Exposé Online banner

Not a Good Sign — From a Distance
(AltrOck Productions FAD-019, 2015, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2015-05-13

From a Distance Cover artSeems like just yesterday I was spilling words about this unfortunately named band’s debut release, but time does fly. From a Distance is a powerful follow-up to the band’s excellent debut, and in most aspects a more direct progressive rock approach, though the band avoids a lot of the excesses that typify that genre, like long extended suites and a forced-retro sound with retro or faux-retro instrumentation. No, you won’t find any Mellotrons here, and the longest of the ten tracks is just over seven minutes – the average being much shorter. This bears more of classic progressive rock’s more complex elements presented with arrangements borne of current-era instrumentation, but informed by the greats of the past. Certainly one will be reminded of 70s Crimson, or early PFM at times, but those moments are mixed well with a blistering blend of current Italian songcraft. The songwriting team of founding members Francesco Zago (guitar) and Paolo “Ske” Botta (keyboards) remains intact (both also members of Yugen), with Zago composing most of the band’s English lyrics, delivered with power, punch and sensitivity by lead singer Alessio Calandriello. The band is rounded out by the rhythm section of incoming bassist Alessandro Cassani and drummer Martino Malacrida, plus several guests including pianist Maurizio Fasoli of Yugen on about four tracks, Jacopo Costa (vibraphone & glockenspiel) on five, and double-reed player Eleonora Grampa on three cuts, including the short, gentle keyboard based closer “Farewell” written by Botta, also featuring Fasoli and Grampa, as a farewell to Zago, who left the band shortly after the recording, since replaced by incoming guitarist Gian Marco Trevisan. No doubt the third album will be different from this one, but From a Distance builds on all the strengths of their debut.

Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Not a Good Sign

Latest news

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
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

2018-11-02
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


Previously in Exposé...

Spaced Out - Live in 2000 – Anyone familiar with this hotshot Canadian fusion quartet (and shouldn’t all Exposé readers be?) knows that they are above all a musicians’ band – one of those outfits that...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues