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La Coscienza di Zeno

Rock Progressivo Italiano


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La Coscienza di Zeno SensitivitÓ album cover
3.89 | 164 ratings | 8 reviews | 40% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 2013

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. La CittÓ di Dite (6:46)
2. SensitivitÓ (12:22)
3. Tenue (3:31)
4. Chiusa 1915 (7:04)
5. TensegritÓ (7:18)
6. Pauvre MisŔrŔ (7:49)
7. La Temperanza (10:38)

Total Time: 55:28

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Gabriele Guidi Colombi / electric bass
- Andrea Orlando / drums and percussion
- Stefano Agnini / Solina, analog synthesizer and synthorchestra
- Alessio Calandriello / vocals
- Davide Serpico / electric, classic and acoustic guitar
- Luca Scherani / piano, analog synthesizer, Mellotron, accordion and bouzouki

Guest musicians:
- Joanne Roan / flute
- Sylvia Trabucco / violin
- Melissa Del Lucchese / cello
- Rossano Villa / Mellotron

Releases information

CD Fading Records FAD010 (2013 Italy)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates
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LA COSCIENZA DI ZENO SensitivitÓ ratings distribution


3.89
(164 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(40%)
40%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(27%)
27%
Good, but non-essential (24%)
24%
Collectors/fans only (8%)
8%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

LA COSCIENZA DI ZENO SensitivitÓ reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
4 stars La Coscienza di Zeno now looks like the real deal, a potential RPI giant that will keep the flame of Italian prog burning brightly for many decades. Their sublime debut album had all the hallmarks of a stunning discovery of various talents, especially the voice of Alessio Calandriello , not to mention some stellar musicianship from a Goblin/Banco dual keyboard attack, with lush guitar, as well as rock solid bass and drums. Thankfully, only a slight line- up change was penciled in for this effort, a switch of ivoryman Andrea Lotti for the seasoned Luca Scherani (H÷stsonaten), so the backbone is still in place. Generally, there is a sophomore jinx and my expectations are always to, at the very most, equal the first offering. CDZ does that with a great amount of flair, as all musicians conspire to shine brightly once again.

Calandriello has an inspiring and full voice, quite original in his highest note presentation and knows how to ratchet up the emotion. He also can tone it down into a shuddering whisper. Guitarist Davide Serpico is rather keen on meaty riffs and occasional twisted leads, bassist Gabriele Guidi Colombi carves some strenuous lines throughout, helping ex-Finisterre drummer Andrea Orlando affirm with authority. But, CDZ's claim to fame is the double keyboard formula which gives the arrangements enormous depth and width, brilliant in dabbing little detailed splotches of mellotron where strategically needed, whilst leaving the gorgeous piano to lead the electric orchestra. To tighten the excitement, a barrage of synthesized wizardry surfaces often and willingly. Both Scherani and Stefano Agnini really know how to play the ivories. The mellower pieces such as the soporific "Tenue" are leaning towards jazzier confines, which only increase the pleasure and the flow. These lads are capable of hurtling like a Ferrari or gliding along silken Venetian waters on a gondola. The results are breathtaking as evidenced by the sterling title composition as well as the epic finale "Temperanza", both glittering prog prizes, both happening to be the longest pieces here.

That is not to say that the band has not mastered the 7 minute extravaganza as "Chiusa 1915", "Tensegrita", the frantic "Pauvre Misere" and the slick opener all qualify as utterly successful and each with their own identity and character.

I am still rapturously enamored by their debut disc (and its startling artwork), so many more spins will be needed to anoint "Sensitivita" with an equal score, but I am working hard on it. CDZ has immense talents, so I need to do my usual 'concentrate on one instrument throughout' formula and really revel in the prowess displayed by each player. But even the initial spin is quite delirious, full of inventive playfulness and bold confidence. Their music requires, no demands! repeat visits, a true sign of genius. A fabulous talent!

4.5 sophomore reactions

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Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Errors & Omissions Team
5 stars Many new Italian bands try to emulate their glory Prog 70's days, but just a few of them actually achieve that high goal. La Coscienza Di Zeno is definitely one of them, beginning with the name, that definitely reminds me the old days. But not just their name made me remind the past.

