Header

IL SEGNO DEL COMANDO

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Il Segno del Comando picture
Il Segno del Comando biography
With connections to dark Italian progressive bands IANVA, HELDEN RUNE and MALBORA, Genova's 'IL SEGNO DEL COMANDO' (The Sign of Command) take their name 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. Formed in 1995 by musicians in the above mentioned projects, Mercy and Diego Banchero, the pair aimed away from the Neo-prog style popular with Italian progressive bands of the time and instead wished to compose less immediate music that evoked sadness, anxiety and fear. The project came to the attention of Genova's own Black Widow Records, and with the addition of extra musicians, the 1997 debut self titled album was recorded in two weeks on a shoestring budget. It went on to receive very positive reviews, none more satisfying than by author D'Agata himself, calling at the perfect soundtrack to his novel. Appearances on Black Widow compilations would follow, as well as an equally complex and evocative second work, 'Der Golem', in 2002.

The music is full of classical gothic atmosphere, spooky overwhelming arrangements, cinematic drama and eerie nightmare soundscapes that crawl under your skin. Complex lyrics based around a fascination of gothic literature and esoteric texts are a highlight, frequently contrasting the normality of everyday life with the mystery of the paranormal. The music is very organ driven, with plenty of use of Mellotron and analogue synths for an authentic vintage sound. The piano is frequently classical and theatrical based, bringing an important characteristic that many of the defining Italian bands featured. Folky acoustic guitar passages are reflective and thoughtful, while the grand electric solos can echo ANTONTIO BARTOCCETTI and even CAMEL, heavy, but never enough to have the band confused for being a metal act. Lead vocalist Mercy has a deep, crooning, and intimidating delivery. Add in some psychedelic passages, modern electronic elements and a general wild, uninhibited and experimental approach to make the band truly stand out.

Diego Banchero in his own words: 'IL SEGNO DEL COMANDO' is not a band of purists that exists for the purpose of composing, arranging and playing as they did in the seventies, despite reusing strictly vintage instrumentation. The main reasons that keep us alive are experimentation and research, not only strictly musical, and not only in the past.

With two albums on the Black Widow rec...
read more

Il Segno del Comando official website

IL SEGNO DEL COMANDO MP3, Free Download (music stream)


Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s
No MP3/Stream available for this artist.
Collaborate with Progarchives.com, learn how to submit new MP3s.

IL SEGNO DEL COMANDO forum topics / tours, shows & news


IL SEGNO DEL COMANDO forum topics Create a topic now
IL SEGNO DEL COMANDO tours, shows & news
No topics found for : "il segno del comando"
Post an entries now

IL SEGNO DEL COMANDO Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to IL SEGNO DEL COMANDO

Buy IL SEGNO DEL COMANDO Music


Il Volto VerdeIl Volto Verde
Import
Imports 2013
Audio CD$19.91
$33.78 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)

More places to buy IL SEGNO DEL COMANDO music online Buy IL SEGNO DEL COMANDO & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
  • AmazonMP3: Search for IL SEGNO DEL COMANDO DRM-Free MP3 Downloads @ AmazonMP3 (USA Only) | AmazonMP3 (UK Only)

IL SEGNO DEL COMANDO shows & tickets


IL SEGNO DEL COMANDO has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

IL SEGNO DEL COMANDO discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

IL SEGNO DEL COMANDO top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.58 | 10 ratings
Il Segno del Comando
1997
3.88 | 14 ratings
Der Golem
2002
3.74 | 23 ratings
Il Volto Verde
2013

IL SEGNO DEL COMANDO Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

IL SEGNO DEL COMANDO Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

IL SEGNO DEL COMANDO Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

IL SEGNO DEL COMANDO Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

IL SEGNO DEL COMANDO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Il Volto Verde by SEGNO DEL COMANDO, IL album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.74 | 23 ratings

BUY
Il Volto Verde
Il Segno del Comando Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

3 stars Even though I'm only the fifth reviewer I feel humble since the preceeding ones have such a deep insight. I haven't known this RPI band before - their earlier albums were released in 1997 and 2002 - , but I just read an interview (from the Finnish Colossus prog magazine) of the leader Diego Banchero, who is the only original member in this new line-up and who's written the whole album. It's a concept work inspired by a book by Austrian author Gustav Meyrink (1868-1932). I have no idea what's the story about; at least the music is very dark- toned and dramatic. Actually a bit too dark & heavy for my own taste, but obviously this album is highly recommended to friends of the edgier side of contemporary Rock Progressivo Italiano (bands such as Il Bacio della Medusa and Ingranaggi della Valle). The Black Widow label is a specialist in this field!

The instrumental, keyboards-only opener 'Echi dall'Ignato' by Freddy Delirio is an effective atmosphere builder, followed seamlessly by a tight-rocking song that introduces the main vocalist Maethelyiah. She has a tight, sharp voice common in Heavy Prog/ Prog Metal; in fact I first thought she's a man singing high notes. I can't describe her voice with words like beautiful or sensual. The intensity on tracks 2 and 3 is high, but personally I'm not enjoying them much. 'Trenodia delle Dolci Parole' features Sophya Baccini on vocals. The lyric parts are more delicate and fairly accessible (nice acoustic guitar), but the heavy instrumental section with Sophya's high wailing is perhaps too extended.

The 1½-minute instrumental 'Il Rituale' shows Banchero's skill on bass guitar. The next song is sung by David Krieg, whose angst-filled voice I don't particularily like. The band sound is equally angstic and dark, nor do I find the monotonous composition very interesting. 'Il Manoscritto' sung again by Maethelyiah features dramatic choral elements that give the track a Goth-Metal atmosphere. The tempo is restless, everything is highly strung. I'm really beginning to miss some calmer moments on this album! The following instrumental is full packed with powerful playing by e.g. organ, electric guitar, saxophone and Moog. The drummer beats his set as if his life depended on it. Phew!

The tempo slows down a bit on 'Retrospettiva di un Amore' but not the dramatic intensity. One more instrumental follows: 'L'Apocalisse' is apocalyptically powerful indeed. 'Epilogo' is a sad, slow-tempo closer featuring sinister recitative voice of David Krieg. Well... I feel a bit guilty for not fully "getting" this mighty album. Or to be more honest, I don't enjoy it enough to keep the CD to myself (I know friends who surely appreciate it more). But if you're into dark and heavy RPI, this is your music.

Oh, since I mentioned the magazine interview, why not translate one part of it for your interest: "Q: Who are your most important musical influences? BANCHERO: I've been a musician for over 30 years. Unlike many others, I've never felt a need to commit myself to one particular genre. That's why I find this question hard to answer. In short, speaking of prog I have enjoyed bands such as Goblin, Il Balletto di Bronzo, Antonius Rex and Magma. Those have deeply influenced me on both emotional and compositional level, and still are a source of inspiration for Il Segno del Comando."

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Il Volto Verde by SEGNO DEL COMANDO, IL album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.74 | 23 ratings

BUY
Il Volto Verde
Il Segno del Comando Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars Well, it has been quite a while since I have had the opportunity to write about Il Segno Di Comando, as their last album was released in 2002 and I reviewed it in August of that year. There followed a long period of activity until Diego Banchero put together a new line-up in 2010, with just himself remaining. Perhaps the most prominent change from the listener's perspective is that there is now a female singer in Maethelyiah, and with the musical approach also changing somewhat it isn't hard to say that in many ways this is a brand new band as opposed to the third album. Anyway, putting such matters to one side, what we have here is an album that is looking back to the classic Seventies progressive movement, especially the mighty Goblin, but also bringing in some lighter and symphonic moments that offset the darkness and drama that one might expect.

