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LA CRUDELTÀ DI APRILE

Unreal City

Rock Progressivo Italiano


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Unreal City La Crudeltà Di Aprile album cover
4.18 | 174 ratings | 7 reviews | 35% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 2013

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Dell'Innocenza Perduta (7:28)
2. Atlantis (Conferendis Pecuniis) (9:49)
3. Catabasi (Descensio Ad Inferos) (8:14)
4. Dove La Luce È Più Intensa (7:01)
5. Ecate (Walpurgisnacht) (8:58)
6. Horror Vacui (17:54)
- a. Le Radici Del Mare
- b. L'Assassino
- c. Nel Sonno Della Ragione
- d. Il Baratro Della Follia

Total Time: 59:24

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Emanuele Tarasconi / vocals, piano, Hammond organ, Moog, synthesizer, Mellotron, Chamberlin, Fender Rhodes, clavinet, church organ, Theremin
- Francesca Zanetta / electric guitar, acoustic guitar, lute
- Francesco Orefice / electric bass, fretless bass, backing vocals, voice (2)
- Federico Bedostri / drums, timpani, percussion, narration (2)

Guest musician:

- Fabio Biale / violin (1, 3)

Releases information

CD Mirror Records MRL 1006 (2013)

Thanks to seventhsojourn for the addition
and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates
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UNREAL CITY La Crudeltà Di Aprile ratings distribution


4.18
(174 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(35%)
35%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(26%)
26%
Good, but non-essential (27%)
27%
Collectors/fans only (9%)
9%
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)
3%

UNREAL CITY La Crudeltà Di Aprile reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
5 stars Classic RPI with youthful sex appeal?! No really...

Overseen by prolific modern RPI maestro Fabio Zuffanti (credited with `artistic direction'), this new band from Emilia in Northern Italy brings a blast of youthful energy mixed with classic RPI grandness for a hugely confident and impressive debut work `La Crudeltà Di Aprile' (The Creulty of April). The members of Unreal City are in a very interesting position here. Take a look at the promo video for the album track `Dove La Luce E Piu' Intensa'. They're a bunch of good looking stylish boys and an attractive female guitar player that will instantly catch the eye of younger ones, who'll possibly also be taken in by the swooning, dramatic and romantic lead vocals of virtuoso keyboard player Emanuele Tarasconi. Add in some guitar grunt to appeal to those younger listeners, a touch of dark drama for the gothic crowd, all topped off by a dazzling array of piano and synths and we have exactly the sort of music that will bring a true crossover appeal, showcasing proper Italian progressive classical grandiosity like the vintage acts from the 70's while bringing a modern and accessible edge to appeal to the current generation.

The album blasts off with a whirling synth, piano and bashing drum race across the starting line before `Dell'Innocenzo Perduta' establishes itself as a romantic ballad with Mellotron wisps, reflective piano and vocals full of sweet longing. The piece floats along on melodic clouds until at six minutes in it explodes into manic percussion, ragged Hammond organ and a sprightly violin uptempo reprise of the main refrain to the end. The ghostly `Atlantis' is all gothic gloomy Mellotron walls and booming grand piano in the opening, before swirling Mini-moog runs with confident chest- beating vocals, maniacal jazzy drumming, tip-toeing harpsichord and classical acoustic guitar - the band sure covers a lot of ground already here, and it fortunately all hangs together beautifully.

With a dark church organ, desperate vocals and booming percussion intro straight out of Eloy's `Ocean', `Catabasi' tears through an uptempo darting violin-fuelled passage with deranged unhinged shrieking, the guitars taking on a sexy sleazy strut! This sinister section will appeal to gothic fans, yet the second half, almost a laid-back country/blues rocker with moog soloing layered all over the top will take many by surprise! The finale quickly fades into `Dove La Luce...', with upbeat PFM instrumental playfulness and an impossibly stirring and grand vocal, especially the chorus. A special treat is the energetic and jazzy middle that sounds right out of UK retro poppers Kula Shaker!

