Archives: Classical Prog Rock from Italy’s Three Monks – Neogothic Progressive Toccatas!

Neogothic Toccatas

Originally posted Oct 20, 2013 @ Me,Myself,Music and Mysteries

So early this evening after the Eagles loss to the hated Cowboys I listened to Three Monks a prog rock band with a different sound. Their forte is music that has arisen from organist/composer Paolo Lazzeri’s,study of romantic classical music, both symphonic and for solo organ…… Pause and switch gears – my evil wife posted this ecard on my Facebook


Anyone who reads this blog knows that I am always totally focused on the task at hand and never, ever get distracted! Now where is my banana,and what was I writing about!!

Oh, yeah the Three Wise Men no Three Monks they are a pipe organ focused band that calls Tregozzano, Toscana, Italy home. The band is composed of the aforementioned  Paolo Lazzeri,  bassist/engineer Maurizio Bozzi, and drummers Roberto Bichi and Claudio Cuseri. Lazzeri started has musical career as a prog-rock organist in the early 1970s When interest in his career waned, he began the study of romantic classical music, both symphonic and for solo organ. The forming Three Monks has found an outlet for his compositions. According to ProgArchives Lazzeri’s musical style has been “influenced primarily by his 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” .

I found this band while reviewing the new prog releases for October, Since the album is not on MOG right now I am making the assumption that the album has yet to be released.(It is out just not at MOG yet) Instead of the new album, I listened to their  2010  Neogothic Progressive Toccatas  The album is very different from anything I listen to, but since I love organ music, I did enjoy the album very much and think it may become part of my work music rotation.  Here’s some more information about the album from a review at Priog Archives by tszirmay  a Special Collaborator and Symphonic Prog Specialist at the site. He obviously can tell you more about Three Monks than I can!

 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! Continue Reading 

and from a review by Finnforest  another Special Collaborator,  Honorary Collaborator / RPI Specialist at Prog Archives

“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 Continue Reading

And if see can’t tell you more about the album, then I know I certainly can’t. So just check them out,l if you’re ready for “something completely different” – “she turned me into a newt!” “I got better” banana!

Here’s a Lazzeri organ solo!!  Check out the band at CDBay  and at My Space and ProgArchives and other fine websites!