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La Coscienza Di Zeno - La Coscienza Di Zeno CD (album) cover


La Coscienza Di Zeno


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.09 | 216 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The start of something beautiful

The members of the RPI team listen to a lot of Italian bands as we do reviews and evaluations, and for whatever reason my initial reaction to La Coscienza di Zeno's debut album was very similar to my team mate Chris (who wrote the first review and the biography for ProgArchives). Like Chris I was not blown away by CDZ upon first listen for some reason, it took some time, but when it grabbed me I was hooked. CDZ are one of the latest superb RPI releases by Mellow Records and this is a band which should have some staying power. With a powerful presence, dramatic material, and tight musicianship, their modern symphonic prog can at times conjure Pandora, VIII Strada, Banco, Genesis, or even Phideaux'.not all at once of course. More than anything there is a strong influence of the classic RPI bands handsomely updated with elegant, powerful sound and intriguing songwriting.

The seven beefy tracks are amazingly consistent in their quality, the sound primarily an energetic and confident heavy symphonic bolstered by sections that can feel jazzy or pastoral. The moods are balanced between dark, light, but all are passionate. All of the musicians are totally going for it here, there is no coasting or pointless noodling happening. Focused, tight, pretty intense, and definitely the product of many hours of collaboration between great players. Surprisingly a good amount of the album is instrumental and yet it engages with slightly avant-garde moments, some spoken word interlude, strings, romantic piano, organ, flute, and accordion. When the vocals do kick in they are very good and very Italian, dramatic, theatrical, and occasionally this guy goes way up there like Gillan or the New Trolls vocalist. And he nails those registers with no problem. I am captivated by the sweeping twists and turns, the heartfelt, soaring emotions, and the transitions from one interesting, lovely section to another. Even some dissonance and non-linear surprises here and there, but mostly just knockout, exceptional Italian prog.

The bottom line on CDZ is that they will knock RPI fans on their ass and leave giddy most any fans of quality progressive rock. They sound more authentic and confident than many of the so called 'retro' bands out there, and the music is a pure delight. I expect CDZ to grace some end of year RPI lists with Gran Turismo Veloce and Hostsonaten. It will certainly be near the top of my list and is an easy 4 stars without hesitation, maybe a bit north of 4. Just remember not to judge it on the first spin, trust me, it grows on you. A damn fine debut.

Finnforest | 4/5 |


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