Band: Three Monks
Label: Black Widow Records
Label Website: www.blackwidow.it
Release Date: 2013
If you’ve been saying to yourself: I’d like to hear something that’s inspired by Emerson Lake and Palmer…look no further. You will be spellbound by the latest album from Italy’s Three Monks entitled The Legend of The Holy Circle. With roots in the seventies-era Italian prog scene the members of Three Monks are: Paolo Lazzeri (Pipe Organ, composer), Maurizio Bozzi (bass, sound engineer) and Roberto Bichi (drums) and drums on tracks 1 & 7 by Claudio Cuseri. Their first album in 2010 was called Neogothic Progressive Toccatas so you would be correct in thinking the classical influence is strong in the music created here.
The Legend of the Holy Circle is a full 53-minutes of classically inspired keyboard driven Progressive Rock. The music hearkens back both sound-wise and stylistically to bands like Emerson Lake and Palmer and Par Lindh Project. The sound is dominated by a huge pipe-organ that is supported by loads of fanfare-ish synthesizer runs. Arpeggios are everywhere and the music is lushly orchestrated in symphonic fashion. The compositions are all instrumental so the focus is on the keyboard performance and Lazzeri doesn’t disappoint trading off between the organ and the synthesizer or playing both while the drums and bass create the rhythmic momentum. At times the music is reminiscent of old horror movies (think Phantom of the Opera), the music builds in intensity to become grand and majestic and then slowly turns and descends on a series of cascading notes into a darker or different space. Without question, being instrumental, it is music that creates images in your mind.
It would be easy to label the music of Three Monks as retro-prog or a throw-back to the seventies, but really the music being created and performed by these guys is kind of timeless. The Legend of the Holy Circle will have instant appeal to fans of the keyboard bands mentioned, them and probably many others. There is a significant Italian feel to the compositions and that too will appeal to many prog fans. This is a very unique set of compositions, it’s stylistically something we’re all familiar with but likely haven’t heard much of lately. This is your chance. Three Monks - check it out.