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Il Segno Del Comando - Il Segno Del Comando CD (album) cover

IL SEGNO DEL COMANDO

Il Segno Del Comando

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.42 | 17 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
3 stars The debut album of Genova's IL SEGNO DEL COMANDO, 'The Sign of Command', was recently reissued by Black Widow. The album's conceptual inspiration -- as well as the band name -- derives from Giuseppe D'Agata's novel, and the Italian TV series (1971), that deals with occult matters, reincarnation and supernatural. The author himself called the album a perfect soundtrack to his novel. Before coming to my own reception of the music, I wish to cite the informative band page that describes the music so well. The band aimed at "music that evokes sadness, anxiety and fear", and is full of "classical gothic atmosphere, spooky overwhelming arrangements, cinematic drama and eerie nightmare soundscapes. The music is very organ driven, with plenty of Mellotron and analogue synths for an authentic vintage sound. (...) Folky acoustic guitar passages are reflective and thoughtful."

A couple of remarks concerning the lay-out of the re-release. A brief plot summary of the story is placed under the transparent disc holder, so that words under the glued corners are actually unreadable. Also, I wish there was a track list WITH track numbers and lengths. One bonus track is included: 'Magia Postuma' which didn't appear in the original release.

The brief, haunting opener without lyrics effectively sets the dark atmosphere, and is followed by a 10-minute title track. The vocals of Mercy are very shouty in it, but what really strikes me is the low sonic quality. The album was recorded on a shoestring budget in two weeks, and it really sounds so. The frantic electric guitar solo is painfully ear-attacking. The short third track is a majestic church organ solo. Indeed, the music couldn't much get more Gothic and darker!

'Ritratto di Donna Velata (Lord Byron's Night Promenade)' featuring eerie female chorals is a highlight. It is relatively melodic but still full of haunting mood. 'Missa Negra' is another piece that in my opinion notably suffers from the low recording quality, concerning mostly the messy vocals, the electric guitar and the rhythm section. Instrumental 'Ghost Lovers in Villa Piuma' is originally a traditional tune, the arrangement starring an accordeon-reminding keys and piano. Now, the mentioned bonus track: it's an organ-centred jazz instrumental with a 60's-like sound and a nice groove.

This very vintage-sounding album is worth checking out for those who enjoy the dark and Gothic end of RPI, bands such as ABIOGENESI, JACULA, ANTONIUS REX and BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO, and who are not put off by a low sonic quality -- which in a way finishes the gloomy atmosphere if you like. However, I prefer the band's later albums with a better production.

Matti | 3/5 |

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