Unreal City - La Crudelta di Aprile. 2013 Italy

A couple of months back I was featuring the incredible renaissance we've experienced the last few years with the classic Italian progressive rock scene. Perhaps unbelievably, I was only about half way when I was forced to stop due to that everyday pesky life event we call a job.

As I'm sure you deduced by now, Unreal City is yet another new participant. Mirror Records presented us earlier in the year with Oxhuitza, a band that blended both old school Italo progressive rock (especially regarding the analog keyboards) with more modern sounds like metal guitar. For those who didn't care for the latter element, then Unreal City will most likely be more to your taste. There's a considerable amount of mellotron on here, though much of it sounds sampled to me (Planet Mellotron has given them the benefit of the doubt for now, querying the public for more info). In the end, it doesn't really matter much to me, as I love the sound - sampled or not. The guest violin adds a much welcomed ingredient. And the pipe organ recalls that old 1972 chestnut Il Paese dei Balocchi. Unreal City strike me as band that will be quickly dismissed by those saying it's "all been done before". Conversely, diehard fans will embrace it without too much questioning. I'm a diehard, and yes, I really like it for certain. I will admit nothing struck out in a head-turning way, like the very best Italian albums can, though I didn't hear anything cringe-worthy either. The style by itself allows for various interpretations of the same song over multiple listens. That's the beauty of it - there's so much to digest, each listen has its own rewards. And you will for certain get your money's worth with Unreal City, an album chock full of twists, turns, and great invention. I very much look forward to their next release!

Personal collection
CD: 2013 Mirror

Last listen: September 2, 2013

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