Now you probably known that I’m a fan of the Italian Progressive Rock scene. Bands like; Le Orme, Premiata Forneria Marconi, Banco, Osanna, and Metamorfosi to name a few. And champions like Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth who admires the band il Paese dei Balocchi, shows that the genre is still growing the fires very bright. And one of the bands that show a lot of potential and hope in their music since forming in 2012, is Not a Good Sign.
Their sole self-titled debut album released on the Fading Records label received word-of-mouth and whether you love or hate them, they know what they are doing in their music to not just become a retro band, but carrying the flaming torch of the Progressive Rock sound and not let it die down. This year, they’ve released their second album entitled From a Distance.
And let me just say that this is a real treat and Not a Good Sign are amazing musicians and taking the accompanying sounds of the 1970s and make it powerful, emotional, strong, and the result on the follow up is an alluring adventure from start to finish. Songs like Going Down which gives Paolo “Ske” Botta’s keyboards a jazzier introduction as Alessio’s voice just sends chills down the spine in the haunting atmosphere that resembles Genesis’ The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway-era while Not Now sees Not a Good Sign going into the styles of Haken’s music but with an excellent vibration.
Pleasure in Drowning is a powder keg track with unexpected changes thanks to the guitar playing of a hard rock Crimson-sque adventure containing metallic and clean sounds with an annihilated punch. Open Window sees Paolo’s organ going into a deeper, darker, and cavernous sounds on his keyboards between both the Organ and Mellotron.
Before the bursting of the doors of Francesco Zaga blows it down so hardcore with the time signatures that you can imagine the intensity hitting at you with a kick in the stomach. It’s also Paolo chance to shine into those darker areas for a few minutes and then it’s back into the rhythm and organ melodic improvisation followed by Cassani’s bass lines. It’s very Jazz-like, but the groove fits into the brainstorming ideas they would come up with.
This is my sixteenth time listening to From a Distance. Knowing where the directions they will lead to next, and the entire album for me is an eccentric gem, Not a Good Sign put their footsteps in the lake very carefully and they have done it right! A band that shows no sign of stopping to see where they will go into next. It’s classical, jazz, contemporary, hard rock, and prog at its best.