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ZEROTHEHERO

Crossover Prog • Italy


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Zerothehero biography
ZEROTHEHERO is the creative vehicle of composer and multi-instrumentalist Carlo Barreca, perhaps better known as the bassist in Italian band Fungus. Work on this project commenced around 2007, and in December 2011 the debut album Horror Vacui was released through Italian label Mellow Records.

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ZEROTHEHERO discography


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ZEROTHEHERO top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.51 | 3 ratings
Horror Vacui
2011
3.45 | 6 ratings
Nowhere
2012

ZEROTHEHERO Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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ZEROTHEHERO Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 1 ratings
The Christmas Album
2009

ZEROTHEHERO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Nowhere by ZEROTHEHERO album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.45 | 6 ratings

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Nowhere
Zerothehero Crossover Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

3 stars The debut of Zerothehero had some weaknesses which this second release doesn't have and so I have the possibility to underline the differences.

First of all the guitar: it was the biggest weakness of Horror Vacui, as it appeared as just recorded at the first shot, without putting enough writing and producing effort. The opening track of this "Nowhere" is able to cancel all the bad impressions of the predecessor. The guitar sounds acid and well produced. There's still much "jam" and improvisation, I think, but Carlo Barreca has in mind what he wants from that instrument and achieves it. Nothing to say about bass which is Carlo's main instrument and I have to add that even drums and keys are well played. The track is acid and repetitive, between Floyd and the old Californian psych.

"Lotus" is more Floydian. The lazy bass and the guitar revives to the atmospheres of Meddle, and being that my favorite Floyd period I can't not like this track.

"Flood" starts with a hard-rock intro, still very classical, to get into a more relaxed and melodic soundscape. This track is an alternance of heavy rock in Uriah Heep style, melodic Pink Floyd and dark ambient. Taken separately all the three things are good, but the way are tied up together makes it my less favorite track which is saved by the flute closure which is in perfect RPI style.

"A Deep Breathe" can be considered Floydian again, but to me it sounds similar to a new- wave acoustic band of the 80s, the "Felt". Not bad.

"Raindrops" has a Krautrock feeling. A repetitive bass line which supports drums accents while guitar and keboards are almost monotonal. Very psychedelic. It changes after a couple of minutes to give us the first lyrics of the album. Much reverb and a bit of echo on the vocals are maybe too similar to Porcupine Tree, but as I have written several times, if one artist likes somebody else's sound, I think has all the right to use it.

"Electric Sheep" reminds with the title to Philip Dick, but with no lyrics I can't say it for sure. Musically it has a bit of Pink Floyd and a bit of Porcupine Tree. In this middle part of the album the initial "acidity" seems to have left room to some "sugar".

"Last Bus Home" doesn't have anything to do with Pat Metheny's train. It's an instrumental which reminds to Ozric Tentacles, and let mes say, with the same quality.

"Shelter" opens with a keyboard in Tangerine Dream style, but falls back to the sounds of Electric Sheep, this time with lyrics. I agree with the reference to Camel from another reviewer. The closer "Peace" is a sort follow-up to Shelter.

For my tastes, if the album was all like its first half I wouldn't have hesitated in rating it with 4 stars, but I find the second half not at the same level. A four stars first half and a three stars second half means 3.5 which is not allowed on PA. I stick on three but this album is really promising and a very big improvement from "Horror Vacui" under all the points of view.

This one man project is something to keep an ear on.

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 Nowhere by ZEROTHEHERO album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.45 | 6 ratings

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Nowhere
Zerothehero Crossover Prog

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

4 stars What a lovely and pleasant surprise this is! Italian progressive multi-instrumentalist Carlo Barreca presents his latest work `Nowhere', a wonderful predominantly instrumental stunner full of psychedelic atmospheres, spacey workouts and cosmic journeys. Although many of the tracks are largely indebted to the sound of early 70's Pink Floyd, Carlo has more than enough original ideas for this album to stand on it's own. Making an album that is a loving tribute to that great progressive band without it being a derivative rehash or straight imitation is not as easy as it sounds, but Carlo has done just that. This album also compliments music by modern German Krautrockers Electric Orange, Djam Karet, Gong/Steve Hillage and numerous Mellotron-drenched Italian RPI albums, and anyone who enjoys those sort of artists will find much to enjoy here. It's also beautifully produced, which makes it all sound even better.

