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UNREAL CITY

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Unreal City biography
The idea for UNREAL CITY was hatched in 2008 by keyboardist/vocalist Emanuele TARASCONI and guitarist Francesca ZANETTA, the line-up later completed with the arrival of Francesco OREFICE (bass) in 2010 and Federico BEDOSTRI (drums) a further two years after that. A self-released EP by the Parma-based outfit in 2012 brought them to the attention of Italian prog lord Fabio ZUFFANTI who was subsequently involved in the production of the band's recent debut album ''La Crudeltà Di Aprile'' (2013) for Mirror Records.

The young members of UNREAL CITY project something of a retro-modern image and their music also enjoys the best of both old and new. The tracks on ''La Crudeltà Di Aprile'' display a similar present day consciousness but they do so with reference to the traditional RPI creed. That epic tradition manifests itself through typical Italian lyricism and the unrestrained expansion of lavish arrangements adorned with Mellotron, Moog, church organ, violin and lute. The texts scrutinize dark themes of psychological conflict (the trauma of Oedipal separation, corruption, the mediation between the conscious and unconscious realms) and draw inspiration from encounters with shadow forces (Faust, primitive deities, witches' Sabbaths) although these related stories ultimately present a narrative of personal growth. The lyrical themes also seem to release the collective imagination of the band and the end result is a phantasmagoric Italian Symphonic Prog with a dark gothic bias.

Looking at UNREAL CITY in the context of new Italian groups it might not be too much of a stretch to describe them as the archetypal modern RPI band, and ''La Crudeltà Di Aprile'' is an absolute must-have for fans of the genre. Currently available in CD format and to download/stream via their bandcamp.

- seventhsojourn

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Il Paese Del TramontoIl Paese Del Tramonto
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Audio CD$19.12
La Crudelta Di AprileLa Crudelta Di Aprile
Audio CD$17.31
$16.22 (used)
Ephemeral SubsistenceEphemeral Subsistence
Eulogy Recordings 2008
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UNREAL CITY shows & tickets


  • Il Paese Del Tramonto Tour @ Progressive From Under The Ashes, Chiasso (CH) on 17 Apr 2015
  • Il Paese Del Tramonto Tour @ VERONA PROGFEST, Il Giardino, Verona, ITA on 18 Apr 2015

UNREAL CITY discography


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

4.24 | 270 ratings
La Crudeltà Di Aprile
2013
4.16 | 160 ratings
Il Paese Del Tramonto
2015

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

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UNREAL CITY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Il Paese Del Tramonto by UNREAL CITY album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.16 | 160 ratings

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Il Paese Del Tramonto
Unreal City Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Yayamimi

5 stars I had the chance to see Unreal City last gig in Rotterdam and iI was surprised by several things. First they are really very young, but their performance was very professional and mature. Secondly I liked very much how they gave us the live version of their last album, 'il paese del tramonto'. Their first album was a surprise indeed, a fresh music in a classic word like the Italian Progressive rock. Well this second album is more mature and achieve a great level. the music is for sure synphonic prog, with a sense of majesty and power, given by the extensive use of vintage instruments, like mellotron and moog. Tarasconi is a key wizard at the highest level. The classic origin is very evident and fantastic in the great acustic piano solos . The guitarist Zanetta has a great Giilmour touch and some solos are very emotional. The rithmic part is superb both in the bass ans the drum. Il paese del tramonto is a concept album that follow a trip in the deep soul of an assassin. The murder and the final judge through a mistic and honiric expirience. The texts are fantastic like the music is. I feel sorry wher i think that many foreigners will judge only the music.... A fantastic album that largely merits 5 stars...

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 Il Paese Del Tramonto by UNREAL CITY album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.16 | 160 ratings

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Il Paese Del Tramonto
Unreal City Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by MELNIBONÉ

5 stars When they came to Québec city in the Spring of 2014, Unreal City played "La Crudeltà Di Aprile" in full, but also performed a few pieces from their future album. Back home, I wrote to friends that, from what I had heard, I wasn't worried at all about the content of their sophomore album (contrary to numerous other young bands, especially those whose first album had been an equally stunning success). Now that "Il Paese Del Tramonto" is available, I could validate my assertion.

