Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
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 With this, the third album release from AltrOck band Not a Good Sign, we see some lineup changes as founder Francesco Zago has moved onto other projects and vocalist Alessio Calandriello makes his final contributions before moving on. Founding members keyboard whiz Paolo "SKE" Botta, bassist Alessandro Cassani, and drummer Martino Malacrida remain, while familiar Gian Marco Trevisan (From a Distance and live performances since 2015) picks up the guitar and some of the vocal duties.

1. "Second Thought" (2:33) opens like a powerful MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA song. Wow! What an album opening! It then turns more avant/RIO at the 1:30 mark. (9/10)

2. "Frozen Words" (7:06) piano and Alessio open this one before the band joins in with kind of spacious ballad- support. The band is using an interesting, very different, recording/effect style on Alessio's voice for this one-- making it feel more human, more within the mix than out in front. In the fourth minute the song moves into a more up-tempo jazz-rock instrumental section while plenty of odd vocal and field samples get disbursed throughout. At 5:20 things quiet down again as distant violin and acoustic guitar provide the only sounds--not to last too long as full band and Alessio return for the heavier, up-tempo finale. (8.5/10)

3. "Hidden Smile" (9:08) a rock instrumental that harbors some very familiar NOT A GOOD SIGN riffs within the keyboard, percussion, and guitar performances. I love the shift at 4:25 whereupon the violin gets a chance to shine. The music in the delicate slowdown in the eighth minute is quite lovely. (8.5/10)

4. "As If" (0:58) instrumental flourishes and interludes: something SKE excels at. (5/5)

5. "Down Below" (7:41) what a gift is the voice of Alessio Calandriello! The introductory section is followed by a very solid and engaging instrumental section--and then again by Alessio's wonderfully fitting and perfected vocal performance. Very tightly constructed and performed. A top three song for me. These are the heights that I hoped for when I purchased this album. Interesting "descent" into silence in the seventh minute before the emotional instrumental return for the final minute. (9.5/10)

6. "Truth" (7:13) opening with lots of layers of delicacy and subtlety--especially from the drums and multiple keyboards. Inventive chord progression yields plenty of inspiration for melodic constructs through the first two minutes. Then everything shifts and opens up to a more spacious soundscape to make room for the brief but brilliant lead vocal performance. A VDGG/Canterburian instrumental section ensues over which guitar solos and drums shine. Toward the end of the fifth minute things shift but remain heavy; this VDGG theme and style plays out to the song's end. (9/10)

7. "Not Yet" (1:28) bass, odd percussives, and odd key sounds open this one before the whole band bursts forth in a beautiful melody. This could have gone on! (5/5)

8. "Trapped In" (9:42) again, a VDGG soundscape is employed for the base of this song. Alessio enters with his plaintive voice with female vocalists backing him. The dynamic shifts from loud and heavy to soft and ominous are so well executed. A powerful, peripatetic song! I love the soft interlude in the fourth and fifth minutes--followed by a build up and release for David Jackson's sax. I'm feeling some SEVEN IMPALE here, too! (9/10)

9. "Uomo Neve" (2:32) spacious piano and incidentals open this one before a low chromatic hit of the keys ushers in an eerie, almost creepy section with lots of small-crowd voices flowing beneath the bass, percussives, and keys. Closes out with a return and fading out of the spacious piano from the opening. (4.5/5)

4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece from an ever-evolving band of very talented composers and performers. Francesco and Alessio may have left the building but this solid band is still strong and standing tall!

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this NOT A GOOD SIGN review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.