The peppy and upbeat `Ecate' has a cheeky strolling bassline with gleefully unnerving organ, bluesy lead guitar and an almost reggae rhythm in parts. The band seems to be having a lot of fun here, and it's nice to hear them more relaxed and grooving without endless changes of direction. There's a nice punchy blast of heavy rocking guitar guitar grunt from Francesca Zanetta. It also lets the listener take a breath before the 18 minute album tour-de-force closer `Horror Vacui', a splendid mix of Banco-like schizophrenic unpredictability with wild tempo changes, long instrumental sections, oceans of Mellotron overload, spiraling Moog and Frederico Bedostri's snapping and complex drum-work. It incorporates every trick the band has shown throughout the rest of the album, and the fretless bass from Francesco Orefice near the end is a particular emotional standout here. This epic piece could not end the album in a more grand manner, and wraps up a virtually perfect album.

Immaculately produced, endlessly melodic and catchy without sacrificing sophistication and artistic integrity, `La Crudeltà Di Aprile' really knocked many of us RPI fans back even upon the first listen. It's rare to hear a band so confident, playing with such vigor and power. Sure they take on endless ideas and styles, but it's all so pleasing to the ear and well composed with a great sense of flow that the endless different sections shift seamlessly. I fully applaud Fabio Zuffanti's urging that the band sing in their native language, and a recent interview seemed to suggest they relished singing in Italian to `take advantage of all the quotes and expressions that would have been lost in English'. To the lads and lass in `Unreal City', real Italian progressive fans admire and are very grateful for this devotion and respect to the true sound of the RPI genre.

Like Gran Turismo Veloce, Unreal City show just what a modern Italian progressive band can achieve by blending the loved elements of the groundbreaking 70's RPI artists with something very contemporary, original and unique. The fact that they have a real crossover appeal, especially to a potential female and younger fanbase who usually wouldn't pay attention to this genre, just makes them even more promising and exciting, and ensures they are one band to keep an eye in the future.

Five stars. Highest possible recommendation and so far one of the best progressive albums, RPI or otherwise, to emerge in 2013.

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Send comments to Aussie-Byrd-Brother (BETA) | Report this review (#965982) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
5 stars Unreal City? You mean Unreal Country, as Italy has unleashed a debut album that should be the talk of progdom for the year 2013. Musically sensational, visually attractive and fresh, we are offered a vision where classic progressive meshes with absolute modernisms, a young quartet of Northern Italian fashionistas who happen to master their instruments (besides looking hot) and incorporate all the classic RPI traditions of clever melodies, artful presentation, impeccable delivery and dramatic performances. Looks like Fabio Zuffanti has once again delivered a new and exciting progressive band that may have immense future appeal, great looks and even better hooks.

So who do we have manning the crew? Clever keyboardist Emmanuele Tarasconi is a complete standout, primarily vehiculating a raging Hammond organ as weapon of predilection, tossing in flurries of elegant piano, blistering synths, some Fender Rhodes e- piano, its distant cousin the clavinet, the rarely used chamberlin (a precursor of the mellotron) and theremin, even dashes of colossal church organ. His voice is luscious and operatic, recalling at times the great Aldo Tagliapietra but with his own sense of timbre and tone. Sultry brunette guitarist Francesca Zanetta has a more discreet musical role, letting the keys rule, does unleash a few blizzard solos but she is also very pretty indeed. Francesco Orefice mans a nasty bass, craving and blasting heavily, occasionally tossing in some dazzling fretless runs. Another clear master is drummer Federico Bedrosti, a manic thumper who knows how to power up the arrangements.

The music covers the entire RPI spectrum of influences, from Le Orme, PFM, Goblin and Banco but they actually need to be lumped in with the more recent collection of Italian proggers such as Gran Turismo Veloce, Il Labirinto dei Specchi and La Coscienza di Zeno. There are some highly original passages that defy description, mostly radicalisms colliding with the medieval harpsichord, twisted around by loopy synthesized soloing. Lost Innocence indeed opens up this masterstroke, "Dell'Innocenza Perduta " that has all the ingredients we all hold dear, velvety voice within a passionate cellophane of sound, simple but glorious melody hammered out on the piano, liquid guitar solo and subtle rhythmic drive. The fun starts when the piano kicks in, heady organ in alliance, recalling the finest Hammond moments on record. The synths just blaze serenely, I mean these are the reasons we adore prog from Italy: effortless flair! A sultry violin does the coup de grace. Ridiculous.

