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THREE MONKS

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Three Monks biography
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.

The album should be of great interest to fans of "Heavy Prog," classically influenced progressive rock, organ lovers, ELP, Areknames, VDGG, and Il Balletto di Bronzo.

-Jim Russell / Finnforest

Three Monks official website

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Legend of the Holy CircleLegend of the Holy Circle
Import
Imports 2013
Audio CD$13.35
$33.76 (used)
Neogothic Progressive ToccatasNeogothic Progressive Toccatas
CD Baby 2010
Audio CD$12.47
$10.50 (used)
Neogothic Progressive ToccataNeogothic Progressive Toccata
Import
Black Widow 2011
Audio CD$15.90
$26.52 (used)
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THREE MONKS discography


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THREE MONKS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.97 | 34 ratings
Neogothic Progressive Toccatas
2010
4.06 | 43 ratings
The Legend Of The Holy Circle
2013

THREE MONKS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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THREE MONKS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Legend Of The Holy Circle by THREE MONKS album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.06 | 43 ratings

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The Legend Of The Holy Circle
Three Monks Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The Legend Of The Holy Circle is the second album by Three Monks, an instrumental project from Arezzo led by composer and organist Paolo "Julius" Lazzari and bassist Maurizio "Bozorius" Bozzi. As on the previous album, during the recording sessions they were helped by Claudio "Ursinius" Cuseri and Roberto "Placidus" Bichi who, in turns, took charge of drums. In my opinion, this work, released in 2013 on Black Widow Records, confirms all the good qualities of its predecessor and goes even further with the musicians trying elaborate a real storyline through their music: in fact, according to an interview with the band, this is a concept album, a kind of score for a film that you have to build up. Anyway, there are no liner notes to explain the plot and there's nothing but the music, the art cover by Margherita Zanotti, some pictures and the titles of the tracks to suggest how the story unfurls. All the rest is left to the sensibility and imagination of the listener...

The opener "The Holy Circle" sets the atmosphere with dark pipe organ rides and frenzied bass lines. Traditionally, circles were believed by ritual magicians to form a protective barrier between themselves and what they summoned and the Holy Circle is supposed to be the main line of defence against the forces of the Outside. On the art cover you can see three mysterious characters with their hands stretched out on a strange sphere where shines the light of a dangerous, powerful force while here the music evokes esoteric practices and infernal dances...

The following "Into Mystery" begins by threatening, obsessive bass lines and a hypnotic marching beat, then solemn church-like organ notes soar taking you across dark places where strange rituals are celebrated. It could be the perfect background for the reading of the works of H. P. Lovecraft or Gustav Meyrink...

"The Battle Of Marduk" is even tenser. It seems to describe a raging battle against the devils summoned from the other-world. What kind of devils? Well, Marduk is the Babylonian name of a late-generation god from ancient Mesopotamia associated with water, vegetation, judgement, and magic... Scenes from films like The Mummy or The Scorpion King could come to mind while listening to the different passages of this complex track full of dark energy.

"The Rest Of The Sacred Swarm" comes like the calm after the storm. It's a beautiful adagio for pipe organ solo that draws you between the desert aisles of a Gothic cathedral. It leads to "Rieger" where you can experience a breathtaking mystical experience surrounded by strong smells of incense. Th title of this track refers to the Austrian master organ-builder from the XIX century Franz Rieger and in the inner sleeve you can admire a picture of a sumptuous pipe organ in Prague Cathedral...

Next comes the long, complex epic "The Strife Of Souls", a magnificent track that every now and again reminds me of Emerson, Lake & Palmer and drives you through the many different moods and situations of a terrible conflict between Good and Evil, with angels and demons fighting all around. The brilliant "Toccata Neogotica #5 (Epilogue)" closes the circle evoking the immense force of destiny and waking you up from your uneasy dreams... On the whole a great album that everyone is free to interpret as he likes but that is absolutely worth listening to!

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 Neogothic Progressive Toccatas by THREE MONKS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.97 | 34 ratings

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Neogothic Progressive Toccatas
Three Monks Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

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.

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 The Legend Of The Holy Circle by THREE MONKS album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.06 | 43 ratings

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The Legend Of The Holy Circle
Three Monks Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team

4 stars Three Monks (ironically, a duo) hails from Italy and have some really different mix. In fact, it's something between the Gothic sound of Antonius Rex and the Symphonic side of Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

Three Monks is formed by the bass of Mauricio 'Bozorius' Bozzi and the organs and pipe organs of Paolo 'Julius' Lazzeri. Now, that's exactly the difference in their sound, the use of pipe organs and a big Gothic approach in their music, even when they play classical parts a la ELP. The Legend Of The Holy Circle (2013) was released by Black Widow Records in a simple Digipack, but because the album is instrumental I don't think this is a bad thing as all the info we need are there.

This is a really interesting release full of 'church' music if you like, a feeling of really being somewhere on the past in some monasterium. A really must have if you're a fan of Antonius Rex and Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

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 The Legend Of The Holy Circle by THREE MONKS album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.06 | 43 ratings

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The Legend Of The Holy Circle
Three Monks Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars The first time I played this I had a huge smile on my face, and the more I have played it the bigger it has got. Three Monks are comprised of Paolo Lazzeri (pipe organ), Maurizio Bozzi (bass) and Roberto Bichi (drums) and together they are channelling bombastic Wakeman with some of the finer elements of Emerson. The use of a pipe organ throughout definitely provides an additional element of power and majesty, almost Wagnerian in it's concept. When I started listening to it I was listening for similarities between this and ELP/Wakeman, but while this has obviously been influenced by the darker side of those bands, this is very much a band in it's own right. Both Keith and Rick have employed pipe organs (and synthesised versions of the same) to great effect throughout their career; and when I saw The Nice some years ago at the Royal Festival Hall the show commenced with Keith playing that establishment's organ (with plenty of the stops pulled out), so there are bound to be some similarities, but Paolo doesn't use any other keyboards at all and Maurizio and Roberto are here in a supporting role. There are no vocals, and no overt flashiness from anyone, just a concentration on producing the best neo-Gothic Romantic progressive classical rock that they can.

This is very much a band, all pulling together in the same direction, showing just how powerful a pipe organ can be in the hands of someone who really knows what he is doing. Apparently Paolo is heavily influenced by the music of composer Julius Reubke (1824-1858), as well as his love of progressive rock, but that is yet another composer I have never heard of so can't say if it comes through into the album. What I do know is that this is an incredible example of keyboard based progressive rock, and fans of this style definitely need to seek this out. www.blackwidow.it

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 The Legend Of The Holy Circle by THREE MONKS album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.06 | 43 ratings

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The Legend Of The Holy Circle
Three Monks Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

4 stars This is my first review after some weeks of inactivity and I'm happy to start with one of the recent excellent releases of the Black Widow Records label.

This album is my first taste of the Three Monks as I have missed the debut, and my general impression is of a sort of "dark Rick Wakeman", but really better than many of the releases of that very prolific master of keys. In this darkness there's more rock and listening better, the "Italian" factor adds a difference. The Wakeman's impression is caused mainly by the use of the Pipe Organ with its very distinctive sound. Think to Criminal Records to have an idea.

Well, the Wakeman think ends here. There's a lot much than just pipe organ in this album. The second track, in example, would be a perfect fit for a horror movie, nothing less than most famous bands like Goblin. Wanting to list possible influencers, the "trio" lineup made of keys, bass and drums and the tracks composed by "Julius", the keyboardist can remind to ELP.

Another mention goes to the "classical" mood of "The Rest Of The Sacred Swarm", a very powerful title, too. It's clearly inspired to the Albinoni's "Adagio", but its weird sweetness reminds me to the grotesque Azatoth of the old Canterbury band Arzachel.

There are "goblins" also in the following track "The Battle Of Marduk". For who doesn't know, Marduk is one of the most ancient obscure Gods of the history: son of Enki, who later became the most important God in Babylon, identified with the planet Jupiter. Not bad for a devil, isn't it? The track is split in two different parts: one very dark and heavy, followed by another very dark but more ambient oriented, mainly driven by the bass. Perfect for Dario Argento.

Rieger is probably a tribute to the Austrian Organ-maker, but it's still very dark. If this album has a problem is that the mood doesn't change much. This means that the occasional listener may find it boring after a while, but if it's listened with the attention that it deserves, it's rewarding.

"The Strife Of Souls"sounds very Emersonian. Some passages are reminding of Works (Pirates), but let me say that the music is not derivative. It's sometimes similar because of the particular instruments used, but unlike many other bands around the world they can't be considered a clone of anybody.

The final "Toccata" is the less dark track of the album. It's a canon, likely inspired to J.S. Bach. An excellent closer for an album which is balanced between evily darkness and classical mood.

Strongly suggested to fans of Goblin, ELP, Wakeman and Organ driven music in general, regardless the historical period it belongs to.

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 The Legend Of The Holy Circle by THREE MONKS album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.06 | 43 ratings

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The Legend Of The Holy Circle
Three Monks Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars Now I have listened to a very bombastic record and it managed to please me a bit. Three Monks latest record "The Legend of the Holy Circle" sounds like prog uses to and I am not surprised that people like what they hear. The cover picture reminds me of comics and the listener thinks the music will take place in a world of fantasy and perhaps history.

It is true the patterns of this music sound a bit old. They have a lot of organs but the catching of an antic feeling hasn't really worked. Three monks are Paolo Lazzeri (organs), Maurizio Bozzi(bass) and Roberto Bichi(drums) and the leading and totally dominating instrument is the organ and I didn't thought I was going to say this but it's even too much organs.

I wrote te music was bombastic and that is true. The compositions take a big place and they are whirling around without being stopped by anything. Though I feel a lack of variation all the time. Some tracks on this albums are very good such as "Into Mystery" with has a more honest depth in it and the shorter "The Rest of the Sacred Swarm" which reminds me of classical music(both 8/10). The rest are a little bit better than just good (6-7/10) and the pure organ sound is absolutely decent. But I don't find it authentic! These organs want me to believe I am hearing a symphony in a cathedral but the music isn't enough for making me believe that.

I like the pretentions I scent but it is the result that counts. Three stars to this Italian band!

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 The Legend Of The Holy Circle by THREE MONKS album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.06 | 43 ratings

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The Legend Of The Holy Circle
Three Monks Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

5 stars Three Monks return with the follow up to their amazing debut work, and `The Legend of the Holy Circle' is loaded with grand, haunting and overpowering medieval classical atmosphere mainly built around endless pipe organ. Fans of keyboard dominated progressive acts such as Sweden's Par Lindh Project, Japan's all-girl trio Ars Nova and especially the darker styled Italian bands such as Goblin and the Bartoccetti projects Antonius Rex/Jacula will really want to make this their next essential purchase.

`The Legend of the Holy Circle' is apparently something of a concept piece, although I've yet to figure out the theme or narrative just yet! Even the band members credit themselves as Julius, Bozorius, Placidius and Ursinius, but I'm not sure if there's any clues there! Paolo Lazzeri (Pipe Organ, synthesizers, compositions), Maurizio Bozzi (Bass, Sound Engineer), with both Roberto Bichi (tracks 3, 6, 7) and Claudio Cuseri (tracks 1-2-5) are on drums, and within the first few minutes, you'll be transported to a time of ancient stone castles, chilly mists over lonely hills, solemn churchs, private meetings for secret societies, esoteric symbols and devilish deals.

