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Not A Good Sign - Icebound CD (album) cover


Not A Good Sign


Eclectic Prog

4.05 | 122 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Preceded by the (un)usual original and funny anticipations, among them snippets and games to guess the album title, finally the third Not A Good Sign album is in my hands.

I own a limited edition (signed booklet and 'freezed' jewelcase ' I have the 46/500 copy) taken, as the preceding album, during the album debut gig.

As usual the booklet is evocative and well done, showing lyrics and informations about host musicians.

I have to admit that in this case I had a wary approach to the work, since the preceding two albums were composed by the pair Francesco Zago, who I consider almost the italian Bob Fripp, and Paolo 'ske' Botta, who is the real creator of NAGS project.

In this new album the most of the tracks and lyrics are by Botta and something has changed a bit: while the mood of the preceding two albums was a mix of ansiogenic, melancholic and visionary components, in this latest work the visionary component has been substituted by an oneiric one and this new component rounds up some edge.

You have only to give up your conventional concept of melody and let you bring into NAGS melodic unique interpretation.

The songs have kingcrimsonian inspiration, but the structures are more near RIO way of composing, with unusual rhythmic patterns, dissonant chords, joints which bring to evidence now a cymbal bell, now a guitar chord or a keyboard single key, latent derivative repetitions and plenty of ostinato and obbligato. These structural parts give to NAGS music that certain 'unexpected' component, that every good and passionate listener hope to meet every time he comes in contact with something new. Above all these wonderful constructions, are layed down melodic carpets and instrumental openings of high emotional impact.

The album starts as a Twin Peaks III episode, then it follows in 9 fashionable and high intesive tracks.

Some of them are short ehtereal moments, while the others are complex and long songs.

It's difficult to say which one is better.

Alessio Calandriello's melodic interpretations (here in this work he uses tunes less familiar to him) and the killer rhythm patterns of Alessandro Casssani/Martino Malacrida powerful pair, alternate with the amazing guitar and keyboard moments by Gianmarco Trevisan and Paolo Botta, high sensitive pianissimo and high intensity instrumental openings.

Maybe 'Trapped In', with Calandriello wonderful vocalism and David Jackson's sax, has some advantage to the others.

At the end of the game, 'Icebound' is a very pleasant and inspired album and NAGS show they always are able to find new musical solutions, even mantaining intact their powerful and dynamic unique sound.

Fun Facts: - Every new album brings a personnel variation: After the first eponym the bass player left; after 'From A Distance' the guitar player left; now it's the turn of the singer: Calandriello has left.

- In the preceding album there was a track named 'Not Now', in this new album there's one named 'Not Yet'. Should we wait the next one to know if or when the right moment will take place?

progpromoter | 4/5 |


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