Il Segno Del Comando – review of “Il Volto Verde from Progressive Rock And Progressive Metal webzine from Brazil

new review of “Il Volto Verde from Progressive Rock And Progressive Metal webzine from Brazil

Il Segno Del Comando is an Italian Dark-Progressive band that was born in Genoa in 1995 as a studio project. In the next year, Il Segno Del Comando released their debut album “Il Segno Del Comando” (1996, Black Widow Records), with a line-up consisting of Diego Banchero (bass), Mercy (vocals), Gabriele Grixoni (guitars), Matteo Ricci (guitars), Agostino Tavella (Keyboards), and Carlo Opisso (drums). The album brought sonorities reminiscent of the Progressive Rock of the 70’s, enveloped in an oppressive Dark-Horror-Gothic atmosphere. This first album was inspired on a romance by “Giuseppe D’Agata” (base for a 70’s TV series by RAI), from which the band had also picked up the moniker. The music was mainly inspired on bands such as “Goblin”, “Jacula”, “Il Balletto di Bronzo”, “Antonius Rex”, “Biglietto Per L’Inferno”, and others. In the following years, Il Segno Del Comando participated on compilations issued by Black Widow Records, such as “…E Tu Vivrai Nel Terrore” (1998) and “Children of Black Widow” (1999), featuring reduced line-ups that orbited around Banchero and Grixoni. A second full-length album appeared only in 2002: “Der Golem” (2002, Black Widow), a concept album inspired on the esoteric novel “Der Golem”, by “Gustav Meyrink”. “Der Golem” had an experimental sound based on traditional middle-European music. Afterwards, Il Segno Del Comando stayed inactive until late 2010, when Black Widow Records invited Banchero to take part on a tribute-album dedicated to the band “Pierrot Lunaire”: “Pierrot Lunaire Tre” (2011, MP Records). The request took Il Segno back to studios again for the preparation of a third album. Inspired on one of “Gustav Meyrink’s” most esoteric writings – “Das grüne Gesicht” (“The Green Face”), Il Segno Del Comando recorded and released the album “Il Volto Verde” (November, 2013, Black Widow Records). The line-up featured Diego Banchero (bass, keyboards, Theremin), Maethelyiah (lead & backing female vocals), Giorgio Cesare Neri (guitars), Fernando Cherchi (drums, percussions), Maurizio Pustianaz (piano, organ), Roberto Lucanato (guitars), Davide Bruzzi (guitars), and had guest participation of Claudio Simonetti (“Goblin”), Gianni Leone (“Balletto di Bronzo”), Martin Grice (“Delirium”), Freddy Delirio (“Death SS”), Sophya Baccini (“Presence”) and others. “Il Volto Verde” is a masterpiece of the “Occult Progressive Rock”. Combining vintage sounds & concepts of 70’s Italian Prog-Rock with modern styles and visions, the music of “Il Volto Verde” sounds like a blend of Il Segno’s previous albums, fortified by the accumulated experience of all musicians involved in the project. The music is dense, impressive; with predominance of Dark-Gothic atmospheres, esoteric vibes, and demonical musical patterns reminiscent of modern Horror-movie soundtracks (a parallel to the partnership between band “Goblin” and movie-maker “Dario Argento” is undeniable). Thick layers of vintage keyboards and modern synths are combined with expressive guitars, thundering bass & drums, and ghostly Theremins to produce gloomy melodies and creepy harmonies, all under the spell of Maethelyiah’s necromantic vocals. “Il Volto Verde” features 12 tracks, some of which are instrumental intros for the elaborated (en)chanted pieces. The keyboard intro “Echi dall’Ignoto” (2:08) evokes the dark forces that will set up the Techno-Gothic atmospheres of “La Bottega delle Meraviglie” (3:41), driven by entrancing Moogs, bass & guitars, and Maethelyiah’s summoning vocals. “Chidher il Verde” (6:06) is a powerful Dark-Prog driven by mechanical guitar, bass & drums, ritualized choirs, and doomsday vocals that nears the Zeuhl style. Devouring guitars & synths swallow the listener into the sadness of “Trenodia Delle Dolci Parole” (6:41), a dark ballad featuring magnificent singer Sophya Baccini, that grows intensely on the instrumental sequence. The Techno-Voodoo “Il Rituale” (1:33) introduces the ritualistic “La Congrega Dello Zee Dyk” (8:02): a song driven by David Krieg’s vampire-vocals that recall “Type O Negative” and “Blutengel”. “Il Manoscritto” (6:16) is another impacting Dark-Prog that has apocalyptical female choirs, stormy instrumentation, and two outstanding guitar solos; a disposition that continues on the delirious “L’Evocazione di Eva” (4:27), a vintage instrumental track with guest appearances of Claudio Simonetti (organs, Moogs, Mellotrons) and Martin Grice (flute & sax). The music falls into deep sorrow on “Retrospettiva di Un Amore” (4:37): a neo-Classical song that evokes the European traditional music. The climax comes on the visionary “Usibepu” (6:15), which pulses with high-pressured Electronica pumped up by heavy guitars, thundering bass, acid synths, and hypnotic choirs; and on the heavy & vertiginous “L’Apocalisse” (4:09), a violent instrumental track ending on “Epilogo” (1:47): a demonic recitation. If you are an admirer of bands of the Darkness, such as “Goblin”, “Jacula”, “Il Balletto di Bronzo”, “Antonius Rex”, “Biglietto Per L’Inferno”, “Daemonia”, “Malombra”, “Presence”, “Runaway Totem”, “Devil Doll”, “U.T.O.”, “Finisterre”, “Hostsonaten”, “La Maschera di Cera”, “L’Impero Delle Ombre”, “Ballo Delle Castagne”, then Il Segno Del Comando’s “Il Volto Verde” is highly recommended to figure in your collection. Band members and collaborators involved in Il Segno Del Comando are: Diego Banchero – Electric & Fretless Bass, Keyboards, Theremin, Arrangements, Artistic Direction; Maethelyiah – Lead & Backing Vocals; Roberto Lucanato – Guitars; Davide Bruzzi – Guitars; Fernando Cherchi – Drums & Percussion. Additional Musicians: Giorgio Cesare Neri – Guitars; Maurizio Pustianaz – Keyboards, Piano, Organ. Special Guest Musicians: Claudio Simonetti – Keyboards on “L’Evocazione di Eva”; Gianni Leone – Keyboards, Organ, Recitation & Arrangements on “L’Apocalisse”; Freddy Delirio – Music & Keyboards on “Echi dall’Ignoto”; Martin Grice – Flute & Sax on “L’Evocazione di Eva”; Paul Nash – Guitar on “Retrospettiva…” & “Usibepu”; Sophya Baccini – Lead Vocals on “Trenodia …”; Vinz Aquarian – Moog & Kaossilator on “La bottega…”; David Krieg – Lead Vocals/Recitation on “La Congrega…” & “Epilogo”; Alessio Panni – Drums on “La Congrega…”, “Il Manoscritto” & “L’Apocalisse”. Ex-members/collaborators: 1996 line-up: Mercy (vocals), Gabriele Grixoni (guitars), Matteo Ricci (guitars), Agostino Tavella (Keyboards), Carlo Opisso (drums). 1998: Tullio Salvatore (keyboards). 1999: Francesco La Rosa (drums) & Stefano Agnini (Moog). 2002: Franz Ekurn (keyboards, piano, strings) & Livio Carusio (guitars). Engineering & Mastering by D. Banchero (Tricephale Independent Studios); Produced by D. Banchero & Giorgio C. Neri; Mastering by Freddy Delirio; Sound Editing by Max Sobrero. Cover Artwork by Danilo Capua; Layout by Pino Pintabona & Danilo Capua…  (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)