Italian prog formation Il Segno Del Comando was founded in 1995 by the brothers Mercy and Diego Banchero, as a studio project with the aim of reproducing the sound and the atmospheres of bands from the seventies such as Goblin, Il Balletto Di Bronzo or Jacula. The name is derived from a 1970's novel by Giussepe D'Agata and Italian TV series of the same title that dealt with occult matters, reincarnation and the supernatural. With the addition of extra musicians in 1997 the eponymous debut CD was recorded in two weeks. Appearances on Black Widow compilations would follow, as well as an equally complex and evocative second work entitled Der Golem, in 2002. Then a long hiatus, but in 2013 the band presented a renewed line up and released another concept album (inspired by a novel by Gustav Meyrink) entitled Il Volto Verde, featuring legendary Italian prog musicians Claudio Simonetti (Goblin), Gianni Leone (Il Balletto di Bronzo) and Martin Grice (Delirium). In 2017 the band released the album ... Al Passato, Al Presente, Al Futuro... (live in the studio), and one year later L'Incanto Dello Zero.
This is Il Segno Del Comando fifth album but my first musical encounter with this interesting Italian prog formation. Most of the 11 tracks deliver heavy and bombastic atmospheres with blistering (often wah wah drenched) guitar soli and thunderous drums. This is topped with outstanding, often passionate Italian vocals, in the tradition of great bands like Le Orme, Metamorfosi and Museo Rosenbach. During my first listening session I also noticed that Il Segno Del Comando is not an average Heavy Prog band, because the music presents a lot of variation, and surprising musical ideas.
A majestic and sumptuous church organ sound in the short opener Il Senza Ombra.
A dreamy climate with soaring keyboards and celestial female vocals in La Grande Quercia.
In Al Cospetto Dell'Inatteso the atmosphere is spooky, with Gothic hints, fueled by opera-like female vocals. Then the music gradually turns into more lush and bombastic, with strong male and female vocals, embellished with mellow synthesizer work. Finally an accellaration featuring propulsive drums and awesome heavy guitar play.
The instrumental Lo Scontro starts with an electronic music climate, then a catchy beat with rock guitar and fat synthesizer flights and finally Heavy Prog featuring moving guitar runs and a fine duo guitar sound, the atmosphere is like a power rock ballad.
In Nel Labirinto Spirituale you will be carried away to a mellow climate with a wonderful blend of piano, acoustic guitar, emotional vocals and soft synthesizer runs. Halfway it turns more lush, topped with a sensitive electric guitar solo, goose bumps.
And finally the instrumental AseitÓ, based upon a bass solo with spacey keyboards.
An interesting album, very melodic, it grows and grows, if you are up to Heavy Prog this is one to discover.
***+ Erik Neuteboom (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
Where to buy?
All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2019