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LA COSCIENZA DI ZENO

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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La Coscienza di Zeno biography
LA COSCIENZA DI ZENO (CDZ) is a modern Italian progressive band that formed in Genoa in 2007. CDZ is 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).

Released in May 2011, the se...
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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)

4.15 | 154 ratings
La Coscienza di Zeno
2011
3.90 | 153 ratings
SensitivitÓ
2013
4.04 | 92 ratings
La Notte Anche di Giorno
2015

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LA COSCIENZA DI ZENO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 La Notte Anche di Giorno by COSCIENZA DI ZENO, LA album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.04 | 92 ratings

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

Review by BrufordFreak

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-cafÚ 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 cittÓá di Dite" from SensitivitÓá). 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 dÚnouement, 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.

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 SensitivitÓ by COSCIENZA DI ZENO, LA album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.90 | 153 ratings

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SensitivitÓ
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.

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 La Notte Anche di Giorno by COSCIENZA DI ZENO, LA album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.04 | 92 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 SensitivitÓ 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.

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 SensitivitÓ by COSCIENZA DI ZENO, LA album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.90 | 153 ratings

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SensitivitÓ
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.

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 SensitivitÓ by COSCIENZA DI ZENO, LA album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.90 | 153 ratings

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SensitivitÓ
La Coscienza di Zeno Rock Progressivo Italiano

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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 SensitivitÓ by COSCIENZA DI ZENO, LA album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.90 | 153 ratings

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SensitivitÓ
La Coscienza di Zeno Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Dr÷mmarenAdrian

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. Every record can't be a star, some just do their very best and it seems to work that way. To be honest I don't find so much original here. I like to listen to it so it's not in any way a bad album. As usual I'll start with the albums merits.

La Coscienza di Zeno plays heavy symphonic prog with bearing and profitable Italian vocals. They variate their album with both soft, light and dark parts. Each long song follows the symphonic tradition of different passages and sensitive music. The instruments used here are the common ones but in the last song I think I hear harmonium and flute. As often I would like to mention the both longest tracks "Sensitiva" and "La Temperanza" for being the highlights. I also enjoy "CittÓ di Dite" and "Chiusa 1915" much.

My review of the album is though not irrefutably good. Much of what I hear here bears an undistinguished feeling I can't get rid of. Where are the brave and reckless adventures? When do they challange my mind? I shouldn't be picky and perhaps this is just my way to defend my opinion. The cover doesn't either appeal to me. A strength though is that this disc doesn't contain any bad tracks.

As keyboard driven music I should mention Stefano Agnini and Luca Scherani who plays it. It don't bother me so much but perhaps you'll like it. Three stars!

All songs(in order of being great): 2.Sensitiva(8/10), 7.La Temperanza(8/10), 4.Chiusa 1915(7/10), 1.CittÓ di Dite(7/10), 5.Tensegrita(6/10), 6.Pauvre Misere(6/10), 3.Tenve(6/10)

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 SensitivitÓ by COSCIENZA DI ZENO, LA album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.90 | 153 ratings

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SensitivitÓ
La Coscienza di Zeno Rock Progressivo Italiano

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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 La Coscienza di Zeno by COSCIENZA DI ZENO, LA album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.15 | 154 ratings

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La Coscienza di Zeno
La Coscienza di Zeno Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by anglagard

4 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 protagonism in the work. The songs 'La Citta di Ditte' and 'Sensitivita' are a crushing beginning, simply they are perfect songs. 'Tenue' has a delicious cadence. Last minutes of Tensegrita are one of the best moments of the progressive Italian rock history and the beginning of 'The Temperanza' is a good example and a demonstration of the musical greatness of the "La Coscienza di Zeno", this song is a perfect closing to the album... 'Sensitivita' is indisputably one classic of the progressive Italian music. 9 stars

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 SensitivitÓ by COSCIENZA DI ZENO, LA album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.90 | 153 ratings

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SensitivitÓ
La Coscienza di Zeno Rock Progressivo Italiano

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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 SensitivitÓ by COSCIENZA DI ZENO, LA album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.90 | 153 ratings

BUY
SensitivitÓ
La Coscienza di Zeno Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by anglagard

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 protagonism in the work. The songs 'La Citta di Ditte' and 'Sensitivita' are a crushing beginning, simply they are perfect songs. 'Tenue' has a delicious cadence. Last minutes of Tensegrita are one of the best moments of the progressive Italian rock history and the beginning of 'The Temperanza' is a good example and a demonstration of the musical greatness of the "La Coscienza di Zeno", this song is a perfect closing to the album. 'Sensitivita' is indisputably one classic of the progressive Italian music . 9 Stars.

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Thanks to seventhsojourn for the artist addition.

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