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FRAMMENTI NOTTURNI

Unreal City

Rock Progressivo Italiano


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Unreal City Frammenti Notturni album cover
3.82 | 139 ratings | 4 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2017

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. La Grande Festa in Maschera (13:14) :
- a) Désir
- b) Excitation
- c) Plateau
- d) Orgasme
- e) Résolution
2. Le Luci delle Case (Spente) (11:00)
3. Barricate (5:46)
4. Il Nido delle Succubi (9:48)
5. Arrivi all'Aurora (7:52)

Total Time 47:40

Line-up / Musicians

- Emanuele Tarasconi / lead vocals, piano, synth, Mellotron, clavinet, theremin, acoustic guitar
- Francesca Zanetta / electric & acoustic guitars, Mellotron
- Dario Pessina / bass, bass pedals, backing vocals
- Marco Garbin / drums & percussion

With:
- Matteo Bertani / violin
- Camilla Pozzi / backing vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Elisa Legramandi with Francesca Zanetta (logo)

LP AMS ‎- AMSLP135 (2017, Italy)

CD AMS ‎- AMS283CD (2017, Italy)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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UNREAL CITY Frammenti Notturni ratings distribution


3.82
(139 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
28%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
38%
Good, but non-essential (23%)
23%
Collectors/fans only (6%)
6%
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)
6%

UNREAL CITY Frammenti Notturni reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
5 stars RPI band Unreal City made an instant splash in modern progressive rock circles when their debut `La Crudeltà Di Aprile' arrived back in 2013, an energetic and confident first work given a profile boost by the backing of modern Italian prog icon Fabio Zuffanti. The young and talented-beyond-their-years group followed it up two years later with the possibly even superior `Il Paese del Tramonto', and a further two on from that brings us to the crucial third album, `Frammenti Notturi'. It's wonderful to discover that it maintains the exact same quality of their first two discs, as well as frequently introducing a new and fresh approach that ensures the band confirms they have plenty of fiery inspiration and ideas left to be realised in the future!

`Frammenti Notturi' may hold plenty of the usual Unreal City characteristics - doomed symphonic and romantic moods blasted with constant instrumental flights-of-fancy delivered with a youthful zest - check! But this time, the band have frequently given their music a heavier grunt as well as a wickedly addictive dirtier (and more dangerous!) instrumental backing, they've placed a lot of prominence on the addition of violin in the first half to further acknowledge their vintage Italian prog heritage, they've incorporated some subtle and unexpected electronics, and they've even dialled back on the more overly swooning catchier vocal moments of the first two discs. But most importantly, `Frammenti Notturi' also proves to be their most grandiose and often equally (and very importantly) subtle and richly detailed artistic musical statement to date, even more evidence of their growing maturity and surety as a group.

Of the five pieces on offer, the band open with the five-part suite `La Grande Festa In Maschera', and a boisterous, aggressive and tasty behemoth it is, with three of the core founding line-up, joined by new drummer Marco Garbin, battering through a range of loopy and high-energy instrumental symphonic themes. But this time around, there's plenty of distortion and wilder noise throughout to a heavier guitar approach and jazzier touches, and guest violinist Matteo Bertani is given free reign to weave through the bluster and stormy attack with searing feeling. The standouts are Dario Pessina's upfront thick bass bouncing with ferocious purpose around Marco's versatile and peppy drumming, Francesca Zanetta's maddening King Crimson-like guitar splinters and vocalist Emanuele Tarasconi's jagged piano stabbings, and his fuzzed-up noisy Fender Rhodes-like soloing in the climax gives the Italian Canterbury sound band The Winstons a run for their money! Play this piece loud, and especially listen out for the deeply sexy distortion rumbles that start at about the 9:55 mark!

`Le Luci delle Case (Spente)' is dramatic and...even a little playful! Francesca's guitars melt into erupting molten electric distortion and slick electric piano glistenings have the piece taking on a seductive heavy groove early on, and Emanuele's charismatic voice purrs with charm and roars with chest-beating pride in the finale. In it's upbeat jovial moments with rollicking synths and scratchy violin, the track actually almost embraces a fancier and whimsical quality that may remind some listeners of seminal Italian prog band Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM).

