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Quarto Vuoto

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Quarto Vuoto Quarto Vuoto album cover
4.34 | 13 ratings | 3 reviews | 62% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Dimmi Solo Se E' Cosi' (5:35)
2. Zattera della Medusa (10:41)
3. Rub' Al-Khali (14:06)

Total Time (30:22)

Line-up / Musicians

- Edoardo Ceron / Bass
- Nicola D'Amico / drums
- Federico Lorenzon / vocals, violin
- Mattia Scomparin / keyboards, piano
- Luca Volonnino / guitar

Releases information

CD 2014 Self-released

Thanks to Todd for the addition
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Buy QUARTO VUOTO Quarto Vuoto Music

QUARTO VUOTO Quarto Vuoto ratings distribution

(13 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(62%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
Good, but non-essential (0%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (8%)

QUARTO VUOTO Quarto Vuoto reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Todd
4 stars Welcome to the show!

Yet another entry from the very fertile Italian soil! Quarto Vuoto is a quintet from Treviso whose self-titled debut EP was released at the beginning of 2014. The three songs total 30 minutes, which in the grand scheme of things is not much shorter than many of the 1970s RPI classics!

Quarto Vuoto primarily uses a familiar RPI formula, namely an emotional, symphonic approach with memorable melodies. This is particularly true of the first two songs. The opener, "Dimmi solo si e' cosi", is the shortest piece on the album and is song-based. The opening melodies are carried by a pretty tame sounding electric guitar, backed by a straightforward rhythm section and some analog synth sounds. The vocals are introduced by a simple piano motive. Overall there are short melodic themes, and the atmosphere is created largely by piano and analog string sounds. There is a nice synth crescendo at the end of each verse, created by climbing notes and buildup of the other instruments around them. There is a nice break with some slightly more frantic piano and a guitar solo.

The second song is "Zattera della Medusa" (Medusa's Raft), and it is longer than the first song by more than double. The moods are similar, but there is a wonderful addition--violin! The keyboard sounds remain analog, mostly strings, and the guitars are again fairly tame, though there is some occasional distortion. There are various melodic themes stacked sequentially during the introduction, gradually building up to the vocal section. During this part, the violin largely carries the melody.

The final and longest song is "Rub' Al-Khali", named after the largest sand desert in the world, located on the Arabian peninsula. This song takes the melodies of the previous two songs and adds more compositional complexity, engaging my head as well as my heart, moreso than the first songs. There is a lot more tension in this one, which builds and builds until finally releasing into a beautiful passage carried by piano and violin, only to be followed by the beginning themes of tension yet again at the close of the song--almost like finding an oasis in the middle of wandering through a desert, only to have to set out again to reach your destination. Adding to the tension are angular Fripp-like themes, sometimes played by distorted guitar, other times by nervous violin. There are also more varied digital keyboard sounds which add to the atmosphere.

Overall, this is a very engaging album, which not only whets the appetite for what's to come from the band, but it's a very satisfying treat in and of itself. The band is already working on new material for the first full- length album. You can enjoy the songs on Soundcloud for now, and you can purchase the CD directly from the band (via their Facebook page) or at synphonic records. Four wonderful stars!

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 2013 was a banner year for Italian progressive rock, and there's no shortage of high quality releases showing up during 2014 as well, the latest being the debut self titled EP by Quarto Vuoto. Fans of RPI bands such as Quella Vecchia Locanda and some particular modern Italian bands will want to look into this band right away, as a lot of their sound here is dominated by the intense violin playing (and distinctive vocals) of Federico Lorenzon, emotional and seductive one minute, wild and edgy the next. There's three tracks on offer here running just shy of half an hour, and the level of confidence on display with the tasteful instrumental playing and stirring vocals is instantly impressive. Quarto Vuoto favour emotional, sedate and dramatic arrangements, never frantic or too bombastic, but with an occasionally heavy sound. Listeners who find fault with the sleek and polished productions of many modern RPI works will also be glad to discover the group also has a bit of grit to them too.

The shortest track on the album at just over five minutes, opener `Dimmi Solo se e Cosi' is a hard gutsy ballad. It's a driving mid-tempo tune with Luca Volonnino's unique shimmering reverberating guitar sound and grandly symphonic synths to raise the drama, Federico bringing a coarse, wavering voice, even attempting some distinctive and brave falsettos. It's a nice piece with a strong melody, but the really impressive stuff is yet to come, and you violin freaks better brace yourselves! `Zattera Della Medusa' is over ten minutes, and really lets the band build some atmosphere and work within extended instrumental passages. After a brief ethereal guitar distortion intro, a gloriously regal weeping and searing violin enters full of classical drama, bringing a brooding intensity over hard chugging guitars and Nicola D'Amico's busy drumming. The band then settles into a confident vocal section, rapid-fire vocal verses and a catchy impressive memorable repeated chorus over orchestral synths and fiery electric guitar soloing. There's a very triumphant sound to this second half, and I love Mattia Scomparin's moody keyboard finale. He's a very restrained player, who seems to hold back on show-off attention seeking keyboard soloing much to the benefit of the music.

The showpiece of the album for progressive listeners is, of course, the fourteen minute `Rub Al- Khali'. Those listeners who love the frequently violin driven modern Italian bands such as Progenesi and Ingranaggi dalla Valle, as well as vintage RPI group Quella Vecchia Locanda's second album `Il Tempo Della Gioia' will adore the perfectly executed instrumental flow to this lengthy piece. It's full of atmosphere and emotion, especially during the thrilling final minutes where the drama expertly builds. Whimsical, intimidating, oppressive and powerful, this is a challenging piece that demands careful attention and focus to gain the best results from it, and repeated plays reveals all the intricate details it contains. Spectral mystery synth passages, cutting electric guitar runs with wailing electric soloing, grandiose violin that moves from slightly malevolent scratchy tension to spellbinding and deeply heartfelt. Edoardo Ceron's murmuring bass bubbles under the shadows of the mix, and Federico gets a wonderfully crooned theatrical vocal spot in the climax that's a trademark of so many wonderful Italian prog albums before. This dynamic piece offers glimpses of the skills the band already have to offer, as well as offering all sorts of exciting directions they may take their music in the future.

Honestly, the EP costs a only a few dollars, has lovely evocative artwork and despite the running time clocking in at just a little under 30 minutes, Italian prog has endless albums with short running times, and this one is even longer than some of them - Le Mani and Il Babau & I Maledetti Cretini, looking in your direction! But for now, this self-titled work suggests a superb new band to keep an eye on and launches them in a very fine manner. If they're already this good, imagine what they may deliver with a full-length proper album?

Four stars.

Review by andrea
5 stars Il Quarto Vuoto began life in Mogliano Veneto, a little town in the province of Treviso, in 2010. The name of the band means Empty Quarter and refers to the largest sand desert in the world, encompassing most of the southern third of the Arabian Peninsula. According to the band, the name was chosen because they say that a man who walks through that desert has always to face his own limits and the band's music and lyrics have exactly the goal of creating a space where the listener can be free to set off on a personal journey in search for his personal limits. In 2014 Quarto Vuoto self-released an excellent eponymous debut album with a line up featuring Edoardo Ceron (bass), Nicola D'Amico (drums), Federico Lorenzon (vocals, violin), Mattia Scomparin (keyboards, piano) and Luca Volonnino (guitar). The overall sound is a wonderful mix of different influences ranging from classical music to hard rock, with a very personal touch and many original ideas. Well, in my opinion the beautiful art work by Silvia Volonnino could help to explain what the music and lyrics are about...

The opener "Dimmi solo se è così" (Just tell me if it's so) is the shortest track on the album and alternates powerful guitar riffs and calmer passages with soaring melodic lines. The music and lyrics evoke a sudden change in your life and you risk to get drowned into a sea of dreams while the naked truth of reality starts wildly dancing around you. You're stranded but it's too late to change the course of your fate, you can't relive the past and Time takes you away... "I would like to listen again / To the life running in me / And to start over again to carve my name / Into the heart of this reality...".

Next comes the beautiful "Zattera della Medusa" (The Raft of the Medusa), a complex piece divided into two parts that evokes the colours and the emotions of the 19th-century painting of the same name by Théodore Géricault. The painting was inspired by the wreck of a French frigate off the coast of Senegal in 1816 and illustrates the vain hope of rescue, a view of human life abandoned to its fate. The first part of this long track, "Il giorno della notte" (The day of the night) is completely instrumental, it begins softly, the atmosphere is dark and you can feel rise a sense of impending tragedy. The second part, "Il grido di una vita" (The scream of a life), begins after the shipwreck and the music and lyrics depict the gloomy destiny of the survivors. Everything has changed, in the twilight the certainties of the castways crumble while they seem to sail across the Styx, towards the gates of Hell, in a crescendo of regrets and madness... A great track!

The album ends with the charming epic "Rub' al-Khali" (Empty Quarter), a kind of manifesto of the talent of this excellent band. The music features an outstanding brew of exoticism and classical flavour while the poetical lyrics lead you through hidden, obscure paths towards a new sunrise to take your dreams back, overcoming fears, burning ties and useless memories... "Now you know who you are / Now you know what you want / Source of happiness, light that sets you free / From your black, murky past / Now you'll be able to live...".

On the whole, this is a magnificent album even if a bit short. If you like modern Italian progressive rock that's based on classic prog but it's not stuck in the past, you really have to check this band out.

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