Exposé Online banner

Unreal City — Frammenti Notturni
(AMS 283, 2017, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2017-12-31

Frammenti Notturni Cover art

It seems like it’s been quite a while since I reviewed an album of classic-style Italian prog, so I’m happy to have this gem come up in my list. Unreal City has been in existence about ten years now, but Frammenti Notturni is the first of their albums I’ve heard. On one hand, they have the typical elements of symphonic Italian prog down: outstanding Classical-inflected keyboard playing (Emanuele Tarasconi) featuring piano, organ, and synths; a strong vocalist belting out Italian lyrics (Tarasconi again); melodic guitar work that rocks without resorting to cliches (Francesca Zanetta); a kick-butt rhythm section (Dario Pessina on bass and Marco Garbin on drums) that negotiates the compositions with energy and flair; and compositions that balance delicacy and power through varying sections. On the other hand, they also have much to recommend them that is much more their own, and lifts them above the level of a promising also-ran. Some of the instrumental sections have a hint of jazz fusion to them; guests provide violin and female backing vocals; and there are occasional moments of unexpected weirdness, like crazy analog synthesizer noises and an audio sample from Hitchcock’s Rope (James Stewart’s famous speech near the end). The real star here is the quality of the compositions. From the shortest tune (“Barricate” is under six minutes) to the longest (“La Grande Festa in Maschera” is over 13, and runs directly into “Le Luci delle Case (Spente)” to create a side-long epic) they maintain interest with imaginative changes and clever transitions, slipping into an odd meter here, changing key there, and so on. I can recommend Frammenti Notturni for anyone who’s into the Italian classics or would like to be. The style is not dead, and not moribund either.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Unreal City

More info
http://unrealcityprogband.bandcamp.com/album/frammenti-notturni

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Daniel J - Losing Time – Daniel J (Jakubovic) is the lead guitarist of gigging New York based metal quartet Against the Wall. The young fret-bender adopts a mode of self-reliance in the course of thirteen tracks of prog metal...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues