughly Teutonic onslaught that would have made Odin and Thor proud, a no-holds-barred organ rampage of the highest order (Opus Dei?) that kicks royal ass. The Magdeburg pipe-organ has a massive echoing and metallic tinge that, combined with a driving bass and thrashing drum attack, really gives Emerson and company a lesson in colossal power.

Thankfully, the mellower but epic "Toccata 1" offers a brief respite from the 'sturm und drang', incorporating more romantic Italian-style operatics that somehow soothe more than devastate. Eleven minutes of searing organ aesthetics remindful of the ecclesiastic impression given by Wakeman on "Anne Boleyn" for example. This symphonic exercise has more classic overtones were it not for the rhythm section bashing away with frenzied abandon (the rolling bass in particular is quite stupendous here and throughout the album). Now of course, the entire purpose of the powerful magnificence of the sound is to engulf the listener/believer into abject acceptance and numbed humility. The final section is spectrally ambient, as if in complete repentance, showing off melodic tendencies and not just power! The finale therefore incorporates terrific rifling drum fills and incessant bass themes that coalesce with the heavenly glory.

The absolute highlight piece here by far for prog addicts is the insane brilliance of "Neogothic Pedal solo" which starts off with ethereal choir work as if recorded in some faraway abbey or hidden monastery. Then liquid bass kicks in, preparing the platform for a bass pedal solo that will blow your spires and then the organ takes over with its sonic incandescence,! A thunderous slice of incredible prog-rock, both playful and overpowering.

"Herr Jann" is more keyboard thunder and rhythmic lightning, a fast paced, bruising piece that has a distinct Rick Van der Linden flavour (He of Ekseption and Trace fame). Paolo Lazzeri plays with obvious endowment and devotion, quickly engaging the powerful instrument on its own terms, a full frontal sonic assault on the senses. Bassist extraordinaire Maurizio Cozzi carves some serious ruts within the torrents of wind-blown notes.

I bet you readers out there in Progland were wondering when the Goblin influences would ever show up, well "Profondo Rosso" is here and as with the Goblin crew, the music has all the cinematographic qualities one would expect and as such, the delivered music is plain terrific. Impressions of 'deep red' are evident, the bass work in particular manages to grab the Goblin spirit perfectly (Their bassman Fabio Pignatelli is a monster). Three Monks offer up a heavier version which is not surprising, as everything they do is lacerated with burden! "Profondo Gotico" serves as a brilliant companion piece, the arrangement fitting nicely into the previous mood, though with only a slight 'lightness' that is still very Gothic. A coalescence of styles, Italian and Germanic under one cathedral dome.

"Toccata 7" is in honour of Anton Bruckner, famed Austrian composer known for his masses, motets and symphonies and of course a master organist himself. Bruckner favored all kinds of radical innovations such as dissonance, impromptu modulations and rambling harmonies and Lazzeri expresses these characteristics with dedicated reverence.

This is definitely not everyday progressive rock unless you want to be the next Silas, the suffering and self-mutilating soldier of God, desperate to protect the last remnants of the greatest power on earth. When the disc ends and silence appears, you really get the gist of this intoxicating music, its numbing effect and incredible impact on your ears.

4 trio of hermits

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Unique band from Arezzo, Italy, performing music on pipe organ.The handler of the instrument is Paolo Lazzeri, an experienced composer, who played with some local progressive bands during the 70's.His bandmate Maurizio Bozzi, a bassist and sound engineer, is also an experienced musician and the performing trio was completed, recruiting two drummers, Roberto Bichi and Claudio Cuseri, each one executing his parts on different tracks of Three Monks' debut ''Neogothic progressive toccatas''.The album was originally released as a self-production in 2010, reissued the following year, after Black Widow discovered the trio.

So, things are simple here, only three instruments, a bass, a pipe organ and a drum kit, and a monster dose of Classical influences from the romantic and Baroque periods.The overall sound reminds me of PAR LINDH PROJECT's monumental performances on pipe organ with a bit of RICK WAKEMAN.The album's title is on par with the music.Very much Classical-influenced music with a certain reference to the old progressive bands of the 70's, having also a quite gothic atmosphere with a very dark and mystical approoach, which comes close to the sinister sounds on DEVIL DOLL's albums.The music is extremely bombastic with endless interludes and organ solos and a powerful rhythm section supporting Lazzeri's mascular pipe organ deliveries, while there are moments when the whole thing turns even to be frightening with the ghost-like Gregorian choirs.IL BALLETTO DI BRONZO is the most fair comparison from the Italian scene, as the music features a combination of symphonic atmospheres and heavy parts under a haunting mood.On the other hand the lack of additional keyboards or instruments and the absence of breathing, softer themes can get this listening a bit tiring on the way.Of course this is far from an uninteristing release, I could even say that this is one of the most original works launched within the first decade of the millenium due to the monstrous sound of pipe organ.

For fans of Classical Rock and keyboard Prog Rock with a nostalgic style.Powerful and sinister music with an unmet grandieur and great executions on pipe organ.Recommended.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Who says innovation is dead ? Three Monks did not listen to this claim and neither did All Over Everywhere, another band who has released a highly innovative album this year. This album, Three Monks debut album, could had been recorded and released just as Christopher Columbus set sail f ... (read more)

Report this review (#298055) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Wednesday, September 8, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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