Not a Good Sign — Not a Good Sign
(AltrOck Productions FAD009, 2013, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-08-27Not a Good Sign. What an unfortunate name for a band; that has to rank among the all-time worst. But don’t let that influence your decision whether to check this band out, the music herein is nothing short of exceptional. Not a Good Sign is actually a “project” band featuring two key members of Yugen (keyboardist Paolo Botta and guitarist Francesco Zago) and two members of La Coscienza di Zeno (bassist Gabriele G. Colombi and vocalist Alessio Calandriello), with the lineup being rounded out by drummer Martino Malacrida. Several guests players join on piano and cello, track depending, and most notably vocalist Sharron Fortnam sings on “Witchcraft by a Picture.” The nine tracks here, mostly penned by the Botta / Zago contingent, are more in the classic proggy-prog vein than the avant-prog style of their other band Yugen. Vintage analog keyboards rule their sound, while the complexities and dynamics of the classic symphonic progressive style inform all nine of the compositions; Calandriello is a commanding singer powering the entire effort. Because of his vocal style and plenty of other factors, I am sometimes reminded of the recent work by the band Cast. There are plenty of labyrinthine bends and twists in the plot to keep this interesting over the long haul, and after at least a dozen plays, this writer is still hearing many surprises previously unnoticed. Definitely a good sign!
Related artist(s): Not a Good Sign
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