SensitivitÓ (2013) is the band's second album and it was released by Alt Rock/Fading Records. These two labels are responsible for some great Prog music released in the last two years or so. La Coscienza Di Zeno was formed in 2007 and they're doing everything to have the big sound 70's had. To achieve that the band plays as a sextet, including two keyboard players. They are Alessio Calandriello (vocals), Gabriele Guidi Colombi (bass), Andrea Orlando (drums and percussion), Davide Serpico (guitars) and Stefano Agnini and Luca Scherani (keyboards).

I can honestly say that SensitivitÓ (2013) pretty much blew me away from the very beginning. The extraordinary piano intro in 'La CittÓ Di Ditte' leads us to greater things, a fast passage full of synths and great vocals by Alessandro Calandriello. This track is probably one of the best I've heard in many years. In its 6'46 minutes La Coscienza Di Zeno was able to gather pretty much everything I love about Prog Rock. They have the melodic side, the synthesizers, the great vocal and the climax. A better start for an album would be impossible.

The album's title-track begins weird with a keyboard that soon disappears and is replaced by a piano. Luca Scherani and Stefano Agnini know how to use their keyboards. This track has the classic 70's Italian Prog style with acoustic guitars included and of course, synths. 'SensitivitÓ' is the longest track on the album and captives the Italian sextet in their best melodic suit.

'Tenue' is the shortest track on the album and it's a pretty ballad led by piano. But I would also say that this is the weakest one on SensitivitÓ (2013). 'Chiusa 1915' brings back the great synths but now followed by a great bass line by Gabriele Guidi Colombi and also clever guitars by Davide Serpico. A great intro. By the time the vocals come in the piano is the main sound.

'TensegritÓ' has the guitar as the main instrument in the intro and a different kind of chord progression in the verses. Around the second minute a fantastic bass interlude appears and then the song changes, becoming more dynamic. The shadows and the light have always been present in the Italian Prog and 'TensegritÓ' is a modern version of that. 'Pauvre Misere' follows the same path of excellence as the previous tracks with strong and melodic music. But here they added a very weird tempo throughout the verses. They also have in the last bit some violins to improve their music even more. Superb!

As the closing track La Coscienza Di Zeno presents us 'La Temperanza' with more than 10 minutes. Piano, flute, acoustic guitar, violin and cello give the intro a complete classical feeling. At least till Andrea Orlando's drums appear. They have many different sounds going on here and for my personal pleasure they added some synths too. The verses are in waltz tempo but in the middle everything goes weird and fast with tons of different sections. Just great!

La Coscienza Di Zeno's SensitivitÓ (2013) is somewhat out of our regular, and for times overcrowded, Prog Rock world. Is something else! This is one of the best albums I've heard in the last couple of years and easily my Top 5 from 2013. On top of that, SensitivitÓ (2013) is beautiful to the eyes too as we have great artwork in the cover and booklet.

If you're a fan of Italian Progressive Rock and don't know this band/album yet? you should be ashamed of yourself cause this is a serious candidate to become a new classic.

(Originally posted on progshine.net)

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Review by Progulator
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Seems like La Coscienza di Zeno is one of those fairly recent RPI bands that I'm hearing a lot of positive words about lately, and rightfully so, especially after hearing their recent release, Sensivita. Sporting members from various Italian bands (Il Tempio delle Clessidere, Malombra, Narrow, and Finisterre), La Coscienza di Zeno is a group that is not lacking in experience and uniqueness. While they maintain a very distinct RPI sound, CDZ manages to do so without sounding totally throwback or like a ripoff of other RPI groups. There's something about this band that still says 2013 despite the fact that there is plenty about their sound palette and vibe that screams out 70's prog.

After a brief piano intro, CDZ wastes no time in screaming out 'prog' with some roaring Moog lead right up in your face. "La Citta di Dite" goes all out with memorable vocal lines and a wall of guitars and keys that aren't afraid to get heavy. On the back end it also demonstrates the sheer emotion the band can conjure up in the soft sections through nicely layered arrangements and phenomenal interpretations of vocal lines. After this strong opener these Italian boys decide, for a couple of songs, to take a break from the heaviness of the first track as they quickly move on to "Sensitivita," a piece that delivers a passionate, almost romantic, vocal performance and is all around one of the most focused songs on the album. Next up is "Tenue," a jazzy piano driven track employing low fi effects on vocals and drums to deliver a sort of nostalgic feel drenched in melancholy.

