Exposé Online banner

Julius Paolo Lazzeri — Gothic Power
(Black Widow JPLGP 001-2, 2015, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2016-05-11

Gothic Power Cover art

Julius Paolo Lazzeri is the fiery virtuoso organist with the Italian neo-progressive band Three Monks. Gothic Power is his latest solo effort, and what an apt name for this album. The performances on the eight instrumental tracks are electrifying from the very first note to the last dying chord. In between are full-bodied, grandiose cathedral organ toccati. The disc opens with the title track and it is immediately in your face with bombastic cathedral organ and understated drums. This piece contains a quiet central passage with a different timbre. The second track, “St. Bavo,” is another virtuosic original composition. When we make it to track 3 Lazzeri tones it down quite a bit for the tranquil and spiritual “La Vecchio Torre” with its Bach-like melody. Lazzeri is a master of the multi-keyboard organ and the magnificent music is rooted in the classics. But unlike Keith Emerson, I do not detect musical quotes from classical or rock composers. The one exception is “VDGG” that takes Van der Graff Generator’s “Theme One” to new heights through Lazzeri’s gothic power lens. “Stralund,” “Leon,” and the closing track, “The Sacred Fire,” are additional dazzling performances. Amidst these final tracks is a quiet moment of reflection unlike the other music on the disc, “Mysterious Dark Lady.” This is the only track on the album that does not feature the organ. Instead Lazzeri plays a slow, delicate, and quite exquisite harpsichord melody with a low-key organ outro. Given the massive nature of the music, my guess is that this music would be difficult to perform live, unless the concert was held in a cathedral. This disc is highly recommended for those who long for colossal organ recitals, you will not be disappointed.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Three Monks, Paolo Lazzeri

Latest news

2018-02-18
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

2018-02-15
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

2018-02-14
Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

2018-01-30
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more

2018-01-18
Christian Burchard RIP – Multi-instrumentalist Christian Burchard, who founded the seminal band Embryo in 1969, has died at the age of 71. His January 17 passing was announced on the band's Facebook page. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Steve Tibbetts - Steve Tibbetts – At long last! Finally the eponymous first album by Minnesota guitarist Steve Tibbetts has been reissued. Folks familiar only with his work of late may be a little surprised by the flowing acoustic...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues