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Il Segno del Comando - Il Volto Verde CD (album) cover

IL VOLTO VERDE

Il Segno del Comando

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.80 | 20 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
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."

Matti | 3/5 |

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