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La Coscienza Di Zeno - La Notte Anche di Giorno CD (album) cover


La Coscienza Di Zeno


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.11 | 244 ratings

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5 stars For every wilder act like Pholas Dactylus, Il Balletto di Bronzo or Cervello in the RPI sub-genre, there are the bands like Celeste and Locanda delle Fate that deliver more pleasing, luxurious and lavish sounds instead. On the strength of their third album, 2015's `La Notte Anche di Giorno', that's where La Coscienza di Zeno fit in, and fans of Locanda's debut `Forse Le Lucciole Non Si Amano Piu' will be in absolute heaven here. Formed in 2007, the group here offer a grand collection of the most swooning, romantic Italian symphonic prog you could ever desire, coated in warm melodies and sweeping arrangements, and this forty-four minute vinyl-length release is separated into two side-long multi-sectioned suites. Vocalist Alessio Calandriello's sweet expressive croon is given great prominence throughout, there's plentiful classical flourishes, flashy keyboard colour, and the frequent use of violin calls to mind other Italians RPI bands both old and new such as Quella Vechio Loccanda and Ingranaggi della Valle.

The `Giovane Figlia' sequence joins the first six pieces with seamless transitions and reprising themes, opening confidently with `A Ritroso' where Alessio's voice bursts forth from the opening second and weaves around twirling Moog runs and stirring violin between a range of subtle tempo changes back and forth. `Il Giro del Cappio' is full of chest-beating power, the violin, keyboards and guitar all take turns delivering variations on a gorgeous main theme throughout `Libero Pensatore' with soothing jazzy breaks, and forceful drums pound and intimidating organ dominate `Quiete Apparente'. `Impromptu pour S.Z' is a violin-driven jazz-fusion interlude that wouldn't have sounded out of place on an early Arti e Mestieri album, and the piece finally culminates with `Lenta Discesa all'Averno' where a spitting wild vocal and a soothing, wavering female chorus delicately close the first act.

The `Madre Antica' suite takes in the remaining four tracks, `Il Paese Ferito' beginning with a smorgasbord of searing violins, whirring synths and thick murmuring bass before revealing classical fancy and gothic flirtations. `Cavanella' returns to warm vocal romance, then it's back to more boisterous drama and a restrained solo piano reprise of earlier themes in the achingly beautiful closing moments of ` La Staffetta'. The closing seven minute section `Come Statua di Dolore' offers one final race of dashing moog runs, flighty trilling flute, weeping violin and even a precious taste of mellotron majesty to end this exquisite progressive symphony.

Considering La Coscienza di Zeno is comprised of musicians who've been involved in the Hostsonaten project and Il Tempio delle Clessidre, it's no surprise to find the music here is so rich and exotic, and the glossy production gives the album a sleek and comforting sound. The fact that the vocal passages are instantly melodic and easy to enjoy, weaving excitedly around the sumptuous instrumental aspects makes it even more of a winner, and once it's been given several replays, the music truly soars with a flowing grace and sophistication. If you don't mind the more polished and slick RPI works in the manner of the symphonic vintage style, `La Notte Anche di Giorno' may just be one of the loveliest RPI releases of 2015!

Four and a half stars.

(This review is dedicated to Sam aka Archives member Meltdowner, who loved the album right from the start and kept on my back to keep digging the CD out for more plays! Now it's a favourite of mine, who knew?! Hmmm, maybe I'll come back and bump the album up to 5 stars before too long...)

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 5/5 |


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