From the outset, I must admit that I'm unable to determine whether "Il Paese Del Tramonto" is better than "La Crudeltà Di Aprile", or the other way around. In fact, the overall quality, the invention and talent displayed, the inspiration and execution are such in both cases that to play the game of "better than" is but a waste of time.

"Il Paese Del Tramonto" defines a state between life and death, a sort of limbo. The concept album tells the story of a man who, having committed a crime of passion, dreams that he is judged and sentenced by his own conscience to eternal damnation into this limbo, where he regresses to cellular life, without any will of his own. Upon this dark and dramatic canvas, the four young musicians have weaved a sonic tapestry which is by turns vivid, gloomy and mournful, dense and delicate. There are frills and laces, but also power unleashed, musical influences from a vast array of horizons, but also a sure and definite loyalty to the band's own musical signature (already !), in other words a richness used with rare aplomb. Even though the pièce de résistance, "Ex Tenebrae Lux", encompasses by itself all the qualities of this opus and its creators, the other pieces that lead to it brim with original motifs, shades, detours and effects that never become formulas. To find such enduring musical maturity within such young musicians is enough to warrant deep respect and admiration.

By RPI standards, Unreal City are a generous lot ? "Il Paese Del Tramonto" clocks at almost 70 minutes, which is close to 10 minutes more than the first album. There are seven pieces, the shortest clocking at 5:01, the longest at 20:34, and the others ranging between 7 and 10 minutes. The line-up is the same, except for F. Orefice replaced by Dario Pessina on bass, who seems to be a bit more deft than the former ? he excels particularly on "Ex Tenebrae Lux". Also, guitarist Francesca Zanetta handles the mellotron. It's worth noting that her presence on the album is stronger than before ; she plays more, better and with greater variety, as can be heard particularly on "Oniromanzia", "La Meccanica Dell'Ombra", "Il Nome Di Lei" and "Ex Tenebrae Lux". Emanuele Tarasconi reigns over the keyboards with as much brilliance as ever, showing a stunning finesse and lushness in his orchestrations (that are not devoid of quirky humor ? or glee ?, as can be heard in the otherwise unsettling "Caligari"). Rythmic sequences and ambient variations cascade with frenzy or move one into the other with the softness of some lullaby, but always with a surprising melodic twist. The piano part are simply gorgeous, elegant and remarquably subtle, classic here, jazzy or bluesy there, and the organ parts are second to none, magnificent throughout. Tarasconi may not have the greatest voice among his RPI colleagues ? and he probably knows it ? but he's sensible and intelligent enough to use it as he does : true to traditional RPI singing (somewhere between Le Orme's A. Tagilapietra and Banco's F. di Giacomo), with just enough theatrics and emphasis Italian style (all the while with flawless diction and musicality), but also with a palpable passion and fun that are buoyant and juvenile without shame or restraint. In other words, an invigorating shot of vitamimns ! Federico Bedostri is still as convincing a drummer as he was previously (he does know how to rock the house when need be), providing a solid base without being monolithic, from which Tarasconi and Zanetta can soar and/or plummet at ease without fear that their musical acrobatics might lead them astray, as "Lo Schermo Di Pietra" shows with brio.

With "Il Paese Del Tramonto", Unreal City demonstrate that their inspiration has far from dried up and that their execution of the opus is up to its richness. Usually, that sort of confidence and accuracy is synonymous with more seasoned and experienced musicians, but Unreal City clearly show that "In souls nobly born, valour does not depend upon age". So, until the band visits your neighborhood eventually, do yourself a favor ? buy "Il Paese Del Tramonto"? then play it back to back with "La Crudeltà Di Aprile" and you'll know what is RPI body and soul !...

5 limbos without hesitation

PS By the way, if you feel that tszirmay's review below is overblown ? you're totally wrong ! Although he is as gifted with words as ever, this time his depictions of each track haven't managed to bring out the fullness of what Unreal City have layered in "Il Paese Del Tramonto"? It's that rare sort of album.

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 Il Paese Del Tramonto by UNREAL CITY album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.16 | 160 ratings

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Il Paese Del Tramonto
Unreal City Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars This band from Parma has got it all! I will now waste little pretense and gobbly-gook by anointing Unreal City as the next BIG THING in prog, now that the Porcupine has fled the Tree. Their 2013 debut album 'La Crudelta di Aprile' was received by glowing praise and general trepidation by the progressive community and that acclaim was richly deserved. But what really seemed so impressive is that for a band of youngsters barely in their twenties, they seem to have incorporated mountains of hours in reliving the RPI greats of the past and simply learned from their glorious history and forged a new form of RPI. A land where history is evident on every street corner, in every town, this should come as no surprise. Not much has changed on this sophomore release except for a new bassist in Dario Pessina but the maturity of lead singer and keyboardist Emmanuele Tarasconi has already leaped forward by a Mao Tse Tung mile, while guitarist Francesca Zanetta has now assumed much more confidence, once showing timid tendencies both on the previous work as well as in a live setting. She literally smokes on this album, her fuzz-laced tone mindful of past greats like Franco Falsini (Sensations Fix) and Franco Mussida (PFM). Now Tarasconi showed off some incredible piano and synth chops but here he includes incredible organ ramblings as well as astute harpsichord and clavinet where needed. His singing has quickly evolved into greatness, a combination of speed and substance, full of theatrics and sustained emotion. Drummer Federico Bedrosti is a fine basher, masculine and complex when prompted which is often as this gleaming Maserati has an engine that can rocket with the best in the business. All of the tracks are bathing in pubescent exuberance and talent that verges on genius. Within the confines of one track, there is an abundance of diversity, feeling, mood swings and technical know-how that will make your head shake/quake in disbelief. Not even a bum second on this piece of plastic, just a sheer pleasure ride.

"Ouverture" opens the show with a terrific synthesizer fueled instrumental that has classic RPI stamped all over it, imagine modern non-vocal version of Banco at its prime, with Tarasconi doing some weird things to his electronic instruments. Exalted, eruptive, turbulent and sizzling, the mood inducer is just a proper introduction to all the 'sturm und drang' that follows.

The first one to hit you between the ears is the enormously appealing "Onoromanzia" that gets you grooving right from the get-go, good sound and a suave delivery. Yes, classic RPI expedited with flair and passion, the vocals simply divine, somewhere near Aldo Tagliapietra meets Francesco di Giacomo. The introduction of funky clavinet within such symphonic confines is irresistible. This is followed up by a tight organ flurry, sensationalist flute and a rollicking electric guitar and synthesizer duet, mellotron haunting the back alley. Needles to repeat again, the vocals are simply off the charts!

The creepy 10 minute "Caligari" starts off in a solemn mode, slowly building up into a frenzy, winking at Roller- era Goblin and then infuses some lovely 'la la la' moments, respectful of their Italian canzone folk roots, with a divine mandolin-like buzz. The stage is thus set for some tight mini soloing where everyone takes a brief turn, combining the past with the future, the fast with the slow, the soft with the hard, all done with immense precision and yet fueled by that peculiar Italian talent of effortless class and natural style. A mind-blowing roller coaster experience where Tarasconi does another fab job on the vocals. The last two minutes in particular are gently awe-inspiring, going from serene to volcanic in a Pompeii heartbeat! Let the lava flow!

On the 9 minute "La Meccanica dell' Ombra", a trilling synthesizer and choir mellotron are both propulsed by the tight rhythm section, while Zanetta shows off some slick licks and guest violin does the Italian 'dolce vita' soundtrack circa 1961 (another reviewer wrote about a Jewish dance style of music, which is not a bad analogy). This then seamlessly morphs into a more somber affair with gloomy guitars serving a stark mood. But when Tarasconi sits down at the piano and adjusts his tuxedo tails, cracks his knuckles and gets it done with expressive piano ornamentals. Then he grabs the mike and delivers a haunting vocal, gauzed in that gorgeous language we all love so much. As if that was not yet enough, he then masturbates his synthesizer into gurgling out effervescent liquid bubbles of sonic madness. He then lays the screws to the organ and tortures it courteously. Finally, Zanetta pushes this into the ether with her celestial guitar foray. Mamma mia, this is dramatic and so hot!

The heat is kept on with the enchanting "In Nome di Lei", a perfect template for Unreal City's vision of new RPI, a clash of Titans, with harpsichord and violin ushering in electric guitar themes that seem to come from heaven, mellotron haunting in the forefront (why stick it in the back, eh?), an endlessly evolving style that leaves no stone unturned, and then infusing modernisms that identify the current times, mostly found in the youthful and powerful vocals. Zanetta flashes a lovely bluesy lead that has that Falsini feel mentioned earlier and combines with the melodic voice to simply kill it. Wow!

