For nearly thirteen years, La Coscienza di Zeno have taken the genre of Rock Progressivo Italiano (RPI) a step further, keeping the machine going. With three albums in the can plus a live album, La Coscienza Di Zeno are still going strong.
Last year, they were signed to a new label, AMS Records, home to bands such as Unreal City, The Winstons, All Traps On Earth and Torso Virile Colossale, to name a few. Released towards the end of last year, Una Vita Migliore (‘A Better Life’) sees the band continuing their roots and following up where they left off with 2015’s La Notte Anche Di Giorno. And believe me, they keep the waters boiling.
Lobe Iste Calabu starts off with PFM-esque classical guitar and piano structures in a nod to Per Un Amico. You can hear the synth fanfares, violins swelling towards the sounds of Atoll’s L’ariangee-Mal, the flutes setting the grey clouds to part with the tidal wave of hard rock riffs, bass and guitar making the jump to hyper-speed.
When you listen to Il Posto Delle Fragole, you can hear the synths flying through the symphonic voyages that Stefano Agnini and Luca Scherani create. The sequence of Gianluca Origone’s guitar and Scherani’s Mellotron sets up the spaceship to fly towards our solar system before the two keyboardists open the doors for Alessio Calandriello to come in as the new captain, inviting his bandmates to come along for the ride.
Danza Ferma takes you back to medieval times as La Coscienza channel both Gryphon and Vivaldi, thanks to the violin duo Sylvia Trabuco and Alice Nappi, who allow Agnini and Scherani to move elsewhere, Origone hot on their tails. L’aspettativa Del Bimbo Scuro has Gabriele Guidi Colombi’s ascending bass intro and Gaetano Galli’s oboe in the warm-up section. The major and minor chords go back and forth, with hints of Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue, and I can imagine the band singing one of his classics being a melodic wonder. It then moves strongly with sax and oboe taking different time changes to honour Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso and Gentle Giant.
The 12-minute title track is where the band bring everything together, mellotron, organ, lead guitar, synths and vocals with some epic punches bringing the golden era of Premiata Forneria Marconi to mind, with strong connections to Le Orme, Metamorfosi, and Thelonious Monk’s piano melodies, Alessio now returning to the forefront.
La Cosceinza di Zeno’s Una Vita Migliore proved to be a challenge for me and took me a good while to fully appreciate. My ears weren’t sure if they accepted it or not. Well, eventually they did, and it marks a triumphant return for the band.
01. Lobe Iste Calabu (6:43)
02. Il Posto Delle Fragole (8:36)
03. Danza Ferna (5:38)
04. Mordo La Lingua (5:45)
05. L’aspettativa Del Bimbo Scuro (8:58)
06. Una Vita Migliore (12:34)
07. Vico Del Giglio (2:59)
Total Time – 51:15
Alessio Calandriello – Lead Vocals
Luca Scherani – Keyboards
Stefano Agnini – Keyboards
Gabriele Guidi Colombi – Bass Guitar
Gianluca Origone – Guitar
Andrea Orlando – Drums, Percussion
Sylvia Trabucco – Violin
Edmondo Romano – Soprano Sax
Joanne Roan – Flute
Daniela Piras – Flute
Davide Corso – Soprano Sax, Clarinet
Marco Callegari – Trombone
Gaetano Galli – Oboe
Melissa Lucchese – Violin, Cello
Fausto Sidri – Vocals, Percussion
Martina Saladino – Vocals
Nicola Sannino – Vocals
Alice Scherani – Glockenspiel
Record Label: AMS Records
Catalogue Number: AMS297CD
Date of Release: 11th November 2018