For the most part Maethelyiah is a revelation, but there are some places, such as when she is providing vocals behind the guitar on "Tremodia delle dolci parole" that it just doesn't work and she actually detracts from the rest of the band. But, when she is at the forefront and is singing the lead then she is full of confidence and the rest of the guys support her admirably. If this was a debut then I would say that it was showing promise, and to be honest that is probably the best way to look at it, but if we see this as a continuation from 'Der Golem' then I have to say that I much prefer the former. There are some really strong passages here and there and some good songs, but overall it just doesn't contain the same presence and power of their last work. www.blackwidow.it

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Der Golem by SEGNO DEL COMANDO, IL album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.88 | 14 ratings

BUY
Der Golem
Il Segno del Comando Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars This is the second album by Il Segno Del Comando (Sign Of Rule), and is a project by Mercy and Diego Banchero of Malombra. They were inspired by a cult seventies film of the same name and in 1996 released an album based on the plot. Since then the line-up has changed, and now contains four members of Malombra, (new boys being drummer Francesco La Rosa and keyboard player Franz Ekurn) along with guitarists Gabriele Grixoni and Livio Carusio. The film that originally inspired them may be dark and obscure, but in many ways so is the music.

This is prog with foreboding, huge gothic overtones and at times a sinister manner. It is sung completely in Italian, but that in no way detracts as it just seems right somehow. The press release seems to be at something of a loss to describe the album, and I am in complete sympathy as I have the same problem. It is dark and powerful, yet also atmospheric and ethereal. There is a feeling of a presence, something that is waiting for its, presence to be felt, and in many ways would make powerful music for some dark film in its' own right.

Fields Of The Nephilim go to church and get mugged by something dark and strange. Who wants to listen to an album like this, sung in a language that many in England don't understand? Well you all should ? this is wonderful. Apparently Black Widow have also reprinted the debut album from 1996. Contact the label at www.blackwidow.it.

Originally appeared in Feedback #69 - August 2002

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Il Volto Verde by SEGNO DEL COMANDO, IL album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.74 | 23 ratings

BUY
Il Volto Verde
Il Segno del Comando Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Italian band IL SEGNO DEL COMANDO has been around in one form or another since 1995, as a studio based project with more or less fluid personnel as far as permanent members go. They released their self-titled debut album in 1997, which was followed by "Der Golem" in 2002. A spell of inactivity followed this production, but in 2010 the project became active again, and towards the end of 2013 their third full length album "Il Volto Verde" was released, and as with all their albums so far through the Italian label Black Widow Records.

Il Segno Del Comando has made itself a vital album with "Il Volto Verde". A dramatic album both in terms of instruments, vocals and arrangements in general as well as for the compositions as a whole, with a strong emphasis on dark and unnerving moods. Mix and production have by plan or accident given this album a distinct 70's sounding vibe, and alongside the aforementioned elements a recommendation towards those who enjoy the darker side of progressive rock as it was explored by some Italian bands in the 1970's is merited. A strong, high quality production.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Il Volto Verde by SEGNO DEL COMANDO, IL album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.74 | 23 ratings

BUY
Il Volto Verde
Il Segno del Comando Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars `Il Volto Verde' (`The Green Face'), the 2013 release from Il Segno del Comando, again proves that this intelligent Italian band take their time between releases, carefully researching, composing and performing darker styled Italian progressive music, with the results more than worth the wait. An adaption of another book written by Gustav Meyrink in 1916, `The Green Face', like the other works the band has adapted, is full of cryptic mysticism and dark spiritual elements, making it the perfect source for main composer Diego Banchero and this new line-up to interpret. The two previous releases had quite a different sound to each-other, the debut mixed gloomy atmospheres with classic Italian prog, the follow-up `Der Golem' focused on more a modern mix of Gothic rock. However, this latest one, arriving 11 years after the previous work, mixes in everything from dirty funk grooves, 80's electro-pop, classical grandiosity and avant garde experimentation into their usual sombre take on creeping and suspenseful gothic Italian prog.

One thing that particularly separates this work from the previous releases is the prominent role of a female vocalist for the first time. Maethelyiah is a revelation, effortlessly conveying haunted, sorrowful and imposing femininity, yet also frequently bringing an edgy eroticism and sensuality. Her participation with the Comando project now places the band alongside other unsettling Italian bands with female participants such as Lydia e gli Hellua Xenium, Jacula/Antonius Rex and the Universal Totem Orchestra, with traces of their sound filtered through this work as well.