Check out the video for "Lo Schiermo di Pietra" and you will immediately understand where these crazy Italians are coming from and just how close they are to being the next big thing! Emmanuele looks like a fiendish madman as he assaults his keyboards but his facial and corporal expressions are a tribute to the theater and the drama stage, otherworldly, bizarre, punky and slightly deranged. Please remember that old adage 'Italy is not a country but a series of civic theaters"! The delivery goes from insane, speedy and fiery to the opposite end, lush, symphonic and intense. And then back, of course! What a ride!

They ended their debut with an epic, the gripping Goblin-esque "Horror Vacui", so why change the successful menu, bring on "Ex Tenebrae Lux" (out of the darkness, light)? A 20 minute rampage that spares no prisoners, pillaging everything in sight with magical displays of technical fire, showing their mastered progressive rock heritage with unabashed pride and inventive creativity. Sweeping synths enter the room, almost ambient in nature as a distant drum beat announces the road ahead. The mood then [&*!#]s to symphonic/gothic and then, much to my surprise into a funky, clavinet-led jazzy exploration that is just jaw-dropping! The synthesizer then takes over and rolls the train forward, mellotron, bass and drums in tow, in a truly classic prog motif, traversed by another violin scratch that hits the spot. Tarasconi embraces his microphone with confidence, singing his heart out, old-school organ burning the pace, then nimble piano, slippery Moog runs. In fine prog tradition, he mentions the debut album 'La Crudelta di Aprile' in words and then propels the whole into an entirely new atmosphere that brings images of ELP, Deep Purple and all the classic RPI paragons out there.

The cover art is drop-dead beautiful, the sound ecstatic and musically, a glaring omission of any kind of occasional blandness or prog-by-the-numbers. The end result is possible the finest RPI album in recent and past memory, full of bravado, courage, balls and delight. A classic prog album.

5 Lands of decline

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 Il Paese Del Tramonto by UNREAL CITY album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.16 | 160 ratings

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Il Paese Del Tramonto
Unreal City Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by zravkapt
Special Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

4 stars This is the second album from this group of young Italians. I haven't heard their first album yet but after listening to this I now want to. The music is a mix of retro symph prog and more modern harder-edged stuff. The sound and production is really good. Not too loud and the drums in particular are mixed very well. The keyboardist is also the lead vocalist. The keyboards are generally retro sounding while the guitar playing alternates between bluesy 'classic rock' style and a more modern distorted sound.

"Ouverture: Obscurus Fio" opens the album with some altered vocals and spacey sounds. Then some piano lays the foundation for the other instruments to join in. A great symph prog instrumental with some great synth soloing. The track moves around to different sections and is a great introduction to the album. After a majestic theme "Oniromanzia" goes into more straight-ahead rock territory. The vocals here are in the traditional emotive Italian variety. The clavinet is a nice touch in the keyboard department. A soulful organ solo in the middle. Changes to a few different sections for the rest of the track.

"Caligari" starts with some bells and other atmospheric sounds. I like the delay/chorus effect on the guitar near the beginning. After it goes into traditional symph prog territory. Then it goes into an upbeat marching band type of vibe (including brass, although I'm not sure if it's 'real' or not). A jazzy section with a piano solo follows. I really like the 'la-la-la" section with the background vocals. "La Meccanica dell'ombra" opens with some MidEast inspired synth work backed by a sympathetic rhythm section. Eventually goes into RPI style ballad territory. Nice organ solo towards the end when the music gets more busy.

"Il Nome di Lei" has some great harpsichord work and some Floydian style guitar soloing. The vocals arrive once the music settles down into RPI ballad territory. Near the end is piano chords reminding one of Floyd's "Echoes"/The Phantom Of The Opera. "Lo Schermo di Pietra (Kenosis)" has a video for that can be watched on YouTube. This is both the most retro sounding and also the most modern sounding track on the album. The album closes with the 20+ epic "Ex Tenebrae" which is divided into four parts. Spacey synths and random drumming which gets more busy gives way to classical piano. Then we are in heavy symph prog territory. Then it switches to great funk-rock with clavinet playing. At one point you hear a violin.

The vocals appear once the track has changed to a ballad vibe. There is a catchy vocal part which is repeated. Classy organ and guitar soloing over an odd time signature in the middle. Gets more traditionally symph prog oriented over halfway. I like the jazzy piano riff and altered vocals around the 17 minute mark. It is too early yet to say if this will be one of the better prog releases of 2015 but I wouldn't be surprised if it is. This album is yet another example of the great music that continues to come out of Italy. 4 stars.

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 Il Paese Del Tramonto by UNREAL CITY album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.16 | 160 ratings

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Il Paese Del Tramonto
Unreal City Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I was asked to listen to this album and to write a review about it.

This is a band of four young musicians from Parma, Italy, and this is their second album. As I don't speak, read or write in the Italian language, my review is only about the music of this album.

I don`t know if this album is a conceptual album or not, but in general the music and the arrangements are very good. It contains a lot of ingredients from the Prog Rock music style: different time signatures in the songs, the use of silences and variations in the intensities of the music, long song structures, the use of 'old' keyboard sounds (organ, analog synthesisers, mellotron, piano), some Classical Music influences in some of the piano arrangements, etc. The music in this album remembers me of influences from several other Prog and Neo-Prog Rock bands like Emerson Lake and Palmer, Triumvirat, IQ, Marillion (with Fish)'. but without really losing their Italian identity. All the young musicians of this band (they really look in photos of not being of more than thirty years old, but I could be wrong) sound like being musically trained in musical schools or even with private musical classes (but I also could be wrong on this, too). They are very good musicians and they seem to have a lot of musical ideas which as a whole sound arranged and performed well.

The music is melodic for the most part. It really is not very 'dark' like some of the titles from the songs (or my little understanding of the Italian language) could suggest.

The use of the organ sounds (I don`t know if it is a real Hammond organ or not) make the musical influences from ELP, Triumvirat and Rick Wakeman very clear, at least for me. The same could be said about the use of analog synthesizers and of the mellotron (done with the real old instruments or being sampled from them or created with new digital keyboards). The keyboards create musical atmospheres on which the occasional guitar solos are good. The lead vocals are good, even if they are not really outstanding. Also there are some occasional backing vocals.

As a whole, this is a good album which is a good representative of the Prog Rock musical style. Even if the music is not totally Italian in a strict sense, the mixture with the influences from the Prog Rock from other countries (particularly from England) makes this album interesting. Maybe their main idea as a band was to 'rescue' the influences from mainly the 'old' Prog Rock bands from the seventies using those 'old' analog sounds with lyrics written and sung in the Italian language. As a whole, all these things work very well.

I also like the recording and the mixing of this album. The cover design is also good. The album sounds like being made with a lot of work and dedication. So, I give a four stars rating to it.

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 Il Paese Del Tramonto by UNREAL CITY album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.16 | 160 ratings

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Il Paese Del Tramonto
Unreal City Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Having lived for almost 2 years in Italy, I should know a little more about Italian prog rock than what I do. But, it was in 1980 that I lived there and I didn't keep up on the scene like I should have. Of course, I am somewhat familiar with PFM, i Pooh's "Parsifal" (which is frankly the only real progressive piece they did in their huge discography), and The New Trolls and their progressive work in that era. I really should have stayed up to date, but I haven't. I have basically concentrated on the many progressive bands that are English based, and that is where my weakness with Prog lies, in the huge library of RIP music out there. Time for me to get to work, right?

So, in reviewing this album, I am perhaps comparing somewhat unfairly to the Progressive music that I am familiar with. But, if it is unfair, I still think this is a worthy progressive release anyway. I must say, for only a 2nd release, this band sounds very mature and well-versed in progressive techniques and have quite an impressive understanding of the music that they have been inspired by.

Overall, the voice and the instrumentals work well for the genre. The vocals do have a little naïve sound to them, but not enough to put me off or make me think that their sound isn't mature enough. On the contrary, the sound is very mature. The guitar and bass guitar work is well done and tasteful, the keyboards are mostly current sounding and in good taste, especially the acoustic piano work. There are some synths that sound dated when compared to some of the general sound of progressive music, but those times are seldom and short. It may be that the sound is current in the sub-genre of Italian Progressive, I'm not sure, but to me there are a few times the seem dated. But that still doesn't put me off much. In most cases, the interplay of the instruments on the long instrumental passages is really very tasteful and mature sounding, very well done. I also love the addition of the violin from time to time that helps to give the album more character and variety.

To mention a few highlights, there is some nice inventive sections in these songs. In the first half of "Caligari" there is a great instrumental passage 5 minutes in that shows off that interplay between the instruments between the bass, the lead guitar, the piano which is later swapped out for the organ that is fun and exciting which later turns into a keyboard-led ballad with wordless vocals towards the last part of the song. "La Meccanica dell'Ombra" has an almost Jewish dance music vibe to it during the first part and later easily morphs to a mid-eastern style vibe. "Lo Schirma di Pietra" has a more dense section that actually approaches the sound of The Mars Volta for a few minutes. But the sound never really settles in to anything predictable throughout the entire album and if anything, compares a lot to a Neo-Prog sound. You get glimpses in the album of their contemporaries both old and new, but the music still stays fresh and alive throughout. The biggest highlight here is the multi movement 20 minute epic "Ex Tenebre Lux" which is a masterpiece and some of the quickest 20 minutes ever because it goes by so quickly and never drags.

The biggest complaint is that with the multi-faceted songs, there are a few times when things sound a little same-y and it can be hard to distinguish one song from another as far as each song's individuality. I think that might be only an issue for the first few listens though. It would have been nice to give each track a little more individuality, that maybe the ever changing music is a bit overplayed within each track, but as I get more familiar with the songs, that might change. In any event, I enjoy this album enough to want to get to know it better. I can easily give it a four star rating and would easily recommend it to fans of the more progressive Saga music or even Spock's Beard.

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 Il Paese Del Tramonto by UNREAL CITY album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.16 | 160 ratings

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Il Paese Del Tramonto
Unreal City Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by admireArt
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars Epic, well threaded, lots of keyboards, true to the bone electrics and a precise dosage of vocals.

Unreal City- "IL PAESE DEL TRAMONTOI", 2015.

It is quiet a surprise to listen to young musicians being so truthful to their heritage, RPI speaking. Most of those pioneer band's elements are fully displayed, yet the technological recordings are now, almost by rule, better than those days of yore. Therefore the thrill is listening to this young and talented quartet show the same energy of early Banco or Il Balleto di Bronzo, but translated to today's younger audiences in this high-tech environment, which means usually refinement.

Taking in, a general overview, it will reveal immediately that the songwriting is generous and expansive in creative ideas, not necessarily RPI, it takes some interesting detours (ELP comes to my mind) . The performance is impeccable all way through, although the vocalist voice is not that great, he manages to keep it in size.

Now at close distance, the keyboard's extraordinary work is what makes this album the real deal. The majority of the songs structures rely on them and their ideas, therefore freeing the electric guitars and fiddles and vocals and other musical decorations to different moods and settings without being obligued to be upfront as usually is understood and being always supported by the keys creative progressive inventions.

The acoustic piano songwriting is superb!

****4 "A blast to the past and its comeback and future" PA stars.

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 Il Paese Del Tramonto by UNREAL CITY album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.16 | 160 ratings

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Il Paese Del Tramonto
Unreal City Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Recently, among my fellow Mexican prog friends, the name of Unreal City has been mentioned several times and always with positive comments about them. Now, after some weeks I've been listening to them, I have to thank them for bringing this band to my ears, and thank the band itself for creating such wonderful RPI gems that any fan of the classic Italian prog would love. After their incredible debut, entitled "La Crudeltá di Aprile", this 2015 the band comes with their second child, named "Il Paese del Tramonto", whose first class music will satisfy us.

It features 7 tracks that make a total time of 69 minutes that provide a feast of retro prog with the undeniable modern touch, so go figure. The album opens with "Ouverture", a 5-minute introductory track which happens to be the shortest one. Some voices or noises at the beginning, later piano in a classical way and then the other instruments enter and begin to create a structure; of course, the keyboard work stands out in some moments, while strings create nice somber atmospheres. It is an instrumental track with some great inner changes.

The second track "Oniromanzia" opens with the increasing sound of keyboards, which remind me of Anglagard in some way. It is strange, but in moments while listening to them, not only RPI bands come to my mind, also Swedish and even Japanese, so they sum up different prog cultures and styles in a few minutes. After two minutes, male vocals appear for the first time in the album, you will immediately notice the 70s resemblance, however, it is important to mention these guys are young musicians, but tremendously talented. In this second track I love how they pass from smooth passages to tense and fast moments, and so on. After 6 minutes there is a moment where a flute appears, adding a pastoral touch, but it lasts some seconds and later voice and a rockier sound come.

"Caligari" is a 10-minute track that really brings the modern sound of RPI, though of course the retro elements prevail in some moments, but I think here it is more evident this fresh and new sound. The quantity of nuances they create through the minutes is impressive, so their talent is evident in both, composition and performance. The voice is great, and thankfully they sing in Italian, which is a lovely language. What I like a lot is that all the musicians are equally important, the music would not be the same without one of them, I mean, they complement each other really well, and know where to emphasize keys, bass, guitars and drums.

"La Meccanica dell'ombra" is a fabulous track whose sound might be something like "modern gothic", if that exists. The composition is very well crafted, nice tense atmospheres, fast passages contrasting with some faster moments, great piano in the right time, etc. It is impossible not to praise them, and not to be surprised by their inner changes in time and mood. After four minutes the voice enters and adds that soft and gentle sound. Great song! Later, "Il Nome di Lei" is another wonderful track where their musicianship floats, and where no matter how many retro prog elements they bring, the sound is totally modern. I hope you get me, but well, I perceive it. Unreal City might actually have two different sounds: with and without voice, because when Tarasconi's vocals appear, the sound immediately becomes mellower, beautiful, calmer.

"Lo Schermo di Pietra (Kenosis)" is a great bombastic track that brings more energy and power than the previous ones, the rock is evident here, perfectly suited by keyboards, strings and drums. But well, it shows the two faces again, because the instrumental introduction is the faster and passionate, and later when voices enter, it brings the emotional but calmer sound. But wait, after minute three, both sides are combined, so we listen to a fast and exciting song with vocals included. Great track without a doubt!

Finally, the long 20-minute suite "Ex Tenebrae Lux" which simply shows how competent they are in compositional terms, they are young exquisite musicians that have much more to offer in this progressive rock realm, this sole song is enough to realize about that. This epic song is amazing, they combine space rock (first moments) with a gothic sound, with even funk in some brief passages, with jazzy tunes and of course, a splendid progressive rock predominance. The addition of some non-conventional elements such as the violin, is always welcome because it brings new textures. But well, it would take me another page to describe all the moments of this song, but I will sum it up in this line: a magnificent salad of progressive sounds gathered in the cage of life.

Unreal City really rock, I am happy to listen, review and recommend them. So do not hesitate and get this album (and their debut one, which is as wonderful as this one) soon. In Mexico the album will be distributed by Sol & Deneb records, so if you are from my country, you know where to buy it.

Enjoy it!

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 La Crudeltà Di Aprile by UNREAL CITY album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.24 | 270 ratings

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La Crudeltà Di Aprile
Unreal City Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars What I love the most about music, is that it never ceases to surprise me, and though regarding progressive rock some might say that its best era was the 70s (yeah, it might be), nowadays there are amazing bands like Italian monsters Unreal City who are creating gems that must be discovered, spread and listened by prog lovers. They are four young guys who don't fear to enter into this realm, whose passion and musical skills have a pronounced talent, which can be appreciated in this debut album named "La Crudeltá di Aprile", which was released in 2013.

One hour of excellent RPI divided in 6 songs, the first five range from 7-9 minutes, while the last is a 17-minute epic. It opens with "Dell'Inocenza Perduta" and since the very first seconds they let us know they are not just another band of the bunch, they show us its talent with clever compositions and wonderful arrangements. The amalgam the four form is an example that they as a musicians get on well when comes to composition and performance, and I assume they get on well also as friends. Great keyboards, strings and drums overall, and a nice touch of violin in the final part of this song.

"Atlantis" has a somber tune, a great mellotron as background while guitar plays disarming notes. The music progresses, adding nuances every minute. The voice has a soft tone, it will remind you of some 70s RPI bands, however, it is perfectly adapted to a fresh XXI Century prog sound. Some might describe their music as retro- modern RPI, just like Wobbler makes retro-modern Scandinavian prog. "Catabasi" is a magnificent piece whose first three minutes have a dark, gothic sound with keyboards, later it makes a great change when violins enter and loony vocals appear; one can easily put images on the mind, create stories, the music is very visual. It is awesome how after that dark, delirious and somber passage, the band all of a sudden produce a softer, friendlier sound when one can take a deep breath and feel relieved.

