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La Coscienza Di Zeno - Una Vita Migliore CD (album) cover


La Coscienza Di Zeno


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.60 | 63 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars LCdZ returns with an orchestrally expanded lineup and retro/1970s-styled engineered sound.

1. "Lobe iste calabu" (6:43) acoustic guitar and piano with a more acoustic orchestral sound palette before the synthesized "recorder" begins soloing at the one-minute mark. Then, at the two minute mark, everything stops for the piano to take over with a very classical-sounding solo that is eventually joined by some damned fine flute playing. And then at the three minute mark the prog rock instruments take over leading us into a very nice passage of fully developed and finely soloed instruments (the electric guitar, in particular, shines quite brightly). Great opener. (9.5/10)

2. "Il posto delle fragole" (8:36) rather typical LCdZ opening "suddenly" joined by Alessio singing as if he's thinking while walking and window shopping. Though I appreciate the scaled back effects used in the engineering department--giving the instruments a true 1970s analog, pre-gated /compressed sound--there is something not quite right with the guitar. As beautiful as is the voice of Alessio Calendriello, I just feel as if he's only dialing it in--as if he's too laid back, too detached from the usual passion that he gives to his performances. The band just sounds tired, as if they're just going through the motions. (16.25/20)

3. "Danza ferma" (5:38) Baroque instrument palette to open with lute-like guitars and oboe setting the scene, joined by Alessio and drum kit towards the end of the first minute. This is a very interesting sonic exploration by LCdZ. At 2:10 the rock instruments join in, giving this a very 1960s/early 1970s sound to it--back when early electric sound technologies were being used together within the orchestral arrangements. Alessio and choral background are a cool touch but once again Alessio just sounds like he's dialing it in--not giving his all. (8.5/10)

4. "Mordo la lingua" (5:44) more like the usual LCdZ--though still using a more retro/70s engineering sound palette. Good song with an excellent finish. (8.5/10)

5. "L'aspettativa del bimbo scuro" (8:57) oboe soloing over fast bouncing percussive pass (Chapman Stick?) and then joined by soprano sax. At the one-minute mark the music shifts to a classic RPI sound palette. Alessio enters with power--for the first time sounding as if he's really into the song, into his performance. Yes! This is the LCdZ reaching for their full potential. A downshift in the fourth minute yields a beautiful instrumental chamber weave. Then, at the beginning of the fifth minute, there is another shift, this one feeling more classic RPI before jazzy piano takes over. The next section is more sedate--including Alessio's lackluster-sounding voice. Bouncing back and forth between slow, plodding and fast and speedy from here out, the mix of antiquated classical instruments with the rock instruments continues, sometimes working, sometimes not. Too bad they couldn't maintain that enthusiastic cohesion from the opening three minutes throughout. (17.25/20)

6. "Una vita migliore" (12:34) a full-on prog epic that puts on full display the mastery of their craft: many themes and motifs blended seemlessly together, drawing upon all of the prodigious talents of each member the band while at the same time demonstrating their compositional skills. No orchestral instruments used on this one, just pure rock and roll. Totally the best Alessio Calandriello performance on the album. Does anyone else hear the repeated strains of Jesus Christ Superstar throughout this song? (22.5/25)

7. "Vico del Giglio" (2:58) a final instrumental march to show off that fusion of antique classical acoustic orchestral instruments with those of 1970s progressive rock music. Goodbye, La Coscienza di Zeno! Thank you for a decade of the wonderful music! (8.5/10)

A step backwards in sound quality, the album's songs sound as if they were recorded on stage, with one microphone. This may, in fact, have been the sound the band may have been going for--it makes the band sound as if they are all playing at once, together, which is cool, but the individual instruments do kind of bleed into each other, lose some of their distinctiveness. The songs also have a sound and feel like a 70s rock opera--with many total shifts mid-song like a Jesus Christ Superstar styling. Still, this is new music from La Coscienza di Zeno! This is Alessio Calandriello! This is modern RPI at its vintage-sounding best!

B-/3.5 stars; a nice, mature display of Rock Progressivo Italiano that, though may fail as a "perfect" blend of ancient classical and modern rock instrumentation, does show courage and a desire to challenge themselves and grow. You've got to give credit to these guys for one thing: they have created music that is all their own--music that sounds like no one else.

BrufordFreak | 3/5 |


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