The opening instrumental introduction is all twinkling, crystalline imperial synth orchestration before the listener is blasted with the wickedly sexy `La Bottegga delle Meraviglie', full of snarling (and surprising!) funky wah-wah guitar and punchy bass that slinks it's way throughout the background of the piece like a serpent. Maethelyiah's intimidating presence arrives immediately, and Diego's bandmate, Vinz Aquarian, from their band Il Ballo delle Castagne, provides some tasty Moog soloing, truly making it the soundtrack to some secret gothic club. Fernando Cherchi's whiplash snapping drumming dominates `Chidher il Verde', Maethelyiah bellowing like a banshee unleashed, an infernal priestess leading haunting female choirs over wavering ghostly synths. `Trenodia delle Dolci Parole' is a sombre acoustic ballad with a tense symphonic instrumental break in the middle. The piece is sung with perfect sorrow and dread by Sophya Baccini, and it's surely one of the most exquisite pieces ever to appear on a Comando album.

Listen for Deigo's unbelievably fluid rapid-fire fretless bass soloing throughout `Il Rituale', a shimmering electro experiment full of disorientating effects and skittering percussion behind his playing. Then we reach another absolute album highlight, `La Congrega dello Zee Dyk', where it's quirky 80's programmed melody could almost be mistaken for a Goblin outtake! However, this complex piece is much more intense, an overwhelming and senses-shattering hypnotic drone, with solemn male choir vocals increasingly wearing the listener down, guest David Krieg's almost hostile, sinister croon purring and croaking recited passages that weigh heavily on your sanity. Some church organ, a little Rick Wakeman-like classical pomp and mangled electric guitar soloing feature to nice effect too. Resistance is useless to this trance-inducing piece.

The monolithic `Il Manusscritto' is full of pounding slab-like intimidation contrasted with dizzying up-tempo energy constantly blasted by Maethelyiah's shrieking multi-tracked choir harmonies, and a constant back-and-forth dirty grooving strut with some lusty electric guitar throughout. The Hammond-cooked almost psychedelic instrumental `L'Evocazione di Eva' is full of stirring sax and flute soloing from Delirium's Martin Grice and blowout Moog/Mellotron/organ work from Claudio Simoenetti.`Retrospettiva...' is a more emotional and reflective piece that perfectly compliments earlier track `Trenodia?', with Maethelyiah's longing voice just as heart-breaking and torn as Sophya's. There's some scorching electric guitar winding around the entire piece and some supremely dank fretless bass lurking in the background too.

`Usibepu' opens with an almost groaning Magma-like tone, especially due to Diego's hypnotic repetitive bass, before becoming a feral stomp with metallic King Crimson aggression and hissing serpentine vocals over slinky electronic lusty grooves. The electric guitar solo from psych/space-rocker Giorgio Cesare Neri over the finale recalls Antonio Bartoccetti's playing over electronic atmospheres from the comeback Antonius Rex works! A very sexy track indeed. He also plays on the delirious `L'Apocallise', the closest the band come to a metal sound here, with a thrashing up-tempo energy of ballistic keyboard freakouts and manic wailing vocals from Giani Leone of RPI legends Il Balletto di Bronzo. `Epilogo' is a doomy nightmare synth soundscape with a breathless, suffocating narration from David Krieg that closes this book in a very unnerving manner.

With evocative cover artwork that unnervingly captures the work it's based on, `Il Volto Verde' provides a daunting musical interpretation of various passages and characters found in the old novel, with a maddening sense of claustrophobia and poisonous insanity clawing it's way through the compositions. Often more accessible than their previous albums, but still as frequently diverse and experimental, it's a dense work that proves exceptionally rewarding with repeated plays. In no way a standard gothic metal clichéd work, Diego and his bandmates are more challenging and truly progressive than that. They constantly display great respect to the original innovators of the Italian progressive scene of the 70's while remaining modern, contemporary and relevant.