"Dove la luce e piu intensa" is a candid track that I like a lot, because though its first seconds provide keyboards with a lot of energy, that make me think of someone running for his life, at the same time the sound is friendly to me, so maybe he is running for freedom. Later the song changes, vocals appear, acoustic guitar and a nice pastoral passage. It is wonderful to listen to keyboards making solos, while mellotron works as background. "Ecate" starts with mellotron and bass, then little by little the structure is being built up; vocals enter, a symphonic and pastoral mixture live here, and so many changes inside the song can be perceived. The guitar work is great, it has some sublime moments, and as you can imagine, keyboards also play a wonderful role here.

Finally, it comes the epic long song that closes this awesome album. "Horror Vacui" whose 18 minutes are divided in four sections, will give you a blast of excellent music. A fascinating journey through diverse branches of prog, of course the symphonic sound predominates, however they offer much more than a label, they offer their own style, the Unreal City sound. Again, the capacity they have to change and change and change through the seconds, without harming the music is simply impressive, all those changes perfectly match, so the music flows, providing a river of emotions, where the water might be the purest and cleanest, and later a bit somber and grey, but always exciting, that's a fact!

This is an album that marks the debut of what I presume will be a giant prog rock band, and now with their newest 2015, I can happily say they are not a one-album-wonder band, they have a lot to give, so please give them the chance, listen to this amazing album and we'll talk later.

Enjoy it!

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 Il Paese Del Tramonto by UNREAL CITY album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.16 | 160 ratings

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Il Paese Del Tramonto
Unreal City Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by misterprog

5 stars When Unreal City came out with the first album ''La crudeltà di Aprile'' , it was a great positive surprise. Such a young group with so deep musical sense and inspiration. Most of the comments were positive, but most of us were kind of ''suspending'' the judgment, waiting for the second CD. Here we are! First thing I would like to underline the substantial improvement in the music and technique from the first album (that was already excellent). I can see with great pleasure the systematic use of analogic instruments as a first remark. Secondly the all group is maturated .The balance of the sounds is now at a way higher level. Tarasconi remains the key board wizard, but his music is now more mature for sure. The use of all the different keyboards is now beautifully integrated by a fantastic acoustic piano, that clearly shows is classic roots. The piano gives a new dimension to the complex changes of rhythms and volume, turning the transitions into beauty, Emanuele voice is the greatest improvement. Now the extension is much wider and the confidence is grown to a great level Guitarist Zanetta (one of the very few women in the prog scene) is probably the greatest surprise. In the first Cd we could feel a potential that was just shown, but not really evident. In this new CD the guitar is no more just a shoulder for the keyboard, but it shines on its own. Francesca has a very special way to play her guitar. She doesn't like the useless acrobatic passages, but she research the deep feeling of the sound. Some moment in ''Il nome di lei'' remembered me a lot the best Guilmore. But suddenly the heaven sound turns into a smashing powerful hard rock that highlight most of the theme changes in the CD. The rhythmic part is almost perfect , with a modern interpretation of drums and a fantastic bass, often in some short very nice solos. The CD is a concept, were the worse human action, a woman murder, is turned into a dream experience. The assassin pays his fee with an internal trip that takes him back to the state between the life and the dead at the beginning of everything. The pain is the dream that will last forever. It is a pity that not many fans will understand the texts, in a sense a second masterpiece, so rare to find today in any song. I don' want to enter in a piece by piece analysis, but I underline two points that surprised me quite a bit. First of all the generous UC approach.70 minutes of fantastic music with such an amount of musical ideas that many other groups would have turned into 2-3 albums. Second but not less important ,in this CD the U.C. use the full extension of the music for their purpose with an outstanding freedom. So you have classic and funky, jazz and blues, very hard rock , folk and even ethnic mixed together. The absolute masterpiece is to turn this mix not into a patchwork, but in something else, I would even say in a new style , where the contaminations of sounds and styles create a new step in the Progressive rock evolution from the classics to a new bright future. 5 start and nothing else!

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Thanks to seventhsojourn for the artist addition.

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