"Chiusa 1915″ takes us right back into prog territory with some nice interplay between keys, bass, guitar, and drums before introducing a piano part that weaves smoothly in and out of the heavier sections. After getting a bit more somber we dive straight into some vocal lines that really shine before building power, adding guitar, organ and analog leads for some oomph. "Tensegrita" caught my attention with loads of piano-work and an ending section featuring a variation on "A Whiter Shade of Pale" while "Pauvre misere" gives us some great 7/8 grooves and standout use of vibrato and nuanced inflections from Alessio Calandriello, and even includes a really cool instrumental section spearheaded by guest strings players. If there's a piece on this album that is pretty zany, this is it, whirling through passages that recall neoprog, avant-garde, symphonic rock, and even prog metal.

Then there's "La temperanza," the true beast of the album. Clocking in at over ten minutes, "La temperanza" shows that La Coscienza di Zeno can do much more than just write cool songs. Starting off with interweaving piano, violin, and cello, with a strong emphasis on counterpoint and neoclassical chamber atmosphere, the piece certainly knows how to give you some twists and turns as it subsequently rolls through folky accordion and strings and even gets dance-like at times while still maintaining a sense of darkness in the vocal melodies. As we approach the five minute mark the tone gets even more grim and the band spices it up with distorted guitar and an instrumental part that incorporates symphonics and even a hint of avante-garde before returning to a very passionate vocal performance with minimal instrumentation and no percussion. After passing through the final phases of a banquet of symphonic rock, the band wraps up this piece which truly capitalizes on its instrumental sections. We'll see what the future holds, but I'm anticipating some real epic stuff from CDZ in the future after hearing this piece.

Sensitivita turns out to be an impressive sophomore release from a band that already got off to a phenomenal start with their first album. In reality, it's a record that offers fantastic performances on each member's respective instrument while keeping a clear song driven direction with key emphasis on the vocals; Calandriello's sublime voice instantly calls to mind the passionate and theatrical vocal tradition of bands such as Locanda delle Fate and Banco del Mutuosoccorso and is always right up front, driving the performance (he even got huge compliments from my wife, who is not a prog fan!). As a solid backdrop to the vocals we see loads of Scherani's moody piano playing that often has a slight jazz feel, giving the band a unique touch, supported by an extremely tasteful rhythm section. In the end, if you're looking for focused songwriting, powerful melodies, and passionate vocals, you've come to the right place. Kudos to La Coscienza di Zeno for a great release.

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Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 3.5 stars. It's been quite the journey the last couple of weeks with this album. I went from not even liking it after one listen to finally enjoying it after six spins, but the issues I had with it after one listen were still there. My rating was finally decided after playing the debut and realizing that it is so much better than "Sensitivita", well in my opinion of course. These two records do have a different "feel" from each other and certainly the biggest difference for me is how prominant the vocals are in this latest offering. Just to back-track I have to say the vocals are beyond very good which is why I think they became the focus this time around after so many positive comments about them(from the debut) by people all over the world.

One lineup change from the debut with one of the keyboardists leaving to be replaced by Luca Scherani who actually guested on the debut. Here he plays piano, synths and mellotron along with bouzouki and accordion. We also get four guests here playing flute, violin, violincello and mellotron. The one thing I do like better here than on the debut is the abundance of mellotron.

"La Citta Di Dite" opens with some beautiful piano melodies before it kicks in hard with passionate vocals and more. Man what a contrast. They're just galloping along then it settles right down before 3 1/2 minutes with reserved vocals. Man he can sing as heard before 5 minutes followed by some majestic mellotron. "Sensitivita" puts the focus on the vocals to start with piano helping out. Synths and piano only lead 3 minutes in before it picks up. Great instrumental section right here then the vocals return before 5 1/2 minutes. Mellotron and more passionate vocals follow. A guitar solo and prominant bass impress. Man the vocals and mellotron are killer once again later on. "Tenue" is a gorgeous track with fragile vocals, piano, bass and a light beat.

"Chiusa" is ethnic sounding instrumentally before a calm with vocals takes over 1 1/2 minutes in. Contrasts continue. "Tensegrita" has a nice heavy sound as the vocals join in. It's fairly slow paced. Not a fan of the final two minutes where the vocals become the focus in this ballad-like finish. "Pauvre Misere" has an excellent guitar led section to start. Vocals 1 1/2 minutes in then we get a heavy sound 3 minutes in after the vocals stop. Lots of mellotron 4 1/2 minutes in along with strings. "Temperanza" opens with piano as flute, intricate guitar, strings and more help out. Drums arrive around 1 1/2 minutes followed by accordion. Vocals after 3 minutes as things pick up. It turns heavy 5 minutes in in what is the heaviest part of the album, nice bass too. Strings and flute follow then vocals.

There's so much on this recording that I really enjoy so it's a shame not to give it 4 stars but this is a big step down from the debut in my opinion.

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Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Neo Prog Team
3 stars ''La Coscienza di zeno'' became a sellout within a few months of its original release date, no wonder when considering its amazing quality.The band was still busy, after accepting the invitation to participate in two Musea compilations, ''Decameron: Ten days in 100 novellas - Part 1'' and ''The stories of H.P. Lovecraft''.Meanwhile, sometime in March 2012, they would welcome veteran keyboardist Luca Scherani in the place of the departing Andrea Lotti.Several lives would follow during the year, some of them next to Italian Prog legends such as Locanda delle Fate, Maxophone and Garybaldi.La Coscienza di Zeno then signed with AltRock Productions' sublabel Fading Records and in summer 2013 comes the second album of the band ''Sensitivita'', recorded with a few guests on flute, strings and Mellotron.

This is a case of a rather flawless album, a clean production, a powerful, bombastic and grandiose symphonic sound with enough twists and turns to satisfy even the most demanding Prog fan and very good Italian vocals, split between hard and warmer singing.Moreover the tracks are quite long with thematic variations and rhythm alternations, the music is both romantic and dramatic and the composing level remains pretty high.The main problem with La Coscienza di Zeno's second album is the more pronounced use of the synthesizers and acoustic piano over the analog keyboards, showing the band moving slightly from the retro aesthetics of their debut, plus this album is executed with perfect performances on instruments and vocals, but seems to lack the pair of killer compositions and atmospheric intelligence of the first work.It strangely sounds however a bit more balanced with a tight and confident sound, passing through soft and dynamic arrangements, showing some love for Classical Music and jumping in the same wagon with LA MASCHERA DI CERA.Very Italian-sounding with evident inspirations from P.F.M., BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO, MUSEO ROSENBACH, CORTE DEI MIRACOLI (propably the best comparison here) and IL BALLETO DI BRONZO, featuring extended instrumental variety, flavored by some strings and flute and even some slight theatrical edges.

It would be unfair to compare this work with the band's debut, because such masterful albums come out once in a while.''Sensitivita'' is a great work of Classic Italian Prog, the vocals are simply fantastic and the arrangements are mostly very interesting with series of impressive and inspiring moments.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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Latest members reviews

3 stars Happily I grabbed this chance to listen to more Italian prog, which perhaps is the best nowadays. La Coscienza di Zeno's second album from this year was praised and has even better rating than Interaggi della Valle's magnificent record. Therefore I was ready to be impressed. But I wasn't. Ever ... (read more)

Report this review (#1030948) | Posted by Dr÷mmarenAdrian | Sunday, September 08, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album contains the soul of the best Italian progressive rock albums. The principal ingredients of this disc are great sensibility and great Musical arrangements with a powerfull and beautiful voice. 'Alessio Calandriello' has an incredible voice, very melodic and his voice has a lot of prota ... (read more)

Report this review (#1003486) | Posted by anglagard | Monday, July 22, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is a young Italian group with a great, powerful sound--as good as anything that came out of RPI in the 70s. And what a voice in singer Alessio Calandriello! Though there is a ton of 70's-like RPI power here, my review's references are, unfortunately, more weighted to the more familiar wor ... (read more)

Report this review (#993857) | Posted by BrufordFreak | Tuesday, July 09, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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