The colossal "Atlantis" in particular is a most impressive rendition that will hammer hard at the door of the progfan, begging to enter and settle in for posterity. An archetypal symphonic track that has stellar stamped all over it, mellotron waves colliding with the speakers and subjugating the listener into willing submission. Again, the entire progressive gamut is tossed into the salad, all that is missing is the dressing! Tarasconi's balsamic voice appears as if a miracle, full of power, lust and desire, while his startling synthesizers parp and careen like some Testarossa gone 'pazzo'. When the harpsichord, acoustic guitar and the Moogs kick in with the Greek spoken words, well, we are definitely in Progland. "Catabasi" has a mournful pipe organ motif, church bells pealing mournfully, resonating loudly amid the bass rumble and wild drum fills, whilst introducing a solemn vocal that inspires a tremendous appeal, the violin rages and the mood exalts into cavernous delirium, a descent into a fiery hellhole (as the sub-title in Latin implies) of grinding sound and fury. A bluesy guitar section only elevates the exaltation, totally unexpected yet deliciously chosen.

Where the light becomes more intense ("Dove La Luce E Piu Intensa") is bedecked with a classic PFM feel and a tremendous vocal performance once again. The lush synth solo is right out of the Flavio Premoli school of elegant sophistication, whilst the bass rumble will recall Djivas. This vibrant track just explodes into a myriad of stars and constant excitement, mostly due to Tarasconi"s expressive lungs and dazzling fingers. What a talent on display! The rhythm section also provides some exemplary support. Can they keep up this torrid pace?

You bet, as "Ecate" proposes a youthful exuberance that allays any fear of boredom or formula, all players booming on all cylinders, on a dime stops and starts, complex shifts and sudden drama. Francesca delivers a sublime guitar solo, all relaxed yet seductive. The piano extolls a carnival/barroom atmosphere that hides no punches, wide musical grins firmly established (you can imagine the quartet smiling as they play along). In a way, this dizzying track gives the listener the reassurance that these are musicians enjoying their craft and hungrily wishing to include an audience of accomplices, a trait that the Italians have mastered over the centuries. One word: fun!

To finish off with an epic nearly 18 minute romp requires lots of confidence and the band pulls it off rather brilliantly, as "Horror vacui" manages to reiterate those classic element so dear to RPI, such as a fascination of morbid soundtracks (think of their heroes in Goblin). This is cinematic prog at its most expressive, a musical catacomb where a lugubrious bass rumbles amid spectral keyboard webs, creating a blistering cacophony of devastating rhythms that pulsate monstrously. Spooky spaghetti! Tarasconi and Zanetta exchange all kinds of solos that captivate the mind, with seemingly little effort in getting the mood done! The voice has been echoed to highlight the subterranean feel, cavernous as the material is, loaded with huge mellotron (Chamberlin) clashes. This extended piece showcases so much talent, one can only shudder. The immaculate piano and keyboard work, the sexy guitars, a sensational bass attack and powerful drumming of the highest complexity all conspire to get you hooked, with line and sinker not far behind.

It would behoove any prog reviewer (such as my esteemed colleague Aussie-Byrd-Brother) who has listened to this colossus, to absolutely mention the influence of Fabio Zuffanti, an Italian master-musician and a reverential Italian version of Roine Stolt or Steve Wilson. This man's career is littered with gems (Höstsonaten especially) but this is one for the ages, giving these youngsters the confidence to forge their own path, being a true mentor. Needless to mention, the production, sound, mastering and overall presentation is phenomenal.

Italy's next big thing? If this is just the tip of their iceberg, look out Titanic! Mille grazie to the previous reviewers for tweaking my attention, this is one hell of a find! Worthy successors of CAP, Banco, PFM and company. Not to have this on your mantle is a shame.

5 Mamma mias

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Send comments to tszirmay (BETA) | Report this review (#1003045) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, July 21, 2013

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars With a band name and album title borrowed from T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland and a foreboding album cover, you might expect some sort of Morte Macabre-style horror-prog to be partaken of here. Unreal City don't quite take that direction, but there is something spookily theatrical about their work here.

Emanuele Tarasconi is in my book the star performer here, combining vocals reminiscent of the operatic singers of 1970s Italian prog greats on the one hand and synthesiser sensibilities ranging from classic prog to neo-prog and beyond on the other to create a sound reminiscent of a wide range of prog heritage but beholden to none, though Francesca Zanetta also deserves props for her excellent guitar work, which runs the full range from hard rock to classical acoustic via ethereal gothic. Put these two together with a decent rhythm section and high-quality compositions and watch the sparks fly!

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#1111675) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, January 10, 2014

Review by andrea
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Unreal City began life in Parma in 2008 on the initiative of Emanuele Tarsconi and Francesca Zanetta, rising from the ashes of another band called Syllogism. After some line up changes, an intense live activity in the local scene and a first self-produced demo, in 2013 the band finally released their début album, La crudeltà di aprile (The cruelty of April) on the independent label Mirror Records. The album was recorded at the Hilary studios in Genoa with the help of experienced producers such as Fabio Zuffanti and Rossano Villa and with a line up featuring Emanuele Tarasconi (vocals, piano, organ, Moog, Mellotron, synth, harpsichord, Theremin), Francesca Zanetta (electric and acoustic guitars, lute), Francesco Orefice (bass, vocals) and Federico Bedostri (drums, percussion, vocals) plus the special guest Fabio Viale on violin. The result is a brilliant mix of memory and desire that the band achieved stirring dull roots with spring rain for the pleasure of the listener: well, it's not by chance that both the name of the band and the title of the album are in some way related to T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land and maybe some other verses from this poem could give you an idea of the content of this charming work... "Unreal City / Under the brown fog of a winter dawn / A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many / I had not thought death had undone so many...". The sound of vintage instruments, a solid classical background and a fresh creativity evoke ghosts, melodies and dreams from the past and give them a new life.

The opener "Dell'innocenza perduta" (Of the lost innocence) begins with a tense section, then a calmer part follows featuring soaring vocals evoking the almost human voice of the wind in a dark, enchanted wood. The music and lyrics describe in an original way the trauma of a boy who has to tackle the loss of family and security, his necessity of rapidly growing up to face the world and the hypocrisy of the people around him. As the innocence of the childhood gives way to rage and awareness the rhythm rises again with a beautiful collage of vintage sounds and a raging wave of fresh energy.

The second track, "Atlantis (Conferendis Pecuniis)", was inspired by the myth of Atlantis as narrated by Plato and deals with the dark side of human nature. The atmosphere is dark and you can almost feel an impending sense of tragedy. The fall of Atlantis and its civilization here is just a metaphor used to describe the punishment for the guilty behaviour of people corrupted by greediness, ambition and an infinite thirst of power. Eventually virtues and culture succumb to the spreading materialism but mother nature always takes its revenge. A flood that no one can stop pours on the crowded square... "The large slab of aurichalcum that gave us wisdom is now reduced to dust / It rang our guilt...".

"Catabasi (Descensio ad Inferos)" was inspired by Goethe's character Faust and describes the timeless trip of a damned scientist to the underworld in search for knowledge. It begins by a dark church-like organ passage and vocals. You can hear the sound of a bell in the background, a man is walking in the twilight on an Autumn evening, then a thousand spectres begin to dance around him to the sound of a violin while the rhythm rises evoking an eternal Sabbath that draws the listener towards black flames and mud, down into a merciless abyss. Nevertheless the damned scientist doesn't fear the devil, during his meeting with him he's calm and remorseless like a man who eats a prohibited fruit and taste it... "I'm ready, take me away from here... Time is running out / Stop the time!".

The beautiful "Dove la luce è più intensa" (Where the light is more intense) describes in music and words a man on the border of madness that runs away from reality. Prisoner of his poetry and of his nightmares, he becomes a hermit hiding in a hollow tree in a wood, not far from a graveyard... "Among white statues and tombstones / Grey and soulless / I heard his voice...". The theatrical vocals by Emanuele Tarsconi are very effective here while the music perfectly fits the content of the lyrics.

The lively "Ecate (Walpurgisnacht)" was inspired by the Goddess Hecate and by the pagan rites of the Walpurgis Night. Hecate in Greek mythology is associated with crossroads, entrance-ways, fire, light, the Moon, magic, witchcraft, knowledge of herbs and poisonous plants, necromancy and sorcery. The music and lyrics evoke a solitary village in the mountains not far from a mysterious place where the witches used to gather to celebrate the new moon with their dark lady. All the travellers who had the chance to see those celebrations lost their reason... "If you follow the route beyond the mountain / Beyond the black of its darkest path / There you'll find her, queen of the horizon / In her eyes burns a fire, eternal and still...".

