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Zerothehero Horror Vacui album cover
3.52 | 6 ratings | 2 reviews | 17% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Entrance (1:19)
2. Dark Corridor (3:11)
3. The Sky at Night (1:20)
4. I Bet on the Trap (3:15)
5. Alone on the Moon (4:01)
6. Spring Calls (3:07)
7. Floating (6:29)
8. Escape from Self (3:10)
9. Melancholic Blues (1:54)
10. The Discovery (4:21)
11. Questions? (0:51)
12. To a Distant Friend (5:20)
13. I Had Wings but I Did Not Know How to Fly (4:42)
14. Exit (1:20)

Total Time 44:20

Line-up / Musicians

- Carlo Barreca / guitar, bass, Chapman Stick, keyboards, flute

- Alessandro Vernetti / guitar (8)

Releases information

CD Mellow Records ‎- MMP 472 (2011, Italy)

Digital album

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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ZEROTHEHERO Horror Vacui ratings distribution

(6 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (50%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ZEROTHEHERO Horror Vacui reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

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.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
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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