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LA COSCIENZA DI ZENO

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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La Coscienza Di Zeno biography
Founded in Genova, Italy in 2007

LA COSCIENZA DI ZENO (CDZ) is a modern Italian progressive band named after a well-known Italian novel, the title of which translates into English as "Zeno's conscience". The book is largely concerned with the paradoxes of human behaviour and is considered to be the first psychoanalytic novel. It represents the journal of the unreliable narrator Zeno Cosini as he undergoes psychoanalysis, and this contrasts with the efficacy of CDZ's seventies-inspired musical narratives. CDZ initially played a modern style of progressive music that was influenced by the giants of UK prog rock. In fact, while they were working on their debut album last year they recorded a track for the YES tribute project ''Tales from the Edge''. However with the departure a couple of years earlier of the band's original guitarist, Matteo Malvezzi, CDZ's sound drew closer to that of the classic Italian bands such as BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO, although modified with a slight Neo-prog edge. The various members of CDZ themselves have a fairly illustrious pedigree and number the likes of NARROW PASS, IL TEMPIO DELLE CLESSIDRE, FINISTERRE and MALOMBRA among their former bands.

The band underwent a further change of direction during 2008 with the arrival of keyboards-player Stefano Agnini from new wave band VICO DELL'AMOR PERFETTO. With Agnini on board, CDZ recorded a song for a Mellow Records compilation that showcased the talents of new Italian progressive acts. The band's repertoire centres largely on re-workings of Agnini's songs, and his rich texts form the main parallelisms between the Zeno novel and the music of CDZ. While the band's first stimulus is to dedicate itself to producing music founded on the legacy of the past, they also have a particular regard to writing refined lyrics and are driven by a self-conscious desire to create distinct atmospheres. Agnini has subsequently quit as a full-time member but his texts are no less important therefore he continues to collaborate with the songwriting. During the years 2008 and 2009 guitarist Davide Serpico and keyboardist Andrea Lotti joined, and in May 2010 recording of the band's debut got underway with the following line-up: Gabriele Guidi Colombi (bass), Andrea Orlando (drums, percussion), Alessio Calandriello (vocals), Davide Serpico (electric and acoustic guitars), Andrea Lotti (piano, keyboards, acoustic guitar), and Stefano Agnini (piano, keyboards), with Luca Scherani (keyboards) lat...
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LA COSCIENZA DI ZENO discography


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LA COSCIENZA DI ZENO top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.09 | 208 ratings
La Coscienza Di Zeno
2011
3.91 | 189 ratings
Sensitività
2013
4.05 | 216 ratings
La Notte Anche Di Giorno
2015
3.72 | 40 ratings
Una Vita Migliore
2018

LA COSCIENZA DI ZENO Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.67 | 6 ratings
Il Giro del Cappio - Dal Vivo 26.02.2016
2018

LA COSCIENZA DI ZENO Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

LA COSCIENZA DI ZENO Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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LA COSCIENZA DI ZENO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Una Vita Migliore by COSCIENZA DI ZENO, LA album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.72 | 40 ratings

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Una Vita Migliore
La Coscienza Di Zeno Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by TenYearsAfter

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) featuring members from known new Italian prog bands like Narrow Pass, Il Tempio Delle Clessidre and Finisterre. The drummer Andrea Orlando released last year his first, very interesting solo album entitled Dalla Vita Autentica.

Most very melodic and harmonic tracks on this new album shift between dreamy, slow rhythms and mid-tempo beats, embellished with a lush vintage keyboard sound (lots of Minimoog flights and Mellotron layers), outstanding work on the electric guitar (from sensitive to harder-edged) and a wide range of instruments by guest musicians, from flute, saxophone, trumpet and hobo to violin, cello and assorted percussion.

The song Danza Ferma is a fine example of the varied instrumentation. First a cheerful climate with flute and hobo (chamber music climate) with Angelo Branduardi-like vocals, then violins join, a pleasant folky climate. Next an accellaration with Minimoog flights (Rick Wakeman comes to my mind), then a mid-tempo with violin and powerful electric guitar solo, hobo (Roxy Music sound) and tight drum beats. Finally warm vocals and violin and cello, really beautiful.

The epic titletrack starts in a bombastic atmosphere with howling guitar, propulsive drum beats and soaring Mellotron choirs, wow, very promising. Then a slow rhythm with dreamy vocals, mellow keyboards, moving guitar, again Mellotron choirs, and emotional vocals. Next an accelaration with fiery guitar runs, again emotional vocals, flashy synthesizer flights, followed by a delicate Grand piano interlude. In the second part a more bombastic atmosphere with again fiery guitar runs, strong vocals and synthesizer flights. Finally emotional vocals, powerful guitar, and a Mellotron choir sound, slowly fading away. Although this long composition delivers plenty of fine moments, it fails to carry me away.

My conclusion: a pleasant and varied album, without weak tracks, but also without real highlights, the music alternates between 3 and 3,5 star.

My rating: 3,5 star.

This review was recently published in a slightly different version on the Dutch progrock website Background Magazine.

 Una Vita Migliore by COSCIENZA DI ZENO, LA album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.72 | 40 ratings

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Una Vita Migliore
La Coscienza Di Zeno Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

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.

 La Notte Anche Di Giorno by COSCIENZA DI ZENO, LA album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.05 | 216 ratings

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La Notte Anche Di Giorno
La Coscienza Di Zeno Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars It's been an interesting week as I've been playing this album and UNREAL CITY's latest back to back, and after many listens there's not a lot to chose between the two in my opinion. Both were rated very highly in the "Album of the Year" voting here and I hadn't had a chance to spin either until lately. I'm not too surprised that UNREAL CITY's 2015 release finished ahead of this one as I found it to be more complex with more meat on it but I still can't decide which one I like better. This latest from CDZ connects with me more emotionally and I liked it right away which is interesting as their debut took many spins to finally connect with me. I wasn't a big fan of their second release but this one is a winner although I found it lost some steam on the final 20 minute suite. What an impressive album cover as well.

This album clocks in at a tidy 44 minutes and consists of two twenty plus minute suites where the songs blend into one another. Up first is "A Ritroso" where the vocals hit us right off the hop and they sound incredible. The violin kicks in quickly and then the drums. Synths to the fore after 4 1/2 minutes and I like the bass/ drum/ violin section after 5 minutes. "Il Giro Del Cappio" has an absolutely gorgeous sound to it as the violin plays sweetly over an emotional soundscape. The vocals a minute in melt me. It's fuller 2 minutes in including vocals that are more passionate. So good. "Libero Pensatore" features violin, drums, synths and more then the guitar starts to play over top. Vocals 1 1/2 minutes in as it settles back. It's all instrumental again after 2 minutes with lots of synths, followed by guitar then the vocals as these contrasts continue. Lots of violin later.

"Quite Apparente" is a short piece with a driving rhythm and determined vocals. This sounds great! "Impromptu Pour S. Z." is another short piece with piano melodies only to begin with before the violin and drums join in. I love the tone of the guitar that arrives late. "Lenta Discesa All'averno" opens with vocals right away accompanied with an uptempo instrumental section. Spoken words after 1 1/2 minutes then a calm as we get female vocals that really offer a different flavour to the rest of the album. Beautiful stuff.

The second suite begins with "Il Paese Ferito" where the violin plays over top of the drums and organ. It picks up after a minute as piano and intricate sounds help out including the guitar. Vocals a minute later with lots of violin. A calm 3 minutes in with reserved vocals, violin and piano. More guitar, violin and organ later on. "Cavanello" puts the focus on the vocals. Organ to the fore 2 minutes in then a calm before it kicks back in again. "La Staffetta" is where the vocals and violin standout before we get a calm before 2 1/2 minutes of piano melodies to the end. "Come Statua Di Dolore" opens with synths and drums as the vocals join in. Violin too before the guitar, bass and drums take this into a little bit heavier territory. Violin after 3 minutes as it settles back some. Violin, piano and drums standout 4 1/2 minutes in then the synths take the spotlight. How good is this 5 1/2 minutes in with the guitar and mellotron all the way to the end.

A beautiful album and I like the emotion that's on display as well. A solid 4 stars and one I enjoy as much as their debut.

 La Notte Anche Di Giorno by COSCIENZA DI ZENO, LA album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.05 | 216 ratings

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La Notte Anche Di Giorno
La Coscienza Di Zeno Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars La Coscienza di Zeno is quickly becoming the new 'enfant terrible' of Italian prog , 3 sensational albums into a career that just keeps giving vivid music that adheres to the classic elements that makes RPI so attractive to many , and puzzling to some others. Well, you have to love Italian vocals, so anti-opera fans will have an understandable hard time even approaching this style. The orchestral bravado, the melodic flair, the rhythmic muscle and the constant sizzle of variety never ends, showing why Italian art, cuisine, design and style rank right up there with the very best. Edgy yet creatively original, pushing emotional and esthetic boundaries is what make Italians tick, in pretty much everything they set their mind to.

In particular, the unending voyage between extremes is a national characteristic and on this album, we have some outright proof: the title has Notte (Night) and Giorno (Day), as well as the two suites, one called Giovane Figlia (Young daughter) and Madre Antica (Old Mother). The band is pretty much the same as on previous recordings except for the arrival of second keyboardist Luca Scherani, a personal favorite of mine what with his work with Fabio Zuffanti's Höstsonaten projects, as well as with Trama and his solo album. Add to that one of RPI's most notable drummer in Andrea Orlando (Finisterre, Hostsonaten, Malombra, Zuffanti, Narrow Pass and Curva di Lesmo). But the star of the show must be lead singer Alessandro Calandriello, a man whose booming voice becomes more and more convincing with each release. As mentioned by many commentators, this one creeps up on you sneakily, as multiple auditions add definition, space and contrast to the initial impression, not really surprising as RPI is, in my mind, really defined by a myriad of little touches, a spot of clarinet here, a tidy flute there, some sizzling violin where necessitated and any other instrumental cameo that heightens the pleasure. What an inspiring disc, truly elite in terms of progressive adventurism, combining whopping melodies that you swear you may have heard in your dreams, with turn-on-a-dime breaks and accelerations that would make Ferrari, Maserati and Bugatti proud. The opener sets the stage with a clear indication of who are the players and what are their intentions. "Ritroso" slams into overdrive immediately, pulling the pants down on expectations and initial misgivings. Boom! "Il Giro del Cappio" is one of those tracks that will attack your musical jugular like some rabid wolf and never let you go, easily falling into the greatest RPI song catalog. A colossal main melody seizes the moment and builds continuously. Majestic, colossal and utterly ambitious, both the verse and the chorus are celestial, the Calandriello voice trembling with power and glory, elevated by some energetic playing on all fronts, featuring piercing guitar, all- encompassing dual keys, thriving bass and booming drum fills. As fine an RPI circa 2015 classic theme as there ever will be! Searing violin, gritty guitar and suave harpsichord and synths greet "Libero Pensatore", blooming into another heavenly melody, expertly expressed by the mellifluous voice. Davide Serpico's axe grinding, riffing and slicing through the slippery violin runs and shoved along by some sublime synth runs that rekindle images of Flavio Premoli, I am starting to see La Coscienza di Zeno as the worthy 21st century successor of the Premiata Forneria Marconi . And that is saying a lot! On the sweet and short "Impromptu", Luca Scherani's piano and Dominico Ingenito on violin conglomerate to shine like distant novas, glittering prizes to the RPI pantheon. This leads straight into the wild roller coaster of "Lenta Discesa all'Averno" where the lead singer shows off some lung gymnastics that contrast brightly with the suave entrance of Simona Angioloni's otherworldly voice. She had previously shone on both the Höstsonaten and Aries discographies (both being Fabio Zuffanti's creations).

The second suite, "Madre Antica", kicks off with a sombre and gloomy premise, the dark obscurity of "Il Paese Ferito" seeks to explore denser musical territories, churning organ colliding with sculpted guitar phrasings and abrupt flute ramblings as a brief introduction before the sublime violin kicks in its romantic ooze, aided by some sweeping synthesizer tapestries. A galaxy of contrasts, twists and turns keep the listener perpetually off guard and hesitant, eager for the next thrill and they do flow inexorably. Again, the main chorus on the companion piece "Cavanella" is completely baffling, Calandriello raising the bar, pushing his animated voice beyond any easy boundaries. Fiery, ambitious, ardent and bold, these talented musicians are in total control of their craft, both in direction and execution. "La Staffetta" has our new favorite singer hitting high notes with ostensible effortlessness, pushing and shoving the pleasure along with little restraint. The gorgeous piano etude comes out of the clouds, lovingly ornate and elegant, another example of opportunity meeting conviction, as Scherani's melody is to expiate over, something Wolgang Amadeus may have dreamed about but died too young to put onto paper. When second keyboardist Agnini adds his raging organ, you get the idea and simply capitulate to the charm. In the presence of glorious brilliance, of that there is no doubt. The final piece to the promenade puzzle (sorry, I could not help myself any longer!) is the stuttering brilliance of "Come Statua di Dolore" (Like statues of pain) where the violin waltzes feverishly with another divine melody that reprises "Il Paese Ferito" and its magical 'Arcobaleno' line to put this masterpiece to bed and consecrate it with the highest praise possible.

La Coscienza di Zeno is the real thing and easily the New Kid on the RPI Block. Stunning artwork puts this release in the must have category. One word : WOW

5 Night and Days

 La Notte Anche Di Giorno by COSCIENZA DI ZENO, LA album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.05 | 216 ratings

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La Notte Anche Di Giorno
La Coscienza Di Zeno Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Italian band LA COSCIENZA DI ZENO was formed back in 2007, and released their debut album four years later, in 2011. Since then the musicians have established themselves as a quality provider of Italian progressive rock, and their second album, "Sensitivita" saw the light of day in 2013. "La Notte Anche Di Giorno" is their third studio recording, released through the Italian label Altrock Productions' imprint Fading in 2015.

La Coscienza Di Zeno comes across as a band tailor made to cater for those with a strong affection for vintage symphonic progressive rock, and then of the more careful variety with a focus on melodies, harmonies and generally compelling arrangements that shy away from overly dramatic effects. As many of the quality bands did back in the '70s they will incorporate elements from both classical, folk and classical music as natural elements in their compositions, and at least in the case of this specific CD side-long, multi-part suites is the order of the day. An album that comes with a warm recommendation to anyone who finds that general description enticing, and in particular to those among them who prefer music of this kind to have Italian-language lead vocals.

 La Notte Anche Di Giorno by COSCIENZA DI ZENO, LA album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.05 | 216 ratings

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La Notte Anche Di Giorno
La Coscienza Di Zeno Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

5 stars For every wilder act like Pholas Dactylus, Il Balletto di Bronzo or Cervello in the RPI sub-genre, there are the bands like Celeste and Locanda delle Fate that deliver more pleasing, luxurious and lavish sounds instead. On the strength of their third album, 2015's `La Notte Anche di Giorno', that's where La Coscienza di Zeno fit in, and fans of Locanda's debut `Forse Le Lucciole Non Si Amano Piu' will be in absolute heaven here. Formed in 2007, the group here offer a grand collection of the most swooning, romantic Italian symphonic prog you could ever desire, coated in warm melodies and sweeping arrangements, and this forty-four minute vinyl-length release is separated into two side-long multi-sectioned suites. Vocalist Alessio Calandriello's sweet expressive croon is given great prominence throughout, there's plentiful classical flourishes, flashy keyboard colour, and the frequent use of violin calls to mind other Italians RPI bands both old and new such as Quella Vechio Loccanda and Ingranaggi della Valle.

The `Giovane Figlia' sequence joins the first six pieces with seamless transitions and reprising themes, opening confidently with `A Ritroso' where Alessio's voice bursts forth from the opening second and weaves around twirling Moog runs and stirring violin between a range of subtle tempo changes back and forth. `Il Giro del Cappio' is full of chest-beating power, the violin, keyboards and guitar all take turns delivering variations on a gorgeous main theme throughout `Libero Pensatore' with soothing jazzy breaks, and forceful drums pound and intimidating organ dominate `Quiete Apparente'. `Impromptu pour S.Z' is a violin-driven jazz-fusion interlude that wouldn't have sounded out of place on an early Arti e Mestieri album, and the piece finally culminates with `Lenta Discesa all'Averno' where a spitting wild vocal and a soothing, wavering female chorus delicately close the first act.

The `Madre Antica' suite takes in the remaining four tracks, `Il Paese Ferito' beginning with a smorgasbord of searing violins, whirring synths and thick murmuring bass before revealing classical fancy and gothic flirtations. `Cavanella' returns to warm vocal romance, then it's back to more boisterous drama and a restrained solo piano reprise of earlier themes in the achingly beautiful closing moments of ` La Staffetta'. The closing seven minute section `Come Statua di Dolore' offers one final race of dashing moog runs, flighty trilling flute, weeping violin and even a precious taste of mellotron majesty to end this exquisite progressive symphony.

Considering La Coscienza di Zeno is comprised of musicians who've been involved in the Hostsonaten project and Il Tempio delle Clessidre, it's no surprise to find the music here is so rich and exotic, and the glossy production gives the album a sleek and comforting sound. The fact that the vocal passages are instantly melodic and easy to enjoy, weaving excitedly around the sumptuous instrumental aspects makes it even more of a winner, and once it's been given several replays, the music truly soars with a flowing grace and sophistication. If you don't mind the more polished and slick RPI works in the manner of the symphonic vintage style, `La Notte Anche di Giorno' may just be one of the loveliest RPI releases of 2015!

Four and a half stars.

(This review is dedicated to Sam aka Archives member Meltdowner, who loved the album right from the start and kept on my back to keep digging the CD out for more plays! Now it's a favourite of mine, who knew?! Hmmm, maybe I'll come back and bump the album up to 5 stars before too long...)

 La Notte Anche Di Giorno by COSCIENZA DI ZENO, LA album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.05 | 216 ratings

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La Notte Anche Di Giorno
La Coscienza Di Zeno Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars This is my favorite release coming out of the AltrOck/Fading Records stable from this year (so far)--which is saying a lot since a) AltrOck is my favorite record label and b) I've already awarded five stars to Ciccada's new release. La note anche di giorno is an album with two multi-part "side-long" epics both constructed in symphonic style. Because the songs of each epic flow one into the other without break, the pieces really should be listened straight through, but I will review the album with the parts broken down as they are listed on the album credits. Lead singer Alessio Calandriello's wonderful vocals always impress. There is something reassuring I find in his voice. There is a confidence to his singing and he is so versatile and yet consistent! Between the three La Conscienzo di Zeno albums and two Not A Good Sign efforts he's become quite a fixture in my life. There is plenty of his fantastic work throughout this album. The entire band is in great form throughout this album, guitarist Davide Serpico always integral and never over the top, drummer Andrea Orlando and bass player Gabriele Guidi Colombi make a stellar rhythm section, with some added kudos to GG for his wonderful double bass and bowman-ship. The prominent role of violin and flute, thanks to Domenico Ingenito and guest Joanne Roan, are touches that really set this album, this group, apart--they really help make this album so enjoyable and compelling. And then, of course, there is the backbone to La Coscienzo di Zeno, the keyboards. Here we have not one but two masters of their craft working together to compose and perform these brilliant pieces, Stefano Agnini and Luca Scherani. My hat is off to you, gentlemen.

I. "Giovane Figlia" (23:59) (10/10)

1. "A Ritroso" (5:26) opens with Alessio's powerful voice straight out of the gate. Awesome! The song plays out dynamically like an overture bouncing several themes back and forth throughout.

2. "Il Giro del Cappio" (5:22) opens slowly, softly, with "harpsichord," violin and Alessio's low register voice. At the two minute mark drums, bass, and electric guitars join in to accompany Alessio's step up into his voice's upper registers. Key change at 4:20 gets us ready for the next song.

3. "Libero Pensatore" (5:12) synths with guitar arpeggios open this one until an electric guitar carries in the main melody from the previous song--just before Alessio comes in. There is another melodic lead guitar solo in the third minute. Alessio sings slowly before a GENESIS- like shift at 3:20. Violin and organ alternate with synths and a staccato section in a very pleasant kind of rondo between the three sections.

4. "Quiete Apparente" (1:37) opens with driving bass and drums with Mellotron voices, steady and hypnotic until Alessio's entrance to prepare us for the shift to:

5. "Impromptu pour S.Z." (1:10) is a brief folksy-café piano and violin intro which shifts when joined by synth and electric guitar before:

6. "Lenta Discesa all'Averno" (5:12) opens with Alessio's powerful voice driving the song (which reminds me a lot of Alessio's amazing vocal from "La città  di Dite" from Sensitività ). At 0:40 the music softens with organ and electric guitar before moving into a kind of GENESIS area again. Great vocal and narrative voice until the two minute mark when soft organ, flute and double bass are joined by gorgeous chanteuse Simona Angioloni singing in French. Simona's vocals are gradually multi-tracked to form a choir, whose increasing numbers and power are matched by that of the accompanying instruments. Sublime! The suite finishes with violin and bowed double bass. Amazing climax and ending to an amazing musical adventure! (10/10)

II. "Madre Antica" (20:08) (10/10)

7. "Il Paese Ferito" (5:52) opens with heavier, more ominous tone and mix of instruments. At the one minute mark the tempo and rhythm changes--to which piano and flute add a jazziness. Violin, synths and electric guitar interplay until at 2:00 Alessio's voice enters and the music shifts to sound like a the narration to a bar room movie scene. At 3:00 piano, bowed double bass, violin carry forward the pastoral late night debauchery feel with Alessio singing within the instruments' storytelling. At 3:50 drums and organ enter change the tempo into a kind of stop-start. At 4:25 electronic keys and guitars enter play with a two-steps forward, one step back ascending chord progression. At 5:15 there is a shift to more PINK FLOYD-like guitar chord and fretless bass with violin accompaniment until the song bleeds into the next.

8. "Cavanella" (3:09) shifts to a more upbeat mood with Alessio's easy-going vocal leading throughout, though his speed and style changes four different times before the instrumental section at 2:20 shifts into another different time, rhythm and style before settling into the next song.

9. "La staffetta" (4:01) opens with a nice weave of synths and violin before Alessio comes in to continue telling us the story of the Ancient Mother. He gets quite emotional, powerfully so, at the end of the first minute. A brief break allows everyone to recharge before coming back full force, letting Alessio and the violinist take their turns. The music turns quiet at the end of the third minute, allowing the entry of a jazzy piano--who takes us solo into the suite's finale.

10. "Come Statua di Dolore" (7:06) opens so cool, so confidently. It's like the band knows they've had you and they're saving the best for the end--the enravelling, the dénouement, the dessert. And what a dessert it is! A chapter straight out of the best of the Masters. Perfect instrumental work, perfect melodies, perfect chord changes, perfect choices in instrumentation. GENESIS, PFM, CURVED AIR, at their absolute best! The violin is definitely on front display--along with Alessio's voice, of course. (10/10)

My biggest disadvantage in reviewing this album is that I don't know Italian and I have thus far been unable to find translations into English for the lyrics or even a synopsis for the stories being told. If I do eventually find what stories are being told, I will amend my review.

 Sensitività by COSCIENZA DI ZENO, LA album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.91 | 189 ratings

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Sensitività
La Coscienza Di Zeno Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

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.

 La Notte Anche Di Giorno by COSCIENZA DI ZENO, LA album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.05 | 216 ratings

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La Notte Anche Di Giorno
La Coscienza Di Zeno Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Andis

5 stars This is... this is just... brilliant! I thought their second album Sensitività released 2013 was that years best album and my excitement was huge for this album. Preordering it from BTF so I was sure to get it as fast as I could possibly get and after many spins in my CD I am just amazed how great this is.

In my humble opinion this is how italian progressive rock should sound like, what it is all about. The albums contains just about a ton of great melodies with lots of twists and turns, tempo changes and influences from a wide range of musicial styles. Although everything is all about italian progressive rock and everything is 100 % La coscienza di zeno.

Comparing to the previous albums I'd say this albums is a little more mature and more well balanced, it all flows better together, not just that most of the songs really do fit together, it's like two long suites. The first suite "Giovane figlia" contains songs 1-6 and the second "Madre antica" contains songs 7-10. The albums sounds a little more keyboard oriented than before and the violin is more dominant than before. Maybie it's just a feeling but I also feel it's a little more vocals than previous albums, with this great singer that can only be a good thing.

It all starts of really great and it just keeps getting better, my favourite songs is the second and third wich both has a great melodies and lots of beautiful melodic parts.

This is what progressive rock is all about and you'll better run to get this brilliant CD. I dare to say this is essential.

 Sensitività by COSCIENZA DI ZENO, LA album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.91 | 189 ratings

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Sensitività
La Coscienza Di Zeno Rock Progressivo Italiano

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.

Thanks to seventhsojourn for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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