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La Coscienza Di Zeno

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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La Coscienza Di Zeno Una Vita Migliore album cover
3.60 | 63 ratings | 3 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2018

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Lobe Iste Calabu (6:43)
2. Il Posto delle Fragole (8:36)
3. Danza Ferma (5:38)
4. Mordo la Lingua (5:45)
5. L'aspettativa del Bimbo Scuro (8:58)
6. Una Vita Migliore (12:34)
7. Vico del Giglio (2:58)

Total Time 51:12

Line-up / Musicians

- Alessio Calandriello / vocals
- Gianluca Origone / guitars
- Luca Scherani / keyboards
- Stefano Agnini / keyboards
- Gabriele Guidi Colombi / bass
- Andrea Orlando / drums & percussion

- Martina Saladino / vocals
- Fausto Sidri / vocals, percussion
- Marco Callegari / trumpet
- Joanne Roan / flute
- Daniela Piras / flute
- Davide Corso / saxophone
- Edmondo Romano / soprano saxophone
- Gaetano Galli / oboe
- Sylvia Trabucco / first violin
- Alice Nappi / second violin
- Melissa Del Lucchese / cello

Releases information

Artwork: Jessica Rassi @ The Giant's Lab

LP AMS Records ‎- AMSLP147 (2018, Italy)

CD AMS Records ‎- AMS297CD (2018, Italy)

Digital album

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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LA COSCIENZA DI ZENO Una Vita Migliore ratings distribution

(63 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (35%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

LA COSCIENZA DI ZENO Una Vita Migliore reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Opening the year by signing with AMS Records and releasing a stop-gap live album, superior symphonic group La Coscienza di Zeno deliver their first studio album for three years with 2018's `Una Vita Migliore' (`A Better Life'), and once again it shows one of the preeminent modern Italian prog-rock groups in cracking form. Boasting a sweetly alluring vocalist and duel keyboard players, the album is book-ended by two fabulous instrumentals, holds lush orchestration and a fine balance of instrumental and vocal passages, with a mix of classical, theatrical and baroque flavours worked into the vivid arrangements at all times.

Peppy instrumental opener `Lobe Iste Calabu' darts through everything from softer acoustic prettiness by way of classical guitar, weaving violin, prancing flute and delicate piano, into frantic electronic bursts of whirring keyboard colour, sprightly jazzy touches and even more raucous blasts of Hammond organ and regal Mellotron lifts. Thankfully it all holds beautifully together by frequently reprising the elegant themes already emerging, and the piece sets such a lavish high standard for the album right from the start.

`Il Posto delle Fragole' is proud and chest-beating one moment, refined and tasteful the next. Keyboardists Stefano Agnini and Luca Scherani deliver all manner of divine keyboard, Moog and piano colour, Andrea Orlando's drumming is strident and quietly powerful, Gabriele Guidi Colombi's bass murmurs with purpose, guitarist Gianluca Origone (stepping in to replace the departed Davide Serpico) instantly impresses with plenty of diverse soloing, and the smooth Alessio Calandriello effortlessly proves once again why he's one of the most charismatic and warm singers in the modern Italian prog scene. A graceful ballad- like finale reminds once more of how the band picks up the honeyed sweetness of classic RPI group Locanda delle Fate and their much-loved Seventies debut `Forse Le Lucciole Non Si Amano Piu'.

The swooning madrigal touches of `Danza Ferma' holds medieval-flavoured baroque pomp, a rousing chorus and zippy little energetic up-tempo sprints before an embracing finale, and `Mordo la Lingua' reveals dramatic guitar motifs and an air of mysterious unease. A darker wafting jazz atmosphere of evocative sax, trumpet and oboe orchestration infiltrates several parts of `L'aspettativa del Bimbo Scuro', but there's no shortage of lively keyboard spirals, tasty Fender Rhodes electric piano tiptoes and thoughtful acoustic interludes as well.

The near-thirteen twelve minute title-track `Una Vita Migliore' has the band throwing in every trick they can come up with - rumbling Hammond violence, aggressive drum fury and pounding piano menace, late-night mellow jazz piano musings, and jagged guitar races, and Alessio really gets a workout across a range of different emotions and singing approaches for his final standout moment of the disc (but perhaps he could have dialled back on the wailing `metal' shrieks a little bit!)! Closer`Vico del Giglio' is then an instrumental farewell of violin, oboe, flute and other exotic instruments blurring into a kaleidoscope of keyboard glow once more with great dignity.

If you're an Italian prog fan, then La Coscienza di Zeno have once again delivered an album that holds everything you could ask for. They draw from such a rich history of vintage Italian progressive music but effortlessly graft it to a modern setting, and they deliver it all with an exceptional technical proficiency and vibrant imagination. Their previous album `La Notte Anche di Giorno' may still be their defining moment to date, but `Una Vita Migliore' is another classy, luxurious and unpredictable symphonic Italian work from an endlessly skilled band, full of colour and endless personality, and it proves to be one of the standout Italian prog-rock releases of 2018.

Four and a half stars.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars LCdZ returns with an orchestrally expanded lineup and retro/1970s-styled engineered sound.

1. "Lobe iste calabu" (6:43) acoustic guitar and piano with a more acoustic orchestral sound palette before the synthesized "recorder" begins soloing at the one-minute mark. Then, at the two minute mark, everything stops for the piano to take over with a very classical-sounding solo that is eventually joined by some damned fine flute playing. And then at the three minute mark the prog rock instruments take over leading us into a very nice passage of fully developed and finely soloed instruments (the electric guitar, in particular, shines quite brightly). Great opener. (9.5/10)

2. "Il posto delle fragole" (8:36) rather typical LCdZ opening "suddenly" joined by Alessio singing as if he's thinking while walking and window shopping. Though I appreciate the scaled back effects used in the engineering department--giving the instruments a true 1970s analog, pre-gated /compressed sound--there is something not quite right with the guitar. As beautiful as is the voice of Alessio Calendriello, I just feel as if he's only dialing it in--as if he's too laid back, too detached from the usual passion that he gives to his performances. The band just sounds tired, as if they're just going through the motions. (16.25/20)

3. "Danza ferma" (5:38) Baroque instrument palette to open with lute-like guitars and oboe setting the scene, joined by Alessio and drum kit towards the end of the first minute. This is a very interesting sonic exploration by LCdZ. At 2:10 the rock instruments join in, giving this a very 1960s/early 1970s sound to it--back when early electric sound technologies were being used together within the orchestral arrangements. Alessio and choral background are a cool touch but once again Alessio just sounds like he's dialing it in--not giving his all. (8.5/10)

4. "Mordo la lingua" (5:44) more like the usual LCdZ--though still using a more retro/70s engineering sound palette. Good song with an excellent finish. (8.5/10)

5. "L'aspettativa del bimbo scuro" (8:57) oboe soloing over fast bouncing percussive pass (Chapman Stick?) and then joined by soprano sax. At the one-minute mark the music shifts to a classic RPI sound palette. Alessio enters with power--for the first time sounding as if he's really into the song, into his performance. Yes! This is the LCdZ reaching for their full potential. A downshift in the fourth minute yields a beautiful instrumental chamber weave. Then, at the beginning of the fifth minute, there is another shift, this one feeling more classic RPI before jazzy piano takes over. The next section is more sedate--including Alessio's lackluster-sounding voice. Bouncing back and forth between slow, plodding and fast and speedy from here out, the mix of antiquated classical instruments with the rock instruments continues, sometimes working, sometimes not. Too bad they couldn't maintain that enthusiastic cohesion from the opening three minutes throughout. (17.25/20)

6. "Una vita migliore" (12:34) a full-on prog epic that puts on full display the mastery of their craft: many themes and motifs blended seemlessly together, drawing upon all of the prodigious talents of each member the band while at the same time demonstrating their compositional skills. No orchestral instruments used on this one, just pure rock and roll. Totally the best Alessio Calandriello performance on the album. Does anyone else hear the repeated strains of Jesus Christ Superstar throughout this song? (22.5/25)

7. "Vico del Giglio" (2:58) a final instrumental march to show off that fusion of antique classical acoustic orchestral instruments with those of 1970s progressive rock music. Goodbye, La Coscienza di Zeno! Thank you for a decade of the wonderful music! (8.5/10)

A step backwards in sound quality, the album's songs sound as if they were recorded on stage, with one microphone. This may, in fact, have been the sound the band may have been going for--it makes the band sound as if they are all playing at once, together, which is cool, but the individual instruments do kind of bleed into each other, lose some of their distinctiveness. The songs also have a sound and feel like a 70s rock opera--with many total shifts mid-song like a Jesus Christ Superstar styling. Still, this is new music from La Coscienza di Zeno! This is Alessio Calandriello! This is modern RPI at its vintage-sounding best!

B-/3.5 stars; a nice, mature display of Rock Progressivo Italiano that, though may fail as a "perfect" blend of ancient classical and modern rock instrumentation, does show courage and a desire to challenge themselves and grow. You've got to give credit to these guys for one thing: they have created music that is all their own--music that sounds like no one else.

Latest members reviews

3 stars La Coscienza Di Zeno is an Italian prog band that is rooted in 2007, in 2011 they released their eponymous debut album, followed by Sensitivita in 2013, La Notte Anche Di Giorno in 2015 and Una Vita Migliore in 2018. The current line-up is a six-piece formation (including two keyboard players) f ... (read more)

Report this review (#2203995) | Posted by TenYearsAfter | Sunday, May 19, 2019 | Review Permanlink

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