THREE MONKS - Neogothic Progressive Toccatas LP
Black Widow Records
Three Monks are a unique pipe-organ focused 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. His 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.
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.
It is right compared to the bombast of ELP, Areknames, Jacula, 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. 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.
Three Monks is a band who should be heard by Heavy Prog fans and fans of serious organ and classically influenced prog....do not hesitate...
1. Progressive Magdeburg
2. Toccata Neogotica n. 1
3. Neogothic Pedal Solo
4. Herr Jan
5. Profondo Rosso
6. Profondo Gotico
7. Toccata Neogotica n. 7
Paolo Lazzeri as JULIUS: Pipe Organ, Compositions
Maurizio Bozzi as BOZORIUS: Electric Basses, Sound Engineer
Roberto Bichi as PLACIDUS: Drums
Claudio Cuseri: Drums on tracks 1, 7