Il Segno del Comando — Il Volto Verde
(Black Widow BWRCD 161-2, 2013, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2014-05-21Il Segno del Comando first came together in Genoa, Italy 1995 and released their self-titled debut LP in 1996. Six years later they released their second album and then went inactive in 2010. Through the efforts of Black Widow and bassist Diego Banchero the band reformed to record and release Il Volto Verde. This new disc is inspired by Gustav Meyrink’s novel of the same name. The cover art is a suitably unsettling and esoteric accompaniment to the music. Il Segno del Comando cites their mixture of Italian progressive jazz, rock, and dark soundtrack music as influenced by Goblin, Jacula, and Il Balletto di Bronzo. I do detect a strong Goblin vibe throughout, starting with the opening track “Echi dall’ignoto” and continuing through the closing track “Epilogo.” I am not so sure about Jacula in that I don’t detect the Satanic influences so prevalent in their music. But there are some great organ solos akin to Il Balletto di Bronzo. Il Volto Verde is a fairly complex concept album. To achieve its ends, Diego recruited new band members as well as several guests: Claudio Simonetti (Goblin), Gianni Leone (Il Balletto di Bronzo), Martin Grice (Delerium), Freddy Delirio (DEATH SS), Paul Nash and Maethelyiah (The Danse Society), Sophya Baccini (Presence and Aradia), plus others from Osanna and Delerium. Over the course of the album the music shifts from 70s sepulchral music to contemporary and aggressive progressive rock, stopping off in the acoustic realm from time to time. There are some very beautiful acoustic and electric guitar passages, as well as spooky analog synths. This is not retro Italian prog music, though it could easily complement any 70s horror movie. I find it very interesting that with the resurgence of Italian progressive that newer bands are not only paying homage to the masters, but they are also involving them directly in recording and performing the music. All in all, another great release from Black Widow.
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more