Opener `March On Mars' kicks off with aggressive pumping bass, ragged endless David Gilmour- styled epic guitar runs, with repetitive hypnotic organ and super-thick keyboards. `Lotus' drips with early Soft Machine squalling feedback and murky atmosphere that wraps around eerie Mellotron, harsh percussion and floating `Staircase Infinities'-era early Porcupine Tree/Steven Wilson lead guitar. `Flood' has that drowsy `Fat Old Sun' guitar feel, lazy organ and classic Rick Wright- influenced piano with plodding drums, but diverts into Mellotron drenched Daevid Allen/Gong inspired sinister quirkiness with wild and fuzzy Steve Hillage guitar soloing. The haunting `A Deep Breath' is a warm and lovely 'Tron swamped acoustic piece, but drifts towards a sadder and more reflective finale.

The very emotional `Electric Sheep' is a heartfelt piano piece with fuzzy synths humming away under hazy trumpet and flute with a soaring guitar solo to end on. `Last Bus Home' is a short colourful and psychedelic uptempo electronic/synth piece with swirling effects and looped drums. `Peace' is a tranquil Mellotron and flute finale before turning triumphant and victorious with it's grand guitar soloing that runs right through to the climax of the album.

Two particular highlights - The urgent and jazzier `Raindrops' has sprightly guitar licks and murmuring bass weaving their way through Mellotron fields of eerie bliss, the drums/percussion sound adding plenty of tension as they help quicken the pace. This is one of only two tracks that feature weary other-wordly treated vocals, but they don't detract from the music at all. Special mention must also go to the gorgeous melodic bass solo that closes the piece, listen out for it!

`Shelter' is perfect romantic prog similar to Camel, with it's laid-back lead vocals, chiming strums with a powerful melodic lead guitar solo to end the piece in a draining and dramatic manner. I love the wavering serrated tone Carlo's guitar takes right near the end, just dripping with lust and passion!

Check the date this was released, December 17th - therefore `Nowhere' would make a fine Christmas present for the progressive music fanatic! Why not grab the free download Carlo is offering on his website and Bandcamp page, and give a copy to someone who appreciates great instrumental music? He is also considering setting up a small run of very affordable CD copies, so take the chance and give this album a spin, and let him know you're interested! I think you'll be pleasantly surprised, and anyone who enjoys Pink Floyd and tasteful, well-played and warmly produced instrumental progressive rock is sure to be impressed.

An easy and well deserved four stars - What a beautiful album!

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 Horror Vacui by ZEROTHEHERO album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.51 | 3 ratings

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Horror Vacui
Zerothehero Crossover Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

3 stars What prevents me from rating higher this floyd-influenced album of the one-man project Zerothehero is that it sounds to me too "homemade" in the production and sometimes hasty in parts of the compositions, especially in the guitar solos. Please don't care too much to the lead guitar of the first track "Entrance". Later there are good things which deserve to be listened.

Just to mention a few, the guitar takes its revenge on "The Sky At Night" and "I Bet On The Trap" is an excellent track. "Alone on the Moon" is even better.

Even though Pink Floyd appear to be the principal influence, I hear also a bit of Camel in "Spring Calls" that's too melodic for my tastes but it's surely not bad.

What I have written about the haste in the arrangements is not true on "Floating". Let's consider that the bass is the instrument on which Carlo Barreca shows the best skills. The simple base made of just two chords is enhanced by the very good bass. Unfortunately the production doesn't help a lot as the guitar's volume is too high and makes it sound like a toy trumpet.

Please don't get me wrong: I like what I have heard on this album, it's only that the ideas are so good and promising that seeing them jeopardized by the production is really a pity.

The funky moment "Escape From Self" has a very good start with the flute (it seems to be a real flute, not an electronic surrogate) and it's where the guitar sounds better: the style is not too far from that of Andy Latimer that's one of my favorite guitarists. A track that could find a place on Rain Dances or Breathless.

"Melancholic Blues" is a nice interlude which reminds me to "The Pros and Cons of Hitch- Hiking" for the sounds, but being a blues finding reminds is very easy.

As usual in this album, when the bass takes over the leading role the result is very good. "The Discovery" is the track that I have liked more. Spacey, hypnotic and a bit dark. Exactly my pot even when the Rick Wright, as Finnforest has mentioned, seems to come to visit us with a keyboard sound that I associate to the last section of Saucerful of Secrets.

"Questions" is a short interlude of acoustic guitar followed by "To A Distant Friend" that has a strong RPI flavor mainly because of the flute over a melodic base of acoustic guitar. I think to PFM, but later the bass adds rhythm. Again I think that the guitar should have had less volume but in terms of composition this track is really excellent.

"I Had Wings" starts in a very nice way with harmonics and echoes. Here the production is quite good. The track is melodic and the bass is excellent, but the lead guitar shows in my opinion the same defects of the first track.

