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La Coscienza Di Zeno - Sensitivitą CD (album) cover


La Coscienza Di Zeno


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.97 | 203 ratings

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5 stars "Sensitivitą" is the second album by La Coscienza di Zeno and was released in 2013 on the independent Altrock - Fading Records label with a renewed line up featuring Alessio Calandriello (vocals), Gabriele Guidi Colombi (bass), Andrea Orlando (drums, percussion), Stefano Agnini (synthesizers), Davide Serpico (guitars) and Luca Scherani (piano, synth, Mellotron, accordion, bouzuki) plus the guests Joanne Roan (flute), Sylvia Trabucco (violin), Melissa Del Lucchese (cello) and Rossano Villa (Mellotron). The musical palette is extremely rich and refined, inspired by seventies sounds but not stuck in the past. The overall atmosphere is a bit dark, as you can guess from the art cover by Paolo "Ske" Botta and the images that you find in the booklet...

The title of the opener "La cittą di Dite" (The city of Dite) refers to an imaginary infernal city described by Dante Alighieri in his Divine Comedy. According to the sommo poeta, Dite is the place where the heretics, buried in red-hot stone graves, pay for their sins. Here the music and words deal with the inner hell of the protagonist. The piece starts by a dramatic piano solo intro then the other instruments come in as the vocalist plays the role of a disturbed man, one who fears climbing the slippery stairs that lead from the heart to the brain. If you fall from that damned staircase you'll land with your broken spine where the devil's tail lies...

The long, complex, "Sensitivitą" (Sensitivity), is an amazing track that evokes in music and words the effort of transmuting and sublimating the energy of a person in an inner alchemy to improve the ability to feel, to have sensations, to perceive stimuli through the senses with the aim of finding the way towards truth and self-consciousness. Here the lyrics are like brush strokes of colour quoting holy scriptures and philosophical works, literature and obscure, esoteric rites focused on the reaffirmation of the human connection with the supernatural world...

Then comes the ethereal, melancholic "Tenue" (Tenuous). There are no liner notes to explain the lyrics of this track but they seem to be inspired by the life of Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova, Russian astronaut known for being the first and youngest woman in space, having flown a solo mission on the Vostok 6 on 16 June 1963. Later in her life she got involved in her country political life, when there was not much left of the Red Russia and its application of real socialism. The dreams and ideals of the old Soviet Union turn to ashes on the sounds of distant radio frequencies, fading away like memories soon destined for oblivion...

The following "Chiusa 1915" evokes a beautiful, dizzying landscape and memories of war soaring from the woods. This beautiful piece is about the construction of the Val Gardena Railway or Klausen-Plan, a narrow gauge railway operating in the Dolomites. It was constructed during the first World War, when the region was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The works begun in September 1915 and the line was completed and opened on 6 February 1916, thanks to the conscripted labour of some 6,000 Russian prisoners of war, here depicted as sad living shadows pushed by the steam of a crazy gear. The railway was 32.5 km long and was the highest line operated by the Italian Railways with a summit of 1,595m above sea level. It closed on 28 May 1960 and now a long section between Santa Cristina Val Gardena and Ortisei is a beautiful public footpath, the Val Gardena Railway Trail...

Then it's the turn of "Tensegritą" (Tensegrity), a reflection about child abuse and the way the monsters of childhood contribute to shape a mature person with the floating compression of his emotions and feelings. This piece ends with an invocation to Hecate, a goddess in ancient Greek religion and mythology with domains in sky, earth, and sea that is variously associated with crossroads, entrance-ways, night, light, magic, witchcraft and more. The protagonist, to have his real nature revealed prays the goddess to take him with her in a long journey across the three worlds...

The title of the following "Pauvre Misčre" refers to a 1953 song by French singer-songwriter Georges Brassens evoking the situation of agricultural workers and small landowners who toil on small farms and go on, modestly, without complaint. Here the music and lyrics update the concept and draw a bleak tableau of urban desolation conjuring up the image of a country that devours his inhabitants, a city full of lights and fake smiles where a poor man, an underclass worker, can only look at the show of consumerism. The face of Che Guevara printed on the tight tee-shirt of a young woman, stretched under her bosom, becomes the symbol of a faded revolution turning into something else...

The long, complex "La temperanza" (The temperance) ends the album and refers to the fourteenth trump or Major Arcana card in most traditional Tarot decks. Temperance is usually depicted as a winged angel pouring liquid from one cup into another to represent the dilution of wine with water, a symbol of moderation. Here the music and the hermetic lyrics draw disquieting images where you can find obscure symbolism and floating memories to describe the fragments of a life spent with too much moderation and without enthusiasm...

On the whole, and excellent work that grows spin after spin!

andrea | 5/5 |


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