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Unreal City - La Crudeltà di Aprile CD (album) cover


Unreal City


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.15 | 392 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Review Nº 475

Unreal City was born in Parma in 2008. The two founders, Emanuele Tarasconi and Francesca Zanetta, met to create a complex and challenging project with the classic sound of the prog of the 70's in a modern mood, trying not to simulate but to magnify the vintage and typical side of that period. The band, which their name comes from founders' common passion for "The Waste Land" of T.S. Eliot, began to play live. In 2012 the band published their first EP, "Unreal City", with three songs with lyrics in English. In 2013 Unreal City released their first studio album, "La Crudeltà Di Aprile".

The first EP of Unreal City called the attention of Fabio Zuffanti. Due to that, Fabio decided to produce "La Crudeltà Di Aprile". As many of we know, Zuffanti is a name very well known in the Italian prog scene. He created many several Italian progressive rock projects like Finisterre, Hostsonaten, IaZona, La Maschera Di Cera, Quadrophonic, Rohmer, Aries, Buc-Ur and R.u.g.h.e, besides his musical career as a solo artist and other participations in some other projects.

So, "La Crudeltà Di Aprile" is the debut studio album of Unreal City and was released in 2013. It became one of the best prog rock albums of 2013. Unreal City performed on many great stages. In 2015 Unreal City's second album "Il Paese Del Tramonto" has been released and the band spent 2015 and 2016 touring across Europe and Canada to promote their album. In 2017, Unreal City released their third and last studio album, till now, with the title "Frammenti Notturni".

The line up on the album is Francesca Zanetta (electric and acoustic guitars and Renaissance lute), Emanuele Tarasconi (lead and backing vocals, piano, Hammond, Moog, Mellotron, Birotron, Chamberlain, Fender Rhodes, clavinet, harpsichord, church organ and Theremin), Francesco Orefice (lead and backing vocals, fretted and fretless bass) and Federico Bedostri (narration, drums, timpani and percussion). Fabio Biale (violin) appears as a guest artist.

Unreal City is above an average band, not only for the articulated plots created, but also for the attention paid to the lyrics of intense depth. A proposal that has its roots in the past but at the same time knows how to make current in numerous passages. The four members have their musical heroes of reference but the lesson has been reworked with a strong personality. The result is a direct consequence of the attention paid to the lyrics, with the predominance of keyboards of all kinds that know how to create the atmosphere more suited to what is described by the singing, really.

"La Crudeltà Di Aprile" highlights the undoubted talent of Unreal City, a band that promises a lot for the future. The album faithfully follows the atmospheres, albeit filtered with modern sensitivity, of some mythical Italian prog bands such as La Locanda Delle Fate, Quella Vecchia Locanda and Il Balletto Di Bronze. The Unreal City shows that they have an excellent feeling with the genre by creating an impressive and emphatic symphonic prog with great instrumentation.

"Dell'Innocenza Perduta" has a rhythm tight, fanned by Hammond and Moog and only when Tarasconi's subtle singing takes over, does the music calm down, emphasizing the piano. There is also room for a short guitar solo and a beautiful violin insert. "Atlantis (Conferendis Pecuniis)" starts with vintage keyboards, including the harpsichord. Also excellent here is the ending with the bass to mark the drama of the fall of the great civilization of Atlantis. "Catabasi (Descensio Ad Inferos)" has a Gothic introduction with a declamatory voice, blood riffs, pressing and slightly disturbing rhythms and a fine lyricism in the last verses. "Dove La Luce È Più Intensa" benefits from a long instrumental digression that allows us to appreciate also the important rhythmic work in the economy of the piece. "Ecate (Walpurgisnacht)" continues with the golden dark feel which is another of the common threads of "La Crudeltà Di Aprile", which the valuable lyrics remind us once again. The album ends with "Horror Vacui", a suite with over 17 minutes. The suite is divided into four sections, two of which are instrumental. Once again the keyboards reign, with ever-changing sounds. Tarasconi's singing also fully convinces, even if it's probably in the third instrumental part of the suite, "Nel Sonno Della Ragione" that the suite reaches the real climax of pathos and drama with great quality of the solo interventions.

Conclusion: "La Crudeltà Di Aprile" is a superb high-end symphonic progressive rock album that combines power, melody and liveliness in an endless farandole. The very diverse and analog keyboards lead the dance and the bass gives roundness and mellowness to the whole for an Italian progressive worthy of the great alumni of the 70's. The compositions are excellent, very full with intelligent and surprising breaks which keep the interest as the jazzy or hard rock forays which spice up the whole. The album has also an originality, their guitarist, Francesca Zanetta, a musician who delivers us beautiful guitar parts, a female presence that I would like to have more frequently in other bands in the next future. So, Unreal City can rival with the bigest names in the Italian progressive rock scene, past and present. They have a haunting quality in their music, filled with melancholy, sorrow and hope. This is another great Italian prog work.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 5/5 |


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