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QUARTO VUOTO

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Quarto Vuoto biography
Founded in Treviso, Italy in 2010

The members are Edoardo Ceron (bass), Nicola D'Amico (drums), Federico Lorenzon (vocal/violin), Mattia Scomparin (keyboards) and Luca Volonnino (guitars), all of them born between 1990 and 1993. The band began its journey playing covers of various artist, but began quite soon to compose its own music, in which it tries to combine the different musical influences of the members and to create innovative and personal music.

Quarto Vuoto is on the continuous search of its artistic expression through the balance between the instrumental and the vocal components of its pieces. The result is a progressive stream of consciousness that sees both the music and the lyric as an expressive guide for the listener into the band's creativity. The first realization of this idea is in the band's first EP "Quarto Vuoto", released in January 2014, that contains three original compositions, for a total length of 30 minutes.

Quarto Vuoto is still working on new material in the purpose to improve its musical expression.

[Bio provided by the band, very slightly edited by Todd]

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

4.20 | 23 ratings
Illusioni
2017

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

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

4.34 | 13 ratings
Quarto Vuoto
2014

QUARTO VUOTO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Illusioni by QUARTO VUOTO album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.20 | 23 ratings

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Illusioni
Quarto Vuoto Rock Progressivo Italiano

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

4 stars Back in 2014, young Italian band Quarto Vuoto released a short self-titled half-hour debut in the bold symphonic sound of the Seventies RPI legends, and the lovingly retro-flavoured album embraced the same flavours as classic Italian prog legends Quella Vecchia Locanda due to the way the music was dominated by elegant violin. The fairly small number of RPI fans who heard the EP felt it was very special, but that it only hinted at the potential that the band could show if they delivered a full-length work. Well, three years later we have that proper follow-up, and it's likely to be perceived as quite a controversial release, sure to either disappoint or very much excite, depending on which way you look at it and/or your history with the band.

Right from the start of the new CD, it's pretty clear that `Illusioni', and the band themselves, are no longer your `Dad's Prog'. Mostly gone are the retro flavours, the overt soloing and pretty much any connection to the Italian prog masters of old, and it's probably no coincidence to find that the first album's vocalist/violinist Federico Lorenzon has departed in the years since that debut. The remaining players have opted to carry on in an instrumental form, and 2017's `Illusioni' is a distinctly modern sounding mix of post-rock reaches, ambient atmospheres and psychedelic improvisations, with the band favouring subtle and careful build over flashy soloing show-boating this time around. Moments of it resemble King Crimson, Steven Wilson, Porcupine Tree or even Diagonal, but this is really the sound of Quarto Vuoto forging their own unique sound and ready to pick up plenty more followers for their winning efforts.

Heavenly breezes flit in and out of opener `Nei Colori del Silenzio', laced with arching Post Rock- flavoured guitar chimes, sweetly murmuring bass, ethereal synth caresses and only the lightest of cymbals and percussion to exquisitely tease the most restrained of dramatic pinpricks. `Coscienza Sopita's jagged electric piano splinters and thrashing drum tantrums are attacked at every turn by spiky electric guitars that seamlessly shift between shimmering strums, muscular bursts and ragged wailing space-rock soloing, and there's an unease and tension to the piece that wouldn't have sounded out of place on a `Moonloop/Signify'-era Porcupine Tree album.

`Impasse' unfolds over almost twelve minutes, stark electronic droning white-noise and faraway lurking drum rumbles that almost take on a tribal-like hypnotic intensity one moment, whirring kaleidoscopic soloing and fuzzy guitar ruminations laced with a defiant joyous freedom the next. Despite being punctuated with gutsy Anekdoten-like blasts, `Apofis' quickly captures a similar ragged gloominess to the metallic guitar ringings, rattling percussion and darkly lit jazzy sax wafting of King Crimson's `Islands' period before it diverts into a beautifully melancholic piano solo climax.

Psychedelic ambience that channels early Pink Floyd with dream-like guitar ripples float through `Due'Io' whenever it's not being attacked with crunching heavy Riverside/Porcupine Tree-like driving riffing guitars, with the band ably navigating a range of quick-change tempos back and forth in the second half. Finally, dignified and graceful violin (although not courtesy of the above mentioned former member Lorenzon) swoons beside uplifting guitar soloing in `Tornerò', with icy synths holding just the lightest touch of the Eighties Neo-Prog sound, and all up it makes for a very pretty and genuinely emotional close to the album.

