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Il Segno del Comando, Italy

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Well I can see that I never created any notes or updated this post for Il Volto Verde. I bought it after release and think it's great! So next time I hear it, I'll update here and move the whole thing forward.

Il Segno del Comando - s/t. 1997 Black Widow (CD; LP)
Il Segno del Comando - Der Golem. 2002 Black Widow (CD; LP)
Il Segno del Comando - Il Volto Verde. 2013 Black Widow (CD; LP)

----Il Segno del Comando

Il Segno del Comando's debut comes from the 90's renaissance wave of darkly influenced Italian progressive music as promoted by the Black Widow label of Genoa. Their haunting formula includes pipe organ, synthesizer, echoplex'd guitar, and impassioned vocals in Italian. Il Segno del Comando were the culmination of Black Widow's stable of the era, which included Runaway Totem (especially at the time of their debut), Standarte, Malombra, and Abiogenesi. Perhaps a bit more space rock influenced than the aforementioned bands, making it all that much more interesting. As is typical of albums from the 90s, the production is a bit bright and thin - thus diluting the impact of the overall power of the compositions. Also Il Segno del Comando are one of the few Italian bands using a real mellotron during this era.

If there was ever an album that proves the theory that a weak ending can ruin the overall impression, it's Il Segno del Comando. After an impressive 6 track run, the band enters a full 10 minute clumsy 90's styled funk track ('La Taverna dell'Angelo') with no less than the annoying soprano sax in the lead. I'm convinced the low grades this albums gets tagged with are no doubt weighed down by this clunker. Try to overlook it.  


Last update: August 29, 2016

Comments

  1. What I don't like in this first wave of Black widow releases is the mix of progressive rock with the gothic style, especially on bands like Malombra, Dunwich, Presence and Il Segno del Comando. This particular hybrid worked only in favour of the more zehulish Universal Totem Orchestra and Runaway Totem, because their more 80s driven style favored it. I think that label considerably improved after the 50 first catalogue numbers.

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    1. I have to agree Spyros, with all of the bands you mentioned in your comment. I did get quite a bit more out of the Il Segno del Comando debut than I had in the past. If you haven't heard it in awhile, I think you may be surprised as well (just avoid that 10 minute track!). I hope their new album shows improvement - like the label itself!

      Also agree about Runaway / Universal Totem. I think the debut by Runaway Totem is a lost classic, as it mixes Zeuhl and 70s Italian progressive with an almost New Wave vibe at times. Fascinating record. I plan on doing a full feature on Runaway Totem at some point either this year or next.

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