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Quarto Vuoto - Quarto Vuoto CD (album) cover

QUARTO VUOTO

Quarto Vuoto

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.33 | 12 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars 2013 was a banner year for Italian progressive rock, and there's no shortage of high quality releases showing up during 2014 as well, the latest being the debut self titled EP by Quarto Vuoto. Fans of RPI bands such as Quella Vella Locanda and some particular modern Italian bands will want to look into this band right away, as a lot of their sound here is dominated by the intense violin playing (and distinctive vocals) of Federico Lorenzon, emotional and seductive one minute, wild and edgy the next. There's three tracks on offer here running just shy of half an hour, and the level of confidence on display with the tasteful instrumental playing and stirring vocals is instantly impressive. Quarto Vuoto favour emotional, sedate and dramatic arrangements, never frantic or too bombastic, but with an occasionally heavy sound. Listeners who find fault with the sleek and polished productions of many modern RPI works will also be glad to discover the group also has a bit of grit to them too.

The shortest track on the album at just over five minutes, opener `Dimmi Solo se e Cosi' is a hard gutsy ballad. It's a driving mid-tempo tune with Luca Volonnino's unique shimmering reverberating guitar sound and grandly symphonic synths to raise the drama, Federico bringing a coarse, wavering voice, even attempting some distinctive and brave falsettos. It's a nice piece with a strong melody, but the really impressive stuff is yet to come, and you violin freaks better brace yourselves! `Zattera Della Medusa' is over ten minutes, and really lets the band build some atmosphere and work within extended instrumental passages. After a brief ethereal guitar distortion intro, a gloriously regal weeping and searing violin enters full of classical drama, bringing a brooding intensity over hard chugging guitars and Nicola D'Amico's busy drumming. The band then settles into a confident vocal section, rapid-fire vocal verses and a catchy impressive memorable repeated chorus over orchestral synths and fiery electric guitar soloing. There's a very triumphant sound to this second half, and I love Mattia Scomparin's moody keyboard finale. He's a very restrained player, who seems to hold back on show-off attention seeking keyboard soloing much to the benefit of the music.

The showpiece of the album for progressive listeners is, of course, the fourteen minute `Rub Al- Khali'. Those listeners who love the frequently violin driven modern Italian bands such as Progenesi and Ingranaggi dalla Valle, as well as vintage RPI group Quella Vecchia Locanda's second album `Il Tempo Della Gioia' will adore the perfectly executed instrumental flow to this lengthy piece. It's full of atmosphere and emotion, especially during the thrilling final minutes where the drama expertly builds. Whimsical, intimidating, oppressive and powerful, this is a challenging piece that demands careful attention and focus to gain the best results from it, and repeated plays reveals all the intricate details it contains. Spectral mystery synth passages, cutting electric guitar runs with wailing electric soloing, grandiose violin that moves from slightly malevolent scratchy tension to spellbinding and deeply heartfelt. Edoardo Ceron's murmuring bass bubbles under the shadows of the mix, and Federico gets a wonderfully crooned theatrical vocal spot in the climax that's a trademark of so many wonderful Italian prog albums before. This dynamic piece offers glimpses of the skills the band already have to offer, as well as offering all sorts of exciting directions they may take their music in the future.

Honestly, the EP costs a only a few dollars, has lovely evocative artwork and despite the running time clocking in at just a little under 30 minutes, Italian prog has endless albums with short running times, and this one is even longer than some of them - Le Mani and Il Babau & I Maledetti Cretini, I'm looking in your direction! But for now, this self-titled work suggests a superb new band to keep an eye on and launches them in a very fine manner. If they're already this good, imagine what they may deliver with a full-length proper album?

Four stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |

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