It's a bit of a shame that Quarto Vuoto now in no way resemble that promising RPI group of their beginnings, but initial disappointment of what once was can be turned around if the proper time is taken to really explore what these young musicians are now doing (and if you're new to the band, none of that will matter anyway!). In many ways the situation mirrors the approach taken by fellow modern Italian proggers Ingranaggi della Valle - by ditching the slavish fascination to prog sounds of old after nailing it on their first recording, they instead branched out in their own style on the follow-up in not only a completely different manner, but diverted in numerous directions at once and are now brimming with a new and thrilling approach in its place.

But in the end, all that matters is that `Illusioni' is a sublime modern progressive rock album from a talented bunch of musicians, one that came be easily embraced by younger audiences and fans not wanting a mere rehash of the classic prog era, who enjoy exploratory improvisations that never aimlessly meander, and it can easily be placed among the standout Italian, and purely instrumental, works of the last twelve months.

Four stars.

 Illusioni by QUARTO VUOTO album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.20 | 23 ratings

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Illusioni
Quarto Vuoto Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Illusioni (Illusions) is the second album by Quarto Vuoto, a talented band from Mogliano Veneto, in the province of Treviso. It follows the excellent eponymous debut work from 2014 and was released in 2017 on the independent label Lizard Records with a renewed line up featuring Edoardo Ceron (bass), Nicola D'Amico (drums), Mattia Scomparin (keyboards, piano) and Luca Volonnino (guitar) plus some guests. In fact, in 2015 Federico Lorenzon (vocals, violin) left the band and wasn't replaced but during the recording sessions Giulio Dalla Mora (sax) and Mauro Spinazz' (violin) gave their contribute to enrich the sound on some tracks. The new album is completely instrumental and the images provided by Lorenzo Giolin's wonderful art work in some way take the place of the lyrics in describing the concept behind the music. According to the band, all the pieces have a meaning, a story to tell, but the listener is free to interpret them with the help of his own imagination and sensitivity' Through our music we want to tell and describe the perception that men have of the reality that surrounds them... The six tracks represent different phases of human perception...

The dreamy opener 'Nei colori del silenzio' (In the colours of silence) is calm and nocturnal. The music tries to evoke the innocence of childhood and the power of imagination typical of that age. An animated cartoon video directed by Lorenzo Giolin himself was shot to comment this piece and to represent its magic...

The following 'Coscienza sopita' (Asleep consciousness) is nervous and tense. It tries to depict the spirit of rebellion of youth and the awareness of maturity, when the daily grind begins to produce its effects and starts to wear you out. The picture in the booklet portrays the lights and shadows of a big city at night. Behind the window of a lighted office there's a bent man, he seems tired. That office might be his cage...

The long, melancholic 'Impasse' tries to evoke the difficulties that you have to tackle in your life, the obstacles that you have to overcome. In the booklet, in the picture chosen to comment this piece you can see a bizarre world of flying rocks connected by ropes and crumbling bridges...

The title of the following 'Apofis' (Apophis) refers to the ancient Egyptian deity who embodied chaos and was thus the opponent of light and Ma'at (order/truth). This piece starts with sudden bursts of energy, the mood is dark and seems to mark the explosion of a deep crises. Then a calm jazzy passage follows with a sax solo evoking nostalgia and regret. As the music flows, there are many other changes in rhythm and atmosphere where you can perceive growing tension, rage but also positive memories. Here the picture in the booklet with its explosion of colours on a spectral background evokes a world falling apart in an infinite space...

The reflective 'Due io' (Two I) seems to evoke the wisdom and calm of the old age. The atmosphere here is almost mystical while the picture in the booklet marks the contradictions of the life in a big city where lighted skyscrapers contrast with the hidden underground net. This piece comes like the calm after the storm...

The closer 'Torner' (I'll come back) begins by a beautiful soaring violin passage and a nice melodic pattern. It's a wonderful track that marks the come back to the origins, a reflection about the sense of a life that is coming to an end. What will remain of us in the afterlife? Of course, there's no answer. It's just a starting point for a reflection while the world is turning upside down' Set your imagination free!

On the whole, I think that this is a really good album!

