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

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Visible Touch - Forgotten Land & Vienna – They're called Visible Touch though they have nothing whatsoever to do with 80s Genesis or any Genesis for that matter. Think instead of all those great 80s hair-farmer bands: The Scorpions, Judas...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues