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La Coscienza Di Zeno - La Notte Anche Di Giorno CD (album) cover

LA NOTTE ANCHE DI GIORNO

La Coscienza Di Zeno

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.07 | 233 ratings

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BrufordFreak
5 stars This is my favorite release coming out of the AltrOck/Fading Records stable from this year (so far)--which is saying a lot since a) AltrOck is my favorite record label and b) I've already awarded five stars to Ciccada's new release. La note anche di giorno is an album with two multi-part "side-long" epics both constructed in symphonic style. Because the songs of each epic flow one into the other without break, the pieces really should be listened straight through, but I will review the album with the parts broken down as they are listed on the album credits. Lead singer Alessio Calandriello's wonderful vocals always impress. There is something reassuring I find in his voice. There is a confidence to his singing and he is so versatile and yet consistent! Between the three La Conscienzo di Zeno albums and two Not A Good Sign efforts he's become quite a fixture in my life. There is plenty of his fantastic work throughout this album. The entire band is in great form throughout this album, guitarist Davide Serpico always integral and never over the top, drummer Andrea Orlando and bass player Gabriele Guidi Colombi make a stellar rhythm section, with some added kudos to GG for his wonderful double bass and bowman-ship. The prominent role of violin and flute, thanks to Domenico Ingenito and guest Joanne Roan, are touches that really set this album, this group, apart--they really help make this album so enjoyable and compelling. And then, of course, there is the backbone to La Coscienzo di Zeno, the keyboards. Here we have not one but two masters of their craft working together to compose and perform these brilliant pieces, Stefano Agnini and Luca Scherani. My hat is off to you, gentlemen.

I. "Giovane Figlia" (23:59) (10/10)

1. "A Ritroso" (5:26) opens with Alessio's powerful voice straight out of the gate. Awesome! The song plays out dynamically like an overture bouncing several themes back and forth throughout.

2. "Il Giro del Cappio" (5:22) opens slowly, softly, with "harpsichord," violin and Alessio's low register voice. At the two minute mark drums, bass, and electric guitars join in to accompany Alessio's step up into his voice's upper registers. Key change at 4:20 gets us ready for the next song.

3. "Libero Pensatore" (5:12) synths with guitar arpeggios open this one until an electric guitar carries in the main melody from the previous song--just before Alessio comes in. There is another melodic lead guitar solo in the third minute. Alessio sings slowly before a GENESIS- like shift at 3:20. Violin and organ alternate with synths and a staccato section in a very pleasant kind of rondo between the three sections.

4. "Quiete Apparente" (1:37) opens with driving bass and drums with Mellotron voices, steady and hypnotic until Alessio's entrance to prepare us for the shift to:

5. "Impromptu pour S.Z." (1:10) is a brief folksy-café piano and violin intro which shifts when joined by synth and electric guitar before:

6. "Lenta Discesa all'Averno" (5:12) opens with Alessio's powerful voice driving the song (which reminds me a lot of Alessio's amazing vocal from "La cittŕ  di Dite" from Sensitivitŕ ). At 0:40 the music softens with organ and electric guitar before moving into a kind of GENESIS area again. Great vocal and narrative voice until the two minute mark when soft organ, flute and double bass are joined by gorgeous chanteuse Simona Angioloni singing in French. Simona's vocals are gradually multi-tracked to form a choir, whose increasing numbers and power are matched by that of the accompanying instruments. Sublime! The suite finishes with violin and bowed double bass. Amazing climax and ending to an amazing musical adventure! (10/10)

II. "Madre Antica" (20:08) (10/10)

7. "Il Paese Ferito" (5:52) opens with heavier, more ominous tone and mix of instruments. At the one minute mark the tempo and rhythm changes--to which piano and flute add a jazziness. Violin, synths and electric guitar interplay until at 2:00 Alessio's voice enters and the music shifts to sound like a the narration to a bar room movie scene. At 3:00 piano, bowed double bass, violin carry forward the pastoral late night debauchery feel with Alessio singing within the instruments' storytelling. At 3:50 drums and organ enter change the tempo into a kind of stop-start. At 4:25 electronic keys and guitars enter play with a two-steps forward, one step back ascending chord progression. At 5:15 there is a shift to more PINK FLOYD-like guitar chord and fretless bass with violin accompaniment until the song bleeds into the next.

8. "Cavanella" (3:09) shifts to a more upbeat mood with Alessio's easy-going vocal leading throughout, though his speed and style changes four different times before the instrumental section at 2:20 shifts into another different time, rhythm and style before settling into the next song.

9. "La staffetta" (4:01) opens with a nice weave of synths and violin before Alessio comes in to continue telling us the story of the Ancient Mother. He gets quite emotional, powerfully so, at the end of the first minute. A brief break allows everyone to recharge before coming back full force, letting Alessio and the violinist take their turns. The music turns quiet at the end of the third minute, allowing the entry of a jazzy piano--who takes us solo into the suite's finale.

10. "Come Statua di Dolore" (7:06) opens so cool, so confidently. It's like the band knows they've had you and they're saving the best for the end--the enravelling, the dénouement, the dessert. And what a dessert it is! A chapter straight out of the best of the Masters. Perfect instrumental work, perfect melodies, perfect chord changes, perfect choices in instrumentation. GENESIS, PFM, CURVED AIR, at their absolute best! The violin is definitely on front display--along with Alessio's voice, of course. (10/10)

My biggest disadvantage in reviewing this album is that I don't know Italian and I have thus far been unable to find translations into English for the lyrics or even a synopsis for the stories being told. If I do eventually find what stories are being told, I will amend my review.

BrufordFreak | 5/5 |

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