 Quarto Vuoto by QUARTO VUOTO album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2014
4.34 | 13 ratings

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Quarto Vuoto
Quarto Vuoto Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Il Quarto Vuoto began life in Mogliano Veneto, a little town in the province of Treviso, in 2010. The name of the band means Empty Quarter and refers to the largest sand desert in the world, encompassing most of the southern third of the Arabian Peninsula. According to the band, the name was chosen because they say that a man who walks through that desert has always to face his own limits and the band's music and lyrics have exactly the goal of creating a space where the listener can be free to set off on a personal journey in search for his personal limits. In 2014 Quarto Vuoto self-released an excellent eponymous debut album with a line up featuring Edoardo Ceron (bass), Nicola D'Amico (drums), Federico Lorenzon (vocals, violin), Mattia Scomparin (keyboards, piano) and Luca Volonnino (guitar). The overall sound is a wonderful mix of different influences ranging from classical music to hard rock, with a very personal touch and many original ideas. Well, in my opinion the beautiful art work by Silvia Volonnino could help to explain what the music and lyrics are about...

The opener "Dimmi solo se è così" (Just tell me if it's so) is the shortest track on the album and alternates powerful guitar riffs and calmer passages with soaring melodic lines. The music and lyrics evoke a sudden change in your life and you risk to get drowned into a sea of dreams while the naked truth of reality starts wildly dancing around you. You're stranded but it's too late to change the course of your fate, you can't relive the past and Time takes you away... "I would like to listen again / To the life running in me / And to start over again to carve my name / Into the heart of this reality...".

Next comes the beautiful "Zattera della Medusa" (The Raft of the Medusa), a complex piece divided into two parts that evokes the colours and the emotions of the 19th-century painting of the same name by Théodore Géricault. The painting was inspired by the wreck of a French frigate off the coast of Senegal in 1816 and illustrates the vain hope of rescue, a view of human life abandoned to its fate. The first part of this long track, "Il giorno della notte" (The day of the night) is completely instrumental, it begins softly, the atmosphere is dark and you can feel rise a sense of impending tragedy. The second part, "Il grido di una vita" (The scream of a life), begins after the shipwreck and the music and lyrics depict the gloomy destiny of the survivors. Everything has changed, in the twilight the certainties of the castways crumble while they seem to sail across the Styx, towards the gates of Hell, in a crescendo of regrets and madness... A great track!

The album ends with the charming epic "Rub' al-Khali" (Empty Quarter), a kind of manifesto of the talent of this excellent band. The music features an outstanding brew of exoticism and classical flavour while the poetical lyrics lead you through hidden, obscure paths towards a new sunrise to take your dreams back, overcoming fears, burning ties and useless memories... "Now you know who you are / Now you know what you want / Source of happiness, light that sets you free / From your black, murky past / Now you'll be able to live...".

On the whole, this is a magnificent album even if a bit short. If you like modern Italian progressive rock that's based on classic prog but it's not stuck in the past, you really have to check this band out.

 Quarto Vuoto by QUARTO VUOTO album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2014
4.34 | 13 ratings

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Quarto Vuoto
Quarto Vuoto Rock Progressivo Italiano

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

4 stars 2013 was a banner year for Italian progressive rock, and there's no shortage of high quality releases showing up during 2014 as well, the latest being the debut self titled EP by Quarto Vuoto. Fans of RPI bands such as Quella Vecchia Locanda and some particular modern Italian bands will want to look into this band right away, as a lot of their sound here is dominated by the intense violin playing (and distinctive vocals) of Federico Lorenzon, emotional and seductive one minute, wild and edgy the next. There's three tracks on offer here running just shy of half an hour, and the level of confidence on display with the tasteful instrumental playing and stirring vocals is instantly impressive. Quarto Vuoto favour emotional, sedate and dramatic arrangements, never frantic or too bombastic, but with an occasionally heavy sound. Listeners who find fault with the sleek and polished productions of many modern RPI works will also be glad to discover the group also has a bit of grit to them too.

The shortest track on the album at just over five minutes, opener `Dimmi Solo se e Cosi' is a hard gutsy ballad. It's a driving mid-tempo tune with Luca Volonnino's unique shimmering reverberating guitar sound and grandly symphonic synths to raise the drama, Federico bringing a coarse, wavering voice, even attempting some distinctive and brave falsettos. It's a nice piece with a strong melody, but the really impressive stuff is yet to come, and you violin freaks better brace yourselves! `Zattera Della Medusa' is over ten minutes, and really lets the band build some atmosphere and work within extended instrumental passages. After a brief ethereal guitar distortion intro, a gloriously regal weeping and searing violin enters full of classical drama, bringing a brooding intensity over hard chugging guitars and Nicola D'Amico's busy drumming. The band then settles into a confident vocal section, rapid-fire vocal verses and a catchy impressive memorable repeated chorus over orchestral synths and fiery electric guitar soloing. There's a very triumphant sound to this second half, and I love Mattia Scomparin's moody keyboard finale. He's a very restrained player, who seems to hold back on show-off attention seeking keyboard soloing much to the benefit of the music.

