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Quarto Vuoto - Quarto Vuoto CD (album) cover


Quarto Vuoto


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.34 | 13 ratings

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Special Collaborator
RPI / Heavy Prog Team
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!

Todd | 4/5 |


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