The shortest piece at just under six minutes, `Barricate' is perhaps the closest to a `traditional' lovingly melancholic and romantic Unreal City tune, but teasing a low-key jazzy buoyancy from electric piano tiptoes. It then proceeds to gently introduce spacey fizzing electronics and diverts into an aggressive solo spot in the middle highlighted by supremely dirty Hammond organ and grumbling bass, and the ringing guitar shimmers sound like they've wandered off a modern Marillion album. The stuttering bass stabs, whirring keyboards and snappy drumming of horror tale `Il Nido delle Succubi' suggest the musical approach of Unreal City's current touring friends, fellow young Italian band Kalisantrope, might be rubbing off on them, but the piece eventually comes to resemble a captivating spectral pantomime laced with prancing harpsichord, ghostly Mellotron choirs and eclectic Steve Hackett/Genesis-flavoured regal synths.

But what a closer `Arrivi all'Aurora' turns out to be...where in some moments on the earlier discs the band have giddily raced off into delirious extended keyboard soloing and busy instrumental interplay at many opportunities, here they strip things back for a sombre and elegant piano-driven ballad that eventually takes flight into joyful skies. Emanuele's weary voice moves between wounded romance and eerie treated moments, and the more slower-paced, restrained soloing from the whole band in the second half shows great poise and genuine emotion, making this finale come across as a very important piece in the continuing development of the group.

`Frammenti Notturi' is everything a third album should be - not a band merely coasting on past successes, but taking their recognisable sound and fusing it with dynamic new ideas as well as only beginning to hint at possible new directions and fresh sounds to be explored on albums to come. It's also admirable that the group, despite their much-loved status in the current Italian Prog community, have defiantly refused to not only streamline their music into overtly melodic and catchier shorter pieces to try and lure in more commercial audiences, but resisted the urge to sing in English, and if anything, this disc seems designed to appeal much more to long-term fans of the group than newcomers (who might be better off checking out the previous two albums to start off with).

This is classic Italian symphonic music given a proudly `pure prog' bombastic approach with a modern sensibility delivered by an impeccably skilled young band in Unreal City, who've not only released their third exceptional disc in a row, but have absolutely delivered one of the standout Italian prog works of 2017 that will be greatly loved by their fans.

Five stars.

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Lost another review so here's the short version. This is UNREAl CITY's third studio album and I found the first two studio albums to be very solid 4 star albums slightly preferring the second one. While there has been some glowing reviews for this one it's still rated lower than the first two on this site(before I submitted this review) and I agree with that. I found this a little disappointing despite that over 13 minute opener that to me stands out as the best song on here. The mellotron is sampled like on the first two albums but I still like it, just wish there was more.

"La Grande Festa In Maschera" is my favourite as I just mentioned. Check out the nasty opening, more please! Unfortunately that intensity is missing on this record. Lots of tempo shifts on this one and I like that it's heavier later on.

"Le Luci Delle Case(Spente)" doesn't do much for me until 4 minutes in when it sounds much better as the violin steps aside and a calm follows. Reserved vocals join in as well. It kicks in again as contrasts continue. A change 7 minutes in as the synths come to the fore, not really into this but I do like when it turns fuller including the vocals late.

"Barricate" is more of the same really with the contrasts between the laid back and more fuller sections. I do like the organ led section 4 minutes in which is followed by a guitar solo.

"Il Nido Delle Succubi" has this bouncy start that will come and go. Check out the mellotron though just before 30 seconds. It's so brief but it's the best part of the album for me which says a lot. I don't like that passage that starts before 4 minutes. Is that harpsichord? A sample from a James Stewart movie I believe can be heard as James gets emotional and when that sample stops the music kicks in with power. Nice.

"Arrivi All'Aurora" ends it and it begins with fragile vocals and piano. Piano only after 2 minutes then it turns fuller with bass then more as it builds. Synths lead after 3 minutes then it settles back with mellotron and drums standing out. It starts to wind down late.

For me this is a clear step down from the first two albums but not everyone agrees apparently(haha). Just my two cents worth but I'll stick with their first two albums thankyou!

Review by VianaProghead
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Review Nº 482

The prog rock scene in Italy must be one of the most prolifics. Far from the mainstream visibility of the 70's, the prog rock in Italy is full with bands meeting the expectations of connoisseurs, who, if not very numerous, have efficient communication channels especialized record labels and circuit shows. One of these exponents is Unreal City of Parma. Created in 2008 by Emanuele Tarasconi and Francesca Zanetta, the band captured the attention of Fabio Zuffanti, a very influential character in the Italian prog scene, which became involved in the production of the debut album of the band.