The showpiece of the album for progressive listeners is, of course, the fourteen minute `Rub Al- Khali'. Those listeners who love the frequently violin driven modern Italian bands such as Progenesi and Ingranaggi dalla Valle, as well as vintage RPI group Quella Vecchia Locanda's second album `Il Tempo Della Gioia' will adore the perfectly executed instrumental flow to this lengthy piece. It's full of atmosphere and emotion, especially during the thrilling final minutes where the drama expertly builds. Whimsical, intimidating, oppressive and powerful, this is a challenging piece that demands careful attention and focus to gain the best results from it, and repeated plays reveals all the intricate details it contains. Spectral mystery synth passages, cutting electric guitar runs with wailing electric soloing, grandiose violin that moves from slightly malevolent scratchy tension to spellbinding and deeply heartfelt. Edoardo Ceron's murmuring bass bubbles under the shadows of the mix, and Federico gets a wonderfully crooned theatrical vocal spot in the climax that's a trademark of so many wonderful Italian prog albums before. This dynamic piece offers glimpses of the skills the band already have to offer, as well as offering all sorts of exciting directions they may take their music in the future.

Honestly, the EP costs a only a few dollars, has lovely evocative artwork and despite the running time clocking in at just a little under 30 minutes, Italian prog has endless albums with short running times, and this one is even longer than some of them - Le Mani and Il Babau & I Maledetti Cretini, looking in your direction! But for now, this self-titled work suggests a superb new band to keep an eye on and launches them in a very fine manner. If they're already this good, imagine what they may deliver with a full-length proper album?

Four stars.

 Quarto Vuoto by QUARTO VUOTO album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2014
4.34 | 13 ratings

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Quarto Vuoto
Quarto Vuoto Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Todd
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano!

4 stars Welcome to the show!

Yet another entry from the very fertile Italian soil! Quarto Vuoto is a quintet from Treviso whose self-titled debut EP was released at the beginning of 2014. The three songs total 30 minutes, which in the grand scheme of things is not much shorter than many of the 1970s RPI classics!

Quarto Vuoto primarily uses a familiar RPI formula, namely an emotional, symphonic approach with memorable melodies. This is particularly true of the first two songs. The opener, "Dimmi solo si e' cosi", is the shortest piece on the album and is song-based. The opening melodies are carried by a pretty tame sounding electric guitar, backed by a straightforward rhythm section and some analog synth sounds. The vocals are introduced by a simple piano motive. Overall there are short melodic themes, and the atmosphere is created largely by piano and analog string sounds. There is a nice synth crescendo at the end of each verse, created by climbing notes and buildup of the other instruments around them. There is a nice break with some slightly more frantic piano and a guitar solo.

The second song is "Zattera della Medusa" (Medusa's Raft), and it is longer than the first song by more than double. The moods are similar, but there is a wonderful addition--violin! The keyboard sounds remain analog, mostly strings, and the guitars are again fairly tame, though there is some occasional distortion. There are various melodic themes stacked sequentially during the introduction, gradually building up to the vocal section. During this part, the violin largely carries the melody.

The final and longest song is "Rub' Al-Khali", named after the largest sand desert in the world, located on the Arabian peninsula. This song takes the melodies of the previous two songs and adds more compositional complexity, engaging my head as well as my heart, moreso than the first songs. There is a lot more tension in this one, which builds and builds until finally releasing into a beautiful passage carried by piano and violin, only to be followed by the beginning themes of tension yet again at the close of the song--almost like finding an oasis in the middle of wandering through a desert, only to have to set out again to reach your destination. Adding to the tension are angular Fripp-like themes, sometimes played by distorted guitar, other times by nervous violin. There are also more varied digital keyboard sounds which add to the atmosphere.

Overall, this is a very engaging album, which not only whets the appetite for what's to come from the band, but it's a very satisfying treat in and of itself. The band is already working on new material for the first full- length album. You can enjoy the songs on Soundcloud for now, and you can purchase the CD directly from the band (via their Facebook page) or at synphonic records. Four wonderful stars!

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

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