Lead track `The Holy Circle' definitely brings to mind Ars Nova, loud and heavy overwhelming dizzying gothic synths swirling around booming intimidating pipe organ, pitch black dirty bass mumbling away in the background beneath a storm of the wildest drums smashing through some unpredictable tempo changes. A truly delirious and manic opening that will have you gasping for air! `Into Mystery' opens with some nice stalking bass creeping up, Grand organ shattering your senses and stomping down on top of you, the whirling aggressive Moog throughout taking on such a spectral ghostly glee that I had to check to credits to see if this section wasn't played by a demon inhabiting the body of Rick Wakeman!

At nearly ten minutes `The Battle of Marduk' sinks into the mire and grime of the deepest dungeon, sometimes comparable to the scratching, clawing overwhelming sinister organ driven menace of Antonius Rex and Jacula. Thrashing militaristic drumming, wild tempo changes that grab you by the throat, and even a cautiously soothing electric piano passage in the middle to catch you off guard. The bass here has a murky, stuffy sound that really hammers home the oppressive and suffocating mood of this gloomy work, and the final half of the track turns absolutely chaotic and berserk. Thankfully `The Rest of the Sacred Swarm' is a lovely and darkly romantic solo duel organ piece, full of wistful contemplation and longing, truly a sublime reflective moment of respite to catch your breath.

`Rieger' is all stomping, imperial pomp and intimidating regal glorious majesty, with frequently lovely near-whispering moments of low-key organ and the softest of percussion, only to have these moments of ease blasted away seconds later. Like a serpent, the bass slithers it's way around the background of the piece, as if whispering promises and lies in your very ear. Several grand and triumphant themes throughout this one. The frequently uptempo and nimble `The Strife of Souls' moves through chasing, manic-like tension and fear to even more heroic themes of glorious victory, always a constant strident drumming charge moving the piece forward, the gentlest of tiptoeing vibraphone footsteps over lulling placid organ. Solemn, somber, filled with purpose, and always exhilarating.

`Toccata Neogotica (Epilogue)' is like a ghostly waltz, so grab your gothic lady and head to the ballroom floor. All eyes on you, you steal the spotlight, some guests look on with plotting and jealous eyes, others in quiet awe. Organ crashes down like an anvil, taking to listener up in glorious divine rapture. A breathtaking vigil mass to end this intoxicating work on.

Available on both CD and LP from Black Widow Records, `The Legend of the Holy Circle' is more thrilling instrumental music for prog fans in 2013, as well as yet another Italian stunner. Truly timeless music, and along with Sophya Baccini's Arcadia's theatrical gothic symphonic opera `Big Red Dragon', L'Albero del Veleno's promising debut `Le Radici del Male' and the latest Antonius Rex work from late last year `Hystero Demonopathy', it makes for yet another triumph for the dark and uneasy corner of the Italian progressive scene.

Five stars.

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 The Legend Of The Holy Circle by THREE MONKS album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.06 | 43 ratings

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The Legend Of The Holy Circle
Three Monks Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by richardh
Prog Reviewer

5 stars After their impressive debut in 2010 'Neo Gothic Progressive Toccatas' comes another slice of pipe organ heaven from this Italian band. Its strictly a trio format (although two different drummers are used) and all 'instrumental' over its 7 tracks and running time of 50 odd minutes. I'm not a classical music lover so this is as close to actually listening to that genre I will ever get. For those familiar with the debut this is not quite as 'raw'. I think they have tried to make the sound a bit softer and introduced synths into the mix which if I recollect correctly were not present on the debut. At times it reminds me of the Japanese trio Ars Nova especially on the more energetic sections.

Overall there is not much I can condemn (or would want to) and much to be admired. Its a real joy to have this music and a band such as this in existence. I go with a 5 star rating and let other people pick holes in it ( if they can find them).

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 Neogothic Progressive Toccatas by THREE MONKS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.97 | 34 ratings

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Neogothic Progressive Toccatas
Three Monks Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

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

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 Neogothic Progressive Toccatas by THREE MONKS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.97 | 34 ratings

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Neogothic Progressive Toccatas
Three Monks Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group Site and Forum Admin

4 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...

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