The last track, "Horror Vacui", is a long, complex suite divided into four parts that deals with the disquieting feelings of a serial killer. It begins with a tense instrumental part, "Le radici del male" (The roots of evil), that could recall Goblin and the atmospheres of Dario Argento's movies. The second part, "L'assassino" (The murderer), introduces the protagonist of this piece, that is set in a surreal, nightmarish New York City where you can see black butterflies in a sky of lead, living dead sitting in the metro and hungry monsters walking on bloody streets. The third part, "Nel sonno della ragione" (In the sleep of reason), is a calm, dark instrumental passage that leads to the the last part, "Il baratro della follia" (The chasm of madness), where the voices of the victims of an absurd, cruel game echo in the insane mind of the protagonist, soaring from rusted metal boxes hidden in dark, red rooms. Well, I think that this could be a perfect background for a Stephen King's novel!

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Send comments to andrea (BETA) | Report this review (#1121557) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, January 26, 2014

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Neo Prog Team
4 stars Good to see that Classic Italian Prog have reached the ears of young musicians.Unreal City is yet another group to revive some of the Italian Prog majesty of the 70's, starting in Parma in 2008 as a trio with Emanuele Tarasconi on keybards/vocals, Francesca Zanetta on guitars and Carlo Rainone on drums.In 2011 the addition of bassist Francesco Orefice gives the band a more balanced sound, while Rainone was replaced by Antonio Schingo.Come spring 2012 and Unreal City recorded a debut EP with three tracks and English lyrics.But, as the studio and live responsibilities of the band started to increase, Schingo was struggling to keep up with them and decided to quit, leaving his place to Federico Bedostri.The band then met Fabio Zuffanti, who decided to help them with the recordings of their debut.Thus, the young Italians travelled to Genoa, entered the Hilary Studios and the dream of a proper album came true in January 2013.In April 2013 ''La crudelta di Aprile'' was released on the Italian label mirror.

Fortunately the band abandoned any attempt on singing in English and their debut was totally delivered in their native language, complementing nicely with the retro aesthetic and Italian spices of the musicianship.''La crudelta di Aprile'' is basically a Symphonic Rock album along the lines of the legendary Italian bands of the past, featuring an excellent keyboardist and singer, who offers some of the very best performances you can hear in an Italian Prog album.But as a whole the team of Unreal City is extremely tight as well and the compositions are executed with accuracy and passion.Tons of piano, harsichord, Hammond organ and Mellotron showcase the straight links and influences of Unreal City with the 70's, supported by the romantic, slightly irritating voice of Tarasconi, somewhere between Gianni Leone and Aldo Tagliapietra.Musically they remind me a lot of LA COSCIENZA DI CENO and IL TEMPIO DELLE CRESSIDE, they have a big symphonic sound with some heavy guitar parts and bombastic analog keyboards, akin to MUSEO ROSENBACH with bits of IL BALLETTO DI BRONZO and ALPHATAURUS.The compsitions are extremely intelligent, having a genuine ability to turn from melodic and romantic textures to haunting and occult orchestrations, while I cannot do else than praise the powerful violin drives of guest Fabio Biale in a pair of pieces.Now, even the use of synthesizers goes far beyond the usual sound on modern Neo/Symphonic Prog groups, Tarasconi appears to torture the synths in order to priduce atonal and sinister flashes, which fit well with his old-styled keyboards.Compositions are full of grandieur, tension and romanticism with a high level of coherence between the variations and a decent sense of melody.

High-class act to say the least.Emphatic Italian Symphonic Rock with vintage references but also a pretty personal approach.Great and strongly recommended stuff, especially if you love BANCO, IL BALLETTO DI BRONZO, CORTE DEI MIRACOLI, CAMPO DI MARTE, ALPHATAURUS and similar acts.

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#1265401) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, August 31, 2014

Latest members reviews

4 stars Ok, one more Italian and unlike last one this was excellent progressive rock music in my taste. There is so many great bands you can learn about here on ProgArchives and here's my opinion of Unreal City's debut record "La Crudeltà di Aprile" from 2013. The album cover shows a face of a screa ... (read more)

Report this review (#1030952) | Posted by DrömmarenAdrian | Sunday, September 08, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A delightful album of new music in the vein of the best musics of the prog rockers of the 1970s except with the energy, awareness and instruments and recording acumen of the 21st Century. As I listen to this collection of melodic, wonderfully constructed and performed songs I am reminded of tw ... (read more)

Report this review (#966138) | Posted by BrufordFreak | Tuesday, May 28, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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