Diego recently commented that a stable line-up of this current version of the band is in place, so perhaps we won't have to wait as long for our next eerie journey from Il Segno del Comando. But for now, along with Sophya Baccini's Arcadia's `Big Red Dragon', Antonius Rex's `Hystero Demonopathy` and Three Monks' `The Legend of the Holy Circle', the dark corner of Italian progressive music has never been more vibrant and focused.

Four and a half stars - and be sure to check out Andrea's definitive review with plenty of wonderful lyric translations!

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Il Volto Verde by SEGNO DEL COMANDO, IL album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.74 | 23 ratings

BUY
Il Volto Verde
Il Segno del Comando Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Il Segno del Comando began life in Genoa in 1995 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. In 1996 an eponymous album was released on the independent label Black Widow Records, inspired by the novel of the same name by Italian writer Giuseppe D'Agata. In 2001 the band released e second album, Der Golem, inspired by a novel by Austrian writer Gustav Meyrink. In 2013, after a long hiatus and with a renewed line up featuring founder member and main composer Diego Banchero (bass, keyboards, Theremin) along with Giorgio Cesare Neri (guitars), Maethelyiah (lead and backing vocals), Fernando Cherchi (drums, percussions), Maurizio Pustianaz (keyboards, piano, organ), Roberto Lucanato (guitars) and Davide Bruzzi (giutars), the band released another concept album inspired by a novel by Gustav Meyrink, Il volto verde (The Green Face). Many prestigious guests contributed to enrich the sound, among others Claudio Simonetti from Goblin, Gianni Leone from Il Balletto di Bronzo, Martin Grice from Delirium, Vinz Aquarian from Il Ballo delle Castagne or Sophya Baccini. The result is excellent and the music and lyrics perfectly fit the concept although I fear that is almost impossible to completely appreciate this complex work without having read the book that inspired it.

The Green Face was written in 1916 and is set in a surreal Amsterdam post World War I. It is is pervaded by a strong sense of mysticism and spirituality... "I want to see a fresh, unknown world, I want a new sense of wonder such as must strike an infant if he were to become a grown man overnight... I want to be a full-stop rather than eternally a comma in the punctuation of time... ".

The opener "Echi dall'ignoto" (Echoes from the Unknown) is a short instrumental, provided by the guest Federico Pedichini a.k.a. Freddy Delirio from Death SS, that sets the atmosphere. It leads to the nervous, hypnotic "La bottega delle meraviglie" (The Hall of Riddles) that describes a visit to a very strange shop where the borders between reality and dream are blurred. Here the protagonist of the novel, Fortunatus Hauberrisser meets for the first time the strange, haunting character with the green face portrayed in the beautiful art work by Danilo Capua... "It was smooth, with a black strip of cloth tied over its forehead, and yet it was deeply furrowed, like the sea, that can have waves but not wrinkle on its surface. The eyes were like chasms and yet they were the eyes of a human being and not empty sockets. The skin was a greenish olive colour and looked as if it were made of bronze, such as the races of ancient times may have had of whom it is said they were like dark-green gold..."

The dark, Gothic "Chidher il Verde" (Chidher the Green) focuses on the peculiar character with the green face, vaguely based upon the legendary figure of The Wandering Jew. He's been on earth ever since the moon has been circling the heavens and is the one who can show you the way leading to a hidden spirituality... "Prophecy or circularity, claustrophobia, psychic undertow / You are just one step from the gallows / It's the turn of madness to rule over men...".

The following "Trenodia delle dolci parole" (Threnody of the sweet words) features the beautiful vocals of the guest Sophya Baccini and draws a strong sense of loss and impending tragedy. It leads to the short, disquieting instrumental "Il rituale" (The ritual) and to the esoteric, threatening "La congrega delle Zee Dyk" (The Zee Dyk club) where the spectral vocals of another guest, David Krieg, contribute to draw a mystical delirium where the dangerous ritual of a cathartic, spiritual rebirth is consumed with deathly consequences.

"Il manoscritto" (The manuscript) is another track full of dark mysticism and visionary strength. There are some strong classical influences that could recall the Carmina Burana by Carl Orff and a constant flowing of raw energy waves. The protagonist discovers an ancient manuscript that helps him to go through some esoteric experiences... "The weapons of Death are: dream, daze and sleep / From one awakening to another, I live to find a new beginning...".

The excellent instrumental "L'evocazione di Eva" (Eva's evocation) features the guests Claudio Simonetti (organ, Moog and Mellotron) and Martin Grice (flute sax). Along with the following "Retrospettiva di un amore" (Retrospective of a love) it depicts a love where spirituality prevails upon materialism. A strange magic binds the protagonist and his sweetheart, the strange prophecy of a perfect love that is stronger than Death...

"Usibepu" was inspired by the character of the powerful necromancer and shaman of the same name, a violent and merciless Zulu warrior who wanted to possess Eva, the protagonist's fiancée... "Serving under the banner of greediness / I attend to the resurrection / I think again of the caste determination that prevented me from having you / Making even mockery of my magic...".

The dazzling instrumental "L'apocalisse" (The Apocalypse) features the guest Gianni Leone (keyboards, organ, vocals) and describes with sudden vortexes of notes a storm so violent to conjure up the imagine of the end of the world. It leads to the final curtain of "Epilogo" (Epilogue), featuring narrative vocals and an obscure omen... "The walls of Jericho have crumbled / He's back from the Kingdom of Dead...".

On the whole, an excellent, challenging work but beware! It takes many spins to be completely appreciated and, of course, you have to read the book!

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Il Segno del Comando by SEGNO DEL COMANDO, IL album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.58 | 10 ratings

BUY
Il Segno del Comando
Il Segno del Comando Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Il Segno del Comando started around mid-90's as a side project by singer Mercy and bassist Diego Banchero, both members of the Gothic Rock act Malombra.The group was named after the eponymous novel of writer Giuseppe D'Agata, which was transformed in a TV drama by RAI in early-90's by director Daniele D'Anza.The rest of the crew were guitarists Gabriele Grixoni and Matteo Ricci, drummer Carlo Opisso and keyboardist Agostino Tavella.Il Segno del Comando's self-titled debut was the perfect product for the nearby Genoa-based Black Widow Records, that released it in 1997.Among the guest stars the album features a surprising Mellotron performance by Osvaldo Giordano, sound engineer of many contemporary Italian Prog albums.

The Italian's style draws evident comparisons with old Italian Dark Prog groups such as PHOLAS DACTYLUS, GOBLIN or IL BALLETTO DI BRONZO and even stronger connections with more recent acts such as AKRON and LA MASCHERA DI CERA.The music is bombastic and very sinister all the way with huge waves of Church organs and powerful, heavy guitars, characterized by massive riffs and dominant grooves.Some carefully used synths and a charismatic singer with a crying, expressive voice are the other main elements of Il Segno del Comando's style, not to mention the very solid rhythm section.Among the excellent rhythmic parts of the album there are lots of dynamic breaks and more complex yet intelligent workouts, while there is a strong essence of Classical and Gothic music throughout this first effort.The longer tracks offer different variations with the most varied keyboard work, full of organs and Mellotron, definitely with a symphonic flavor.The shorter ones are mainly instrumental with a very cinematic feeling, close to Horror movies soundtracks, with nice vocal parts in a choir-type and a very dark mood with emphatic organ and synth passages.

Very good debut, influenced halfway between Classic Italian Prog of the heavier edge and Soundtrack Music.Powerful, passionate and well-executed.Great and strongly recommended stuff, especially if you love trully atmospheric still rich Progressive Rock...3.5 stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Der Golem by SEGNO DEL COMANDO, IL album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.88 | 14 ratings

BUY
Der Golem
Il Segno del Comando Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Il Segno del Comando returned in 2002 with their follow-up album `Der Golem', a concept album inspired by the 1915 novel by Austrian novelist Gustav Meyrink, considered a masterpiece of esoteric literature. Set in Prague, although connected to the mythical Jewish monster of folklore, the Golem takes on a physical manifestation of the town's inhabitants' collective psyche, and this hallucinatory tale is perfect for a band who inhabits the darker corners of the Italian progressive scene, where only the bravest of listeners dare to venture. Now aided by a much more lush production, this release sees an evolved band step a little closer to metal than the debut, increasing the goth influences and experimenting with some very sonically violating electronic sounds to punish the listener. But there's still that continued sense of bridging new contemporary influences to 70's Italian progressive style, whether it comes from the vintage synths, the deep, pompous and overly-dramatic purring vocals of Mercy or the brief excursions into jazz, classical and cabaret.

The introduction piece opens the album in a very theatrical manner, a creeping piano melody over gloomy synths and booming percussion that sounds almost like a stage musical with that same sense of hysterical drama and tension. There's the same dark classical sound that was featured on so many beloved vintage Italian progressive album already present, and even at barely two minutes, it gives the album a kind of orchestral grandiosity right from the start.

The band then kicks right into fast-paced snarling goth melodrama on `Dal Diario Di Un Tagliagole Di Pietre' with Mercy's oppressive crooning over the top of kickdrum rattling, darting electronics (right out of the haunted house kitsch of the Antonius Rex `Praeternatural' album), Mellotron slices and Moog tornados with violent electric guitar searing. It's one of several pieces on the album that comes close to an almost metal sound, absolutely intimidating, and the band is wound up with so much energy that they're just waiting to unleash! The same goes for the next track `Komplott Charousek' - break-neck speed thrashing heavy guitars, kick-drum battery that almost makes them sound like the early albums of British gloom-mongers My Dying Bride. Add in a disorientating and psychedelic opening and some dazzling spectral synth dancing throughout the piece to good effect to make for two suffocating back-to-back onslaughts.

An all synth choir, church organ, spoken word and militaristic drumming interlude `Funerale A Praga' is merely a brief pause before the first true epic of the album, `Salon Lositschek'. The opening is a creepy, classical gothic piano/synth piece that sounds like a cross between `Passaggio' from the self-titled Banco debut and the bleak keyboard soundscapes of the comeback Rex albums. Mercy's vocals soon enter and are quite frightening here, almost mocking, perfectly suiting the murky music behind him. But before you know it, the piece abruptly moves into quirky, campy horror, with jazzy strolling bass and foot-tapping drumming over phasing loopy synths! The band then quickly make one more unpredictable direction change, collapsing into a electronic erotic attack, with moaning female voices in the throes of ecstasy, spiraling guitars and cold-meat looped beats that pound the listener before a brief reprise of the gloomy opening. An exhausting, terrific track with numerous ideas that move seamlessly between each-other.

After the stomping unhinged menace and pomp melodrama of the title track, two lovely instrumentals follow to allow the listener a chance to catch their breath. `Giorni Di Neve' is a downbeat, somber yet almost oddly comforting organ/synth piece, while the emotional `Myriam' showcases electric guitar playing in the grand romantic style of Camel and Goblin over the top of heavy doses of regal organ and ghostly Theremin. I think this one will be a favourite to fans of albums like Morte Macabre, and I can't stop playing it.

`Io Bagatto, Io L'Appeso' begins like a dark James Bond theme, with a deeply purred vocal from Mercy over weeping accordion before the band kicks in with a stormy thrashing attack and his voice takes on a vile, spitting tone. Despite a somewhat disappointing fade-out, listen in the final minutes for some of the scratchiest and most evil sounding Mellotron I've ever heard! The band then wraps the album on a synth orchestrated reprise of the opening of their debut album, which closes this work in a sorrowful and reflective manner.

It's difficult to favour one Comando album over another. Both are equally immersive, complex works for lovers of dark progressive music and Italian sophistication. I think `Der Golem' frequently sees the band advancing the attack, really going for the throat of the listener in a more violent manner, moving closer to heavy metal, so lovers of that genre may want to check this one out first. I think I prefer the first album slightly, mainly due to the obvious love and respect of the vintage bands more in place, but that's not to suggest this is somehow inferior. I hope other listeners will take the time to investigate the influences and works that the band have based their research and music on, which is just as fascinating as the actual album. It's yet another triumph for the band, and a long-awaited third sublime work will hopefully show up soon.

Four stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Il Segno del Comando by SEGNO DEL COMANDO, IL album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.58 | 10 ratings

BUY
Il Segno del Comando
Il Segno del Comando Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Genova's `Il Segno del Comando' (The Sign of Command) take their name 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, and their debut album is a concept album based on the above sources. Bass player Diego Banchero recalls `Remembering our childhood, reading the book and viewing images in black and white of the series was like stepping back in time to be immersed in our worst childhood anxieties...the ghosts of our childhood.' It should then come as no surprise that the music is frequently highlighted by long extended dark instrumental passages built around hypnotic grand church organ majesty, searing electric guitar playing and plenty of analogue synths and Mellotron. There's a love and respect for the defining Italian 70's albums evident, and you can hear a number of influences from other darker Italian bands worked in - the longer lead guitar soloing reminds of Abiogenesi, the thick church organ overload of Goblin and the mysterious sinister drama of the Antonio Bartoccetti projects such as Jacula and Antonius Rex.

The opening soundscape piece sets the scene with a tolling tower bell ringing over disorientating effects and swirling fragments of voices, until intimidating church organ majestically enters, grinding guitars join in alongside Carlo Opisso's fiery drums crashing all over the place, very manic and fiery! Vocalist Mercy soon arrives, crooning wildly one moment, then spitting and feral the next. Diego Banchero's thick and grooving bass murmurs away in the background, always able to be heard perfectly in the mix. About three minutes in the track picks up in tempo and the band takes off with wilding wailing electric guitar soloing. They sound like they're in a swirling vacuum, with the same kind of reckless danger that Biglietto Per L'Inferno' did so well.

`Salma XVII' is a short organ interlude similar to the music on the early Jacula albums. The darkly romantic opening and close of `Messagero di Pietra' has whirling Moog, lovely thick melodic bass playing nice and upfront and grand imperial Mellotron, but before long that reckless vintage RPI spirit kicks in and the band shoots for the skies again, with maniacal guitar soloing similar to the first piece. There's a heavy dirty energy and groove to the piece, with a lovely jazzy electric piano run in the middle. `Ritratto Di Donna Velata' is a lovely instrumental with sighing ethereal female vocals over mysterious Moog melodies, dancing bass and subtle wah-wah guitar. There is just a trace of unease here, but mostly it's quite a pleasing and oddly comforting way to close the first side.

What a showcase for Diego Banchero his relentless foot tapping punchy bass on `Missa Nigra' is! It dominates and holds together the entire track, lurking around glistening organ and a combination of whispering, chanted voices and Mercy's weary drone to give this mid-tempo piece a real catchy kick! It's very repetitive and creates an overwhelming trance-like spell over the listener, and soon settles into more hypnotic dark grooves and murky guitar stabs.

One more longer epic to go, the edgy jazz rocker `La Taverna Dell'Angelo' offers unpredictable Banco-like schizophrenic snaps, Rex inspired synth ambience and kitsch strutting funk, especially with the deep gulping bass as the piece constantly rises and falls in tempo. Just listen out for the murky and dirty sax blowing, played with that same unbridled energy that bands like Delirium and Rocky's Filj used. Absolutely stunning stuff, and lovers of 70's Italian prog will lose their minds over this one!

The final track is a stirring instrumental of whirring Moog, haunted-house lurking piano and howling winds sounding like tortured souls. It has a sad quality that's also strangely reflective, and ends the album in a thoughtful way.

It's difficult to favour one Comando album over another. Both are equally immersive, complex works for lovers of dark progressive music and Italian sophistication. While the follow-up `Der Golem' frequently sees the band advancing the attack, really going for the throat of the listener in a more violent manner, this self titled debut has more of a crawling creeping subtle tension, plus I love that it's firmly rooted in the style of the defining 70's Italian progressive works. It's overload of vintage synths, classical gothic drama, darkly affectionate melodies and funk/jazz excursions would make it the one to start with, especially for RPI aficionados only wanting to gently sample the darker corner of the Italian prog scene for the first time. A tremendous work that I can't get enough of.

Four and a half stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Thanks to todd for the artist addition.

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

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 2.22 seconds