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La Coscienza di Zeno : Sensitivitą

Italian sextet La Coscienza di Zeno (whose name translates to "Zeno's Conscience" and is based on a famous novel) packs quite a punch on its sophomore LP, Sensitivitą. The group uses a diverse assortment of sounds and colors to create pieces that are emotionally and sonically rich. Each second is either bursting with extravagant theatrics or elegant passion, making the entire disc feel very personal and tasteful. It's glorious, thought-provoking, and oh so sophisticated.

"La Citta di Ditte" starts things off with a beautiful piano arrangement; it's quick, distinguished, and very moving. It eventually transitions into a whirlwind of instrumentation as vocalist Alessio Calandriello pours his heart into his delivery. Fortunately, the band includes a calmer portion near the end, which adds some needed variation. The title track, which is twice as long as its predecessor, is also twice as appealing and multifaceted, recalling elements of Yes, PFM, and Delirium as it radiates cultural idiosyncrasies.

The band lets listeners catch their breath with "Tenue," a short piece that grooves along at a slow pace. It's followed by "Chiusa 1915" and "Tensegrita," two elaborate reflections highlighted by keyboard frenzies straight out of Tony Banks' playbook. With "Pauvre Misere," guitarist Davide Serpico gets to stand out a bit more, as he decorates the song with controlled ferocity. Finally, album closer "La Temperanza" contains some of the most interesting timbres, innovative ideas, and intricate rhythmic shifts on Sensitivitą (especially during its middle section, which includes a stunning duet between acoustic guitar and piano). It's really the standout track, meaning that La Coscienza di Zeno definitely goes out with a bang instead of a whimper.

Despite its familiarity, Sensitivitą is masterfully crafted and meticulously arranged. Of course, there are also several qualities (such as an emphasis on feeling and classiness) that give it a strong Italian charm. Even with its complexity, one can tell that La Coscienza di Zeno put its heart before its ego here. The end result is as fine a slice of classically tinged progressive rock as you could ever find.

Track Listing

1. La Citta di Ditte
2. Sensitivita
3. Tenue
4. Chiusa 1915
5. Tensegrita
6. Pauvre Misere
7. La Temperanza

Added: July 11th 2013
Reviewer: Jordan Blum
Related Link: ProgArchives Link
Hits: 3545
Language: english

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