Managing to the release of the first EP in 2012, Unreal City took part in several musical contests. In 2013 the band released their debut studio album, recorded with the artistic direction of Fabio Zuffanti, "La Crudeltà Di Aprile". After its release, "La Crudeltà Di Aprile" went at the top of many Italian prog rock albums charts. In 2015, Unreal City released their second studio album "Il Paese Del Tramonto". In the same year the band joined in a European tour, which took Unreal City by several European countries. In 2017, Unreal City released their third studio album "Frammenti Notturni".

So, one of the the most important names in the new Italian prog rock scene is back with this new work "Frammenti Notturni". In addition to the vocalist/keyboardist Tarasconi and guitarist Zanetta, bass player Dario Pessina remained in the original quartet but the drums and percussion were taken over by Marco Garbin who substituted Frederico Bedostri.

Thus, the line up on "Frammenti Notturni" is Francesca Zanetta (electric and acoustic guitars and Mellotron), Emanuele Tarasconi (lead and backing vocals, piano, synthesizer, Mellotron, clavinet, theremin and acoustic guitar), Dario Pessina (backing vocals, bass and bass pedals) and Marco Garbin (drums and percussion). The album had also the participation of Camilla Pozzi (backing vocals) and Matteo Bertani (violin), both as guest artists. Unreal City and "Frammenti Notturni" are suitable for the fans of the dramatic Italian symphonic progressive rock scene from the 70's. The five long tracks are, as is usual, characterized by the dark atmospheres that we already encountered in the band's first two previous albums. Even the production sounds a bit like the time, although it maintains the high standard available today. However, the sound and the production are far more modern than the past ones, but the echoes of the 70's progressive rock music are still very present, as they have always been a trademark for Unreal City.

Not a conceptual album in the true sense of the word, the lyrics on "Frammenti Notturni" have some common themes, such as the urban setting and the obstacles that interfere with communication among humans. Although Tarasconi be always the most cited and the band is even more focused on the most diverse types of analog keyboards, Zanetta's guitar carves beautiful solos all over several tracks and sews by outside and beneath the layers of keyboard, bass and percussion created by this great quartet, always interested in melodies, in the style and taste of the classic 70's Italian progressive bands, like Premiata Forneria Marconi, Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso, Locanda Delle Fate and many others.

"La Grande Festa In Maschera" is a suite with five parts: "Désir", "Exitacion", "Plateau", "Orgasme" and "Résolution". It has some of the most virtuous and complex moments on the album combining the classical music and prog tradition. It has rhythm changes, violins, alternating singing by Tarasconi and the guest Camilla, great keyboards, a frantic bass rhythm and a mighty Mellotron. All the elements that laid the foundations for their success are present here, from the technique to a certain degree of cheekiness. The ten minutes of "Le Luci Delle Case (Spente)" refer to the phenomenal debut album of Museo Rosenbach. This piece has a slow opening with violin, organ and electric guitar and it includes some nice bass lines and piano work. It has a passionate vocal work and a great instrumental in the ending of the piece. The five minutes of "Barricate" song, chosen as a single, is divided between the pop songwriting and a typically prog virtuoso ending. "Il Nido Delle Succubi" is a daring set of different rhythms and styles that chase and overlap, a sort of short suite with nine minutes. This is another godsend for progressive fans. Classical piano and melancholy are found in "Arrivi All'Aurora". This is the piece with the most beautiful melodies on the album, closing it in a very beautiful way.

Conclusion: This is the first album that seems to convey some of the energy that is prevalent in their live shows. Each song is filled with intrigue and drama. The subject matter of this album is different as well. The lyrics are more related to common people problems such as inability to communicate while the other two albums were more about philosophical issues. Unreal City continues to deliver complex, sometimes dark and definitely symphonic classic prog impressive and rich arrangements. The center still is the multiple keyboard attacks of Tarasconi, the nice guitar leads of Francesca and the beautiful violin themes of guest Bertani. Unreal City with "Frammenti Notturni" keeps following in the best 70's Italian prog tradition with the lengthy tracks and an amazing musicianship that is very appreciated by many prog fans.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

5 stars 93/100 At first I thought "Fammenti Notturni" translated to " Night Families". However Francesca Zanetta (Unreal City's guitarist) corrected my faux pas and provided an explanation for the title Fammenti Notturni, "Night Fragments. This is not a concept album, so there not a common them ... (read more)

Report this review (#1802615) | Posted by omphaloskepsis | Thursday, October 12, 2017 | Review Permanlink

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