"Exit" is a reprise of "Entrance". It seems we are using the same door...

In few words, if reedited and with few changes in the lead guitar it would be a four stars album. Apart of few weak moments, the compositions are good and the influence of Pink Floyd is evident but not invasive. I hear it more in the choice of sounds than in the compositions that appear original. It's a very promising album. Three stars by now with my best wishes for the future things to come. Zerothehero needs just few little improvements in the production and a bit more care on the lead guitar solos to reach the excellence.

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 Horror Vacui by ZEROTHEHERO album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.51 | 3 ratings

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Horror Vacui
Zerothehero Crossover Prog

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Trippy psych-space instrumental project

"Horror Vacui" is the debut full-length work of zerothehero, also known as multi-instrumentalist Carlo Barreca. Barreca is the bass player in the Italian psych outfit Fungus and has been making music for many years now. He describes this first solo outing as "a (completely instrumental) trip into the inner self" and that sounds about right. Barreca plays most of the instruments on the self-produced work available through Bandcamp and limited CD release.

While the title would suggest something spooky that really isn't the case. The 44 minutes of instrumental rock are fairly upbeat experiments in psych-space rock with occasional bits of other styles. Guitar and bass seem to be the lead instruments and there's plenty of spicy interplay between them throughout. The songs vary in length/style and concentrate on mood, and as advertised, feel quite strongly like pieces of self-reflection. The most direct comparison I can make would be the calmer works of Djam Karet, where you float along on guitar clouds, occasional sound effects, and electronics, then as you begin to dissolve Barreca will round up your particles and reassemble them with some emotional and more direct lead guitar work. There are lots of cool effects pedals draping the guitar parts, and these along with his assertive bass work give the tracks their effervescence and energy.

Occasionally he will back the piece with a Rick Wright style, "Obscured by Clouds" era keyboard tapestry, as in "The Discovery." Another nice touch are the bits of acoustic guitar and flute used to change the pace and flow of the album, particularly gorgeous on the light-hearted "To A Distant Friend." "Spring Calls" is a favorite where the repeating keyboard motif, very sentimental and happy, is backed by a more stock rhythm and it is this track which probably ticked the crossover box, though to be honest most of this feels more psych than cross. For what is likely the home-produced work of a single person, Barreca does a great job of covering all the bases. Not often do you miss the full band sound. The songs have personality and sincere charm to me, the overall work is satisfying, and that's coming from someone who is not the biggest instrumental album fan.

If you enjoy instrumental guitar rock on the laid-back side of trippy, this is a delightful journey for a hazy headed day. I liked it quite a lot. 3 1/2 stars.

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 The Christmas Album by ZEROTHEHERO album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2009
2.00 | 1 ratings

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The Christmas Album
Zerothehero Crossover Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
2 stars Nice, nothing more.

Zerothehero is the project of Italian talented multi-instrumentalist Carlo Barreca, a man who knows how to gather the necessary elements to create good music. His debut album was released in 2011 via Mellow Records, however, he had already composed some tracks for a 2009 EP entitled "the.christmas.album" which features seven songs that make a total time of 23 minutes. The first song is "Clouds", which is also the longest of the album with almost six minutes. The organ is prominent during the whole song, there is a dark atmosphere that seems to be lightened later; the melody is soft and the rhythm mid-tempo. A nice opener.

"December" continues with the same soft style, but here an acoustic guitar is implemented, creating a sweet and calm sound. The organ keeps sounding all the time as background, while there is also a constant drumming over there. The music flows, and then all of a sudden we are in the third track. "Down From the Stars" has now the sound of a bass as the main instrument. It creates a nice atmosphere, calm, almost relaxing.

"Moon" is a shorter track, only a minute of (I think) improvisation where Barreca plays his bass and put some odd effects in the background. It leads to another short track with a rockier sound and a happier mood. "Santa's Run" has electronic drums and the bass sound in a lead role, making some addictive lines that may put you in a good mood. What I don't like of it is that it finishes all of a sudden, a terrible cut sounds and then "Snow" begins with a much calmer rhythm and a cleaner bass sound. Later an electric guitar is added, and then a beautiful and delicate flute enters as well, making this probably the most dynamic track of the album.

And it finishes with "Wind" which is another good track, with organ again as back, while a nice rhythm is created and complemented by bass, guitars and drums, putting nice textures on it. I have to say that the music here is not bad at all, but it is not memorable either, however, one can have a slice of what zerothehero's music is about. This is free-to- download, so if you wish, go and get it. My final grade will be two